We are happy to deliver the tenth Annual Report of UC RUSAL which includes the information on the results we achieved in terms of economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainable development.
Over this period the Company has excelled in various directions. UC RUSAL was one of the first Russian companies that joined the UN Global Compact. In 2007 we set a goal for the next decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aluminium production and managed to reach this goal ahead of schedule. Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 50% compared to the1990 level. The social investment programs which were initiated in 2004 are being recognized as examples of best practices and as such, have been applied in other companies. UC RUSAL also made huge investments in development of new technology for aluminium production and materials and today the Company has serious scientific and technical resources, which makes our production more friendly to the environment and people.
We participate in many international and national initiatives, thus promoting a different perspective to modernize parts of the industry. In 2015 UC RUSAL joined the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative — an international initiative contributing to development of a responsible caring approach to resource planning, production and management in aluminium industry.
Despite the complicated situation developed in aluminium industry, the Company has proved its aptitude to operate in a difficult market context. Due to our flexible strategy, strict control of costs and commitment to long-term goals and corporate principles, including the principles of sustainable development, the Company managed to successfully terminate the year 2015.
We have obtained impressive results in all spheres of activity. We succeeded in reducing the cost of aluminum and – in terms of this indicator - leave our competitors behind. Key financial figures (EBITDA and normalized earnings) improved, while net debt reduced. We believe that our advantage is our enlarged range of products that are based uniquely on customer requests. The development of the quality management system is one of the critical factors to measure our success in cooperation with customers and suppliers throughout the whole value chain. Therefore, 2016 is titled the Year of Quality in RUSAL in order to lay the groundwork for future development.
In 2015, the Company revised its strategic targets: we believe our main task is to become the most effective and environmentally friendly manufacturer in the world in terms of cost and technology. Based on these target points, the Company has set goals for 2016 and in the medium term, which include expansion of the domestic market, increasing the share of value-added products and the formation of our R&D strategy which is focused on the development and introduction of new products and production methods.
The objective to reduce the negative impact on the environment was long ago defined by the Company as a high-priority problem both for itself and for the industry as a whole. Due to the modernization of plants and replacement of outdated equipment, the specific emissions of pollutants from industries decreased by 13% over the past five years. Discharge of industrial waste water decreased by more than 70% and the quality improved. The Company has established new environmental targets up to 2020 and up to 2025 and intends to achieve such targets.
One of our priorities in the sphere of personnel management is labor safety and health protection of our employees. We improve the working conditions at workplaces, constantly increasing the effectiveness of measures for prevention of diseases. RUSAL intends to achieve the maximum possible reduction in injury rates. Following the results, in 2015 the lost time accident frequency rate (LTAFR) is equal to 0.85; it is better than the average indicator for the global aluminum industry in 2014.
All our social and motivational programs are developed to ensure that the Company employs the best experts. Our Talent Pool program and the system of personnel development play an important role in achieving this goal.
In 2015, the strategic focus of our social activity was the involvement of stakeholders to participate in RUSAL’s social programs which long ago became a well-recognized brand of the Company for the residents of our regions. For this purpose the major social programs of the Company were completely updated: all programs are competitive in nature, new categories of grant competitions were developed, a new procedure for assessing the applications were introduced and the schedules for competitive procedures and mechanism for selecting the winning projects were changed to improve the transparency of decisions. This allowed us reaching a greater number of participants, as well as increasing the co-financing from stakeholders up to 50%.
Particular attention is paid to the development of the corporate volunteering program, "Helping is Easy" aimed at attracting employees, their families and urban residents to volunteer through activities and social assistance. Within the frameworks of this program, such large-scale events were organized in 2015 such as the New Year Marathon, the Yenisei Day and the grant competition. The New Year Charity Marathon "In Miracles We Believe, Miracles We Do!" was held in 23 cities and the number of volunteers - participants of the marathon reached 5000 persons. The charitable action to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of fires in Khakassia has drawn considerable voluntary assistance from the Company’s staff and the raised amount of money was doubled by RUSAL. The Company continues as always to share its experience in the social sphere by it contributing to the development of the charitable culture in the country, helping to spread best practices. Precisely for this purpose the Company and several partners initiated in 2015, incorporating the National Council for Corporate Volunteering, uniting more than 20 largest Russian companies and organizations under the leadership of UC RUSAL. The Council supported the organization of voluntary environmental actions, an international forum on corporate volunteering and the All-Russian competition of projects, launching the research work in the sphere of corporate volunteering in Russia.
UC RUSAL always remains committed to the principles of sustainable development, contributing to our common future.
CEO of UC RUSAL