Victor Drozdov, Business Communications and Investor Relations Director at Polyus, took part in IR Magazine’s ESG Integration Forum Europe in November 2021, joining the «Best practices when telling your ESG story» panel. Victor was joined by moderator Tim Human, reporter for IR Magazine, Tish Crawford-Jones, Investor Relations consultant at Q4, and Anna White, ESG Analyst at Fidelity Investments.
Commenting on engagement with the investment community on ESG topics, Victor explained that the most compelling factors are not the presentation and description of ESG activities. The community is more interested in the concrete steps and tangible progress companies are making with regard to the environment and climate change. In 2021 Polyus switched to using 100% renewable energy at its operating assets, became the first Russian metals and mining corporate to publish a Water Report and demonstrated how it continues to hold suppliers to high standards with the publication of its Suppliers Code.
Whilst progress is being made in terms of improving ESG Ratings, Victor stressed the importance of greater standardisation in this area, which should enable companies to write Sustainability Reports and other materials that are compliant with best-in-practice standards. While Polyus reports its emissions in line with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)’s reporting framework, the Company also provides disclosure methodology on how the different ratings agencies align with each other. Victor commented that, to appease more ESG focused directors, companies will need to increase how much they are factoring in the rating agencies’ criteria and frameworks.
Victor explained how ESG roadshows can prove crucial to understanding the ESG priorities of those that have invested and those that have not. 2022 will be a milestone year for Polyus with the publication of its climate strategy. This is set to include short and mid-term CO2 emissions reduction targets, in addition to providing guidance on water recirculation and biodiversity.