For over a decade, Polyus has been going the extra mile, embedding sustainability in every aspect of its business. The company upholds world-class international principles of environmental and social responsibility and conducts its operations in accordance with the strategic UN Sustainable Development Goals. These principles are reflected in its efforts to support the transitioning to a low-carbon economy and adapt to climate change. Polyus recognizes the need for climate risk management and acknowledges the significance of the consequences of climate shift, which is why it is actively participating in the economic and technological development of the regions in order to develop measures to reduce its own impact in the area and to adapt to a changing climate.
The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Polyus first publicly declared its support for international climate goals in 2015, including UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Last year, the company began a very important exercise of assessing climate risks at one of its business units. This project represented the first pivotal step on Polyus' journey toward the development for a new climate strategy in 2021-2027, the position on which it has recently officially published. “Accordingly, an attempt is made here to integrate the principles of sustainable development into daily corporate activities,” says Daria Grigoreva, Head of Sustainable Developmet at Polyus.
In 2021, the Polyus Group will complete work on the development of a multi-stakeholder Climate strategy, which involves specialists from the company’s each functional area and should take into consideration multifaceted interests.
The company's direct actions regarding climate change management is based on ICMM principles. It includes the following priorities: climate change mitigation, enhancing resilience to the consequences of climatic variations, taking advantage of opportunities related to climate shift, commitment to transparency and disclosure and cooperation to tackle this issue.
The illustrative example of Polyus activities in this area is the consideration of a wide range of initiatives regarding the use of renewable energy sources. Currently, it continues to decrease coal consumption, raising the share of renewable energy sources. In particular, the company entered into an agreement with one of the largest Russian energy holdings, RusHydro, for the supply of electricity, which will cut greenhouse gas emissions by half at enterprises in Krasnoyarsk and by a third across the entire Polyus Group. As a result, by 2020, it reached almost 60%, and in 2021 it achieved a 100% use of only renewable energy, most of which is hydropower.
Overall, Polyus Climate Change Position Statement represents a paramount action as part of a long-term commitment; this is a sustained issue and will be an ever-increasing part of the company’s agenda going forwards.
Climate change is a pressing issue globally, affecting all industries at different levels, and is therefore a priority for Polyus. Consequently, the company is acutely aware of the physical risks of rising temperatures and its potential impact on the operations of mining enterprises, as well as on the communities around us, making this a vital area for action.
As stated by Daria Grigoreva, “there is a two-way approach, because on the one hand we are trying to see how Polyus can influence climate change and we take steps to reduce our impact (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions). On the other hand, the company looks at how climate change can affect our daily operations, we try to assess climate risks and for each specific enterprise develop management measures, taking into account different climatic scenarios”.
The new climate strategy is undoubtedly of great importance for other companies interested in socially responsible activities of their enterprises, as this strategy is a good example of how to use resources efficiently, while reducing the risk of environmental impact, and how to make appropriate management decisions. Companies that adopt the experience and methodology of the Polyus can make a significant contribution to the flourishing of the society and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. An innovative strategy is also useful from an environmental point of view. Within the framework of this project, Polyus eliminates its own fossil-fuel-based energy generation and adapts to renewable energy sources. Moreover, the company is making all possible efforts to achieve the UN SDG 13: take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Polyus, as one of the top 5 major gold mining companies in the world, makes a significant contribution to society as a whole. The new climate strategy of Polyus involves unique methods of analyzing climate change, considering global temperature indicators, developing specific steps to decrease the environmental impact, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), taking into account the individual characteristics of an enterprise, which entails certain operational, procedural and managerial decisions.
According to Daria Grigorieva, the practical benefit of this project lies in the versatility of the climate risks assessment for a particular enterprise. The new strategy “helps to understand that physical climate risks do not always affect the enterprise itself, they can affect, for example, logistics (seaports, roads, power lines, and so on), which will directly influence the operation of the enterprise. For instance, in 2020, Polyus conducted an extended assessment of climate risks for one of its principal operations as part of its climate strategy. In 2021, it is planned to work with other enterprises, including in different areas”.
The innovation strategy sets a good example for other companies. First of all, this is useful for organizations that also operate in the mining industry. Polyus shares its experience, talks about its effective methodology with low impact on nature, thereby integrating the group of mining companies’ capabilities, in particular organizations that are members of ICMM. Undoubtedly, the total contribution of companies to the economic growth, the welfare of society, and the preservation of the environment, is essential.
The mining industry makes a significant contribution to global GHG emissions. Polyus, as one of its leading players, is aware of its responsibility to contribute to ensuring a low-carbon and sustainable future. The company is committed to combating climate change by improving the energy efficiency of its operations, and to meeting its internal goals to reduce GHG emissions.
As part of the climate strategy, some goals have already been achieved. For example, total GHG emissions were reduced by 16% compared to the level in 2019, and carbon intensity of production dropped by 28% in 2018. Moreover, Polyus eliminated its own fossil-fuel-based energy generation and adapted renewable energy sources. According to Daria Grigorieva, the company plans to continue to make progress in this area and adheres to high standards related to sustainability and the transparency of its operations, and be fully mindful of the impacts it has on the global climate and the environment. Thus, Polyus strives to reduce its environmental impact by applying the most climate-friendly energy management practices in order to meet the expectations and needs of its stakeholders.
Daria Grigoreva, Head of Sustainable Development
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Moscow, Moscow Region, RU
Business Website: https://polyus.com
Year Founded: 2006
Number of Employees: 10000+
PJSC Polyus is the largest gold miner in Russia and one of the largest gold producers worldwide, holding the world’s third biggest gold reserves with 61 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves underpinning its strong growth profile. The company’s principal operations are located in Russia’s most prolific gold mining provinces in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. Over the years, Polyus has made significant progress in embedding sustainability across its operating mines, which involves a commitment to developing the employees and protecting the broader communities as well as the natural environment.