The Expert RA rating agency has assigned an ESG-II(b) rating to Polyus, which means that the Company demonstrates a high level of compliance with sustainability goals when making key decisions. The rating has a stable outlook.
Expert RA analyzed the contribution of each component to the final rating result.
For Block E (Environmental), the agency noted the effect of positive developments, such as:
- The use of the best available technologies in operations.
- A two-fold reduction in GHG emissions over the last three years.
- A 42% decline in specific greenhouse gas emissions for 2019-2021.
- A significant increase in the share of hydropower and a decrease in coal consumption in Polyus’ total energy resource structure.
- A consistent climate policy and implementation of the Company’s climate strategy, which sets goals to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions to 40-50% by 2032 compared to 2020 and to achieve a zero carbon footprint by 2050.
- The annual disclosure of GHG emissions for the Group, including Scope 3 from 2021.
- A 24% reduction in wastewater over the last three years; 93% of water recycled and reused.
- Actions plans for reclaiming disturbed land, forestation, biodiversity conservation, waste recycling and re-use.
- Enhancement of energy resource management, implementation of automated fuel and energy management systems, ISO 50001 certification for the Company’s assets.
For Block S (Social), Expert RA noted the following Company practices:
- An extended compensation package for employees, including voluntary medical insurance, accident and illness insurance, reimbursement of health resort treatment expenses and child recreation in a children’s camp, as well as additional vacation and compensation for travel expenses for vacations of employees working in the Far North and their families.
- Training programs for employees. In 2021, all Polyus employees underwent training at the Company’s expense. The average training time per employee increased by 27% to 86 man-hours.
- The established integrated health, safety, environment and sustainable development system.
- Social programs and events aimed at developing the regions of Polyus’ operations and supporting local communities. The funds that Polyus allocates to social support measures grow every year and amounted to approximately RUB 5 bln in 2021.
For Block G (Governance), the rating agency highly appraised:
- The inclusion in the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the key performance indicators for C-Suites of sustainability issues for 2021.
- ESG initiatives in every aspect of sustainable development as well as set and achieved goals on mitigating the negative environmental impact.
- The quality of the financial and ESG risk management system, ongoing control by the CEO and Board of Directors of risk management reliability and efficiency.
- Approval and introduction of the Supplier Code of Conduct in 2021.
- The level of the Company’s transparency, the disclosure of both consolidated audited financial and accounting statements under IFRS and RAS, as well as non-mandatory information and a sustainable development report under GRI standards.
Victor Drozdov, Director Communications & Investor Relations (CIR) Department, member of the Board of Directors, commented:
This year, Polyus has participated in more ESG ratings in Russia. I believe that in the current situation, national rating agencies have better access to information about Russian companies and can fully assess the compliance of our activities with Russian regulatory requirements.
We welcome the improved methodologies and ongoing development of the expertise of national agencies. We are also proud of the high ESG rating that Expert RA has assigned to Polyus. The continuous improvement of Polyus’ position in national and international ratings reflects the deep integration of sustainability issues into the Company’s business strategy.
Polyus is the world’s fourth-largest gold mining company by production volumes and the largest gold miner in terms of attributable gold ore reserves. The company has the lowest production costs among major global gold producers. Its principal operations are located in Siberia and the Russian Far East: Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Magadan regions and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
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Forward looking statement
This announcement may contain "forward-looking statements" concerning Polyus and/or Polyus group. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words "will", "may", "should", "could", "would", "can", "continue", "opportunity", "believe", "expect", "intend", "anticipate", "estimate" or similar expressions. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to future capital expenditure, business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of Polyus’ and/or Polyus group’s operations. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are difficult to predict accurately and which are beyond the control of Polyus and/or Polyus group. Therefore, undue reliance should not be placed on such statements, which speak only to the date of this announcement. Polyus and/or any Polyus group company assumes no obligation in respect of, and does not intend to update, these forward-looking statements, except as required pursuant to applicable law.
This document shall not constitute or form part of an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity, any offer for sale or subscription of or solicitation to buy or subscribe to any Company securities, and neither this document nor any part of it shall form the basis of or be relied on in connection with or act as an inducement to enter into any contract or investment decision in that regard, and it does not constitute advice in relation to any securities or investments in Polyus group.