UC RUSAL believes that environmental activity is an integral part of its production activity and participation in sustainable development projects. UC RUSAL enterprises have an unavoidable environmental impact during the extraction of natural resources and processing of raw mineral materials. In order to mitigate and offset this impact, the Company undertakes to meet a number of legal and regulatory requirements on environmental protection, whilst participate in regulating global and regional environmental issues and seeking new approaches to resolve them.
UC RUSAL is continually implementing the principles of its environmental policy at all production facilities and improving and optimising its system of environmental protection management. The system for managing environmental protection and ensuring the responsible use of natural resources requires compliance with the environmental impact standards set by local laws of the regions where UC RUSAL operates.
As an environmentally conscious company, UC RUSAL implements Programs to reduce its negative impact on the environment and the quantity of waste produced, thereby ensuring compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements on environmental protection.
UC RUSAL’s administrative decisions at all levels and in all areas of activity are based on the following guiding principles:
· risk management: identifying and assessing environmental risks, setting goals and planning work, taking into account environmental risk management issues;
· compliance: striving to fully meet the requirements of environmental legislation of the countries where the Company operates, and its voluntary commitments on environmental protection;
· prevention: leveraging the best available technologies and methods to prevent pollution and to minimise the risks of environmental damage as well as other adverse environmental impacts;
· training: organising training sessions for Company employees in environmental standards applicable to their area of operation, in order to improve their understanding of available options and their responsibilities and the environmental consequences of violating these standards;
· interaction: considering stakeholder opinions and interests, establishing environmental requirements when selecting suppliers and contractors, and helping them attain these requirements;
· measurability and assessment: establishing, measuring and assessing environmental indicators, as well as the self-assessment of compliance with environmental legislation in the countries where the Company operates and voluntary commitments on environmental protection;
· openness: publicly disclosing environmental plans and achievements, including through the Company’s public reporting.
The strategic areas of UC RUSAL’s activity under its Environmental Policy are:
· achievement by the Company enterprises by 2020 of atmospheric emissions standards established by the laws of the countries in which RUSAL operates;
· protecting the Company’s interests regarding the regulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and their reduction by the year 2025 for aluminium smelters – by 15%, for alumina enterprises – by 10% vs. the year 2015;
· creating closed-loop water supply systems for the main production processes at the Company enterprises by 2020;
· increasing the annual share of treated and utilised waste, ensuring its safe storage and disposal;
· replacing equipment and eliminating waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by 2020;
· increasing the annual share of rehabilitated land and assisting in the preservation of biodiversity;
· creating a corporate management system to manage environmental aspects and risks and certification of all enterprises selling products on the market in accordance with ISO 140001 by 2020;
· assisting in creating a modern regulatory legal framework on environmental protection in relation to aluminium and alumina production.
Other important areas of the Company’s environmental planning activity include ensuring reliable access to sources of environmentally friendly renewable energy, and efforts to reduce the Company’s carbon footprint. For the performance of these tasks, UC RUSAL has concluded long-term contracts with hydroelectric power plants in Siberia, making it possible to produce 90% of aluminium using renewable, environmentally friendly hydroelectric power and, as a result, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Each year, UC RUSAL performs an internal assessment of the extent to which it has implemented the principles and approaches codified in the provisions of the Environmental Policy.
The Company implements a strategy to continually improve its environmental indicators, based on the adopted Technical Policy:
· at newly commissioned facilities, through implementing cutting-edge technologies;
· at existing enterprises through:
- modernising the existing production cycle;
- replacing obsolete gas treatment equipment;
- creating closed-loop water supply systems, or building modern treatment facilities to prevent the discharge of untreated effluent if a closed-loop water-supply system cannot be created;
- building modern warehouses for production waste, to ensure its safe long-term storage;
- building facilities to process waste for selling to customers (for example, crushing and sorting equipment);
- replacing and disposing of electrical equipment containing PCBs;
- environmental reclamation through the restoration of disturbed lands and decommissioned waste storage facilities;
- introducing the best available technologies.
In 2015 specialists at the Company started the development of an information and technology guide to the best available technologies (BAT) for aluminium production. Company Specialists also took part in the preparation of other inter-sectoral guides for BAT.