On November 30th, Daria Grigoreva, Sustainability Director, and Alex Čaičics, Group Head of ESG Communications at Polyus, joined mining sector leaders at MINEX Eurasia Conference 2021 to discuss the ESG trends observed across the mining industry. The goal of the event was to inform and help companies and stakeholders take genuine, meaningful steps towards tackling challenges and achieving ESG-related objectives.
During his panel titled «ESG & Sustainable Mining. Insights into company case studies», Alex shared his views on the value of ESG ratings. He noted that companies needed to find out which aspects of ESG the investors were really focused on prior to launching the disclosure process, as investors often looked at very specific areas such as the development and switch to renewable energy sources e.g. access to hydropower among many others. He added that Polyus found ESG ratings to be a very useful tool for understanding market expectations, obtaining comprehensive feedback which was communicated to various functions within the company.
Daria took part in the panel titled «Net Zero mining — setting and achieving realistic targets», co-moderated by Lev Gantly, Ben James, Simmons & Simmons. The panel focused on economically viable decarbonisation options available to miners, industry views of the value of carbon offsets, factoring climate change and climate intelligence into decision-making processes and the challenges of shifting to renewable sources in fossil-fuel-driven economies.
Daria was joined by Elena Haykin, Co-founder and CEO, Climate Governance Initiative in Russia. Elena noted that for the industry in Russia, the transition from plans to action was relatively slow. One of the possible reasons could be the lack of collaboration across industries and countries.
"Russian miners are largely exporting their products to the international markets where they compete with other exporters such as China where carbon emission is increasing. Cross-border trade regulation is essential for justifying investment in the development of Zero or Low Carbon production"Elena commented.
Daria agreed that the legislation was very important and there was room for improvement in this area in Russia. She also noted that while many companies announced the transition and had a clear long-term view, it was the immediate future that was not clear as well as the material impacts of such a transition, reminding the panel that the mining industry was very diverse and that it would not be reasonable to set the same expectations for all the companies without considering companies’ profiles and starting points.
Recordings from the conference are available to watch at: https://2021.minexeurasia.com/30-november-materials/