UN Goodwill Ambassador impressed by Norilsk Nickel’s environmental initiatives

A group of different speakers at the Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s sustainability event were delighted with the Nordic manufacturer’s environmental initiatives.

UN Goodwill Ambassador Vyacheslav Fetisov noted the large volume of investments in the fight against climate change and environmental initiatives.

“Nornickel was one of the first to embrace the modern challenges of climate change and start working in this direction. I often visit Norilsk, most recently a couple of months ago. Once again, I am convinced that the Company has a long-term business vision. And it is already being implemented.

I was impressed and pleased to see the construction of the Sulphur Project facilities, in which the company is investing 250 billion rubles ($ 3.4 billion). The decision to proceed with it was made several years ago. Construction is underway. I talked to the people involved in it. They are proud of what they are doing, and they understand the potential. This is an unprecedented project for the metals and mining industry,” said Vyacheslav Fetisov during the event, which was broadcast on the Internet by the Russian business TV channel RBC.

Earlier it was reported that on February 26, 2020, Norilsk Nickel signed an agreement with a contractor to implement a project to neutralize sulfuric acid at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant. This is the main stage of the Sulphur Project facilities, Norilsk Nickel’s largest environmental initiative aimed at dramatically improving the environment.

The opinion of the UN Goodwill Ambassador was also supported by the authorities of the region where Norilsk Nickel conducts its basic activity – the Krasnoyarsk Territory in the center of Russian Siberia.

“Recently, we have been working very closely with Norilsk Nickel on renovation and environmental projects. Early this year we signed a 4-way agreement, under which we are finishing work on the Norilsk’s comprehensive economic development plan until 2035.

Separately, we are embarking on a programme to rehabilitate the territories affected by last year’s accidental fuel spill.

I think we are moving in the right direction. We hope that this trend will maintain and serve to develop and improve the quality of life in Taimyr, Norilsk, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Arctic in general, “said Nikolay Zuev, Deputy Chairman of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Government, during his speech at the event.

Earlier, the Board of Directors of Norilsk Nickel planned to approve a new environmental strategy in 2021 with investments of over $ 5.5 billion.

According to the document, the company plans to invest $ 3.6 billion in measures to reduce air emissions, $ 1.1 billion – in measures to protect water resources, $ 0.6 billion – to minimize harm from industrial waste, $ 0.3 billion – in the reclamation of lands affected by the construction and development of the company’s deposits, climate change and conservation of biological diversity. The volume of investments in these two areas will be determined during the year.

Significant financial resources have been devoted to the ambitious Sulfur 2.0 program, which aims to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 95% by 2030.

In general, in 2020 Norilsk Nickel made significant progress in reducing the intensity of its impact on the environment. The intensity of pollutant emissions has decreased by 20.7% since 2019, and the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions has decreased by 23.3%. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of nickel equivalent, the Company is in the bottom quartile of the global metallurgical industry and plans to maintain its leading position in the long term. Norilsk Nickel’s indirect CO2 emissions are also among the lowest in the industry. In addition, the Company’s energy and water consumption has significantly decreased, by 22.4% and 14%, respectively, compared to 2019. The share of energy generated from renewable sources reached 46%, which is one of the highest rates in the global metallurgical industry.