Russian Miners Becoming More Transparent about Environment, WWF Says

Russian mining companies are doing a better job at reporting their efforts to mitigate environmental impacts and protect their natural surroundings, says the 2019 Environmental Transparency Rating of Mining and Metals Companies Operating in Russia, published by the local chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

According to WWF, this year’s rating included 41 participants and almost half of them not only provided information to the researchers conducting the analysis but also made available, on their websites, pieces of information that were missing. Last year, the feedback was provided only by 14 companies.

“Each year we register an increase in the companies’ transparency,” Aleksey Knizhnikov, head of the Program for Business Environmental Responsibility at WWF-Russia, said in a media statement. “Thanks to the growing transparency of the companies, for the first time we have enough data to calculate industry-average environmental impact by sub-industry, including mining of precious metals, non-ferrous and ferrous metals.”

Knizhnikov informed that based on the results calculated by the Analytical Center of the National Rating Agency, Polyus Gold, the largest gold producer in Russia, took the first spot when it comes to environmental transparency. The second place was occupied by coal miner SDS-Ugol, and the third by Canadian miner Kinross Gold.

Some firms were also awarded for special conservation efforts. Iron ore miner and steelmaker Severstal, for example, was recognized for its achievements in biodiversity conservation, while fellow steelmaker Metalloinvest won a prize for informational transparency. Similarly, Alrosa, the world’s top diamond producer by output, was highlighted for active cooperation during the rating calculation, WWF said.