On 6 October 2021, Daria Grigoreva, Director, Sustainability at Polyus joined a panel session on Environment, Community and Water Management. The panel was moderated by James Bellin, Principal Hydrogeologist, SRK Consulting. Daria was joined by fellow panellists Dawn Brock, Manager at the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Jed Youngs, Practice Lead Water Stewardship at BHP and Michelle Lawrence, COO of Kropz plc.
During the session, the panel experts explored the importance of water management as a critical factor for ESG, and the different challenges that companies may face in various geographies.
The speakers agreed that a «one size fits all» approach does not work in water management and Daria Grigoreva stressed the importance of risk assessments in tackling the climate change. For example, Polyus’ risk assessment showed that permafrost is not a critical issue for the company, whereas forest fires are.
Despite the variety of issues faced in water management, meaningful guidance is not only possible but necessary in this area, the panellists said. Dawn Brock of ICMM stressed that water management has key material risks for society. The ICMM has published its Practical Guide to Consistent Water Reporting and is constantly reviewing them. Daria Grigoreva commented that the ICMM’s principles helped Polyus to provide meaningful reporting for international stakeholders, who are not familiar with Russian legislation.
During the Q&A session the panellists also discussed how water as an asset can add value to operations. For example, Polyus extensively uses hydropower as it switched 90% of its energy consumption to renewables.