Our approach to sustainability

Over the years, Polyus has made significant progress in embedding sustainability across our operations. As a major enterprise, we must work responsibly to ensure that Polyus continues to create value for all of our stakeholders. This involves a commitment to developing our employees and protecting the broader communities where we operate as well as the natural environment.

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Key sustainability focus areas

We measure our sustainability progress against the following focus areas:

  1. Ensuring the safety of our employees
  2. Managing our environmental impact
  3. Supporting community development
Principles for sustainable development

Polyus bases its approach to sustainability – represented by corporate standards, principles, reporting and goals – on a set of important globally recognized standards that are relevant to our corporate profile.

The most important and universal of these are the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a business, we recognize the importance of all 17 SDGs, but prioritise the eight areas on which our business has the greatest impact. We set specific targets within these Goals, which can be found in our Sustainability Reporting.

Polyus’ priority SDGs are:

  • Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
  • Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goal 13: Climate Action
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

We ensure that our activities are aligned with ICMM’s Ten Mining Principles:

  1. Ethical Business
  2. Decision-Making
  3. Human Rights
  4. Risk Management
  5. Health and Safety
  6. Environmental Performance
  7. Conservation of Biodiversity
  8. Responsible Production
  9. Social Performance
  10. Stakeholder Engagement

Learn more about the ICMM’s Ten Mining Principles on the ICMM’s website here.

In our Sustainability Reports, Polyus reports on annual progress across the SDGs and sets further targets to work towards.

Sustainability strategy

We believe that environmental and social responsibility is integral to the success of our business. We strive to adhere to best-in-class industry standards in order to create additional value for all our shareholders and stakeholders.

The Group is committed to be:
a people-orientated company

a people-orientated company that provides development opportunities, adheres to safety standards, and can attract, motivate and retain the best employees and management available

a socially responsible company

a socially responsible company that contributes to social development in its areas of operation

an environmentally responsible company

an environmentally responsible company that identifies and mitigates environmental impacts from its operations, through conscientious management of its assets throughout the life cycle of mining activity

Our Sustainability strategic objectives:
  1. Sustainable growth and efficient management of environmental and social risks at each stage of the life cycle of an asset: exploration, engineering and design, production and processing, closure and rehabilitation.
  2. Strong financial results while adhering to sustainability principles in our operations.
  3. Achieving a zero injury rate through a world-class safety culture.
  4. To be a reliable partner to all stakeholders, including local communities in our areas of operation, and maintain an open dialogue with all stakeholders, taking their interests into account when making decisions.
  5. To cultivate a team of professionals committed to helping Polyus achieve leading industry positions while adhering to sustainability principles.
Sustainability Management System

Our corporate Sustainability Management System (SMS) is part of the Company’s operating model and was developed in line with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards 1-8, the Sustainability Principles and Position Statements of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and other relevant national and international standards and guidelines.

To ensure effective and continuous management of sustainability-related issues, the SMS covers all key stages of the annual management cycle: from planning and goal-setting to managing improvements, as well as the whole life-cycle of the Company’s assets — from geological exploration to mine closure.

Fundamental to effective sustainability governance is the continuous management of environmental, social, and economic risks.

Sustainability risk management

We manage sustainability risks as part of our corporate risk management system. Under the system, sustainability risks are regularly identified, assessed and monitored — both at Managing Company and BU/PS level.

The voluntary property insurance program provides coverage of Polyus Group expenditures on depollution. Given the most significant environmental damage could hypothetically arise from tailing storage facility failures, Polyus has initiated development of a special programme of environmental impairment liabilities insurance with a limit of $100 mln.

Supply chain management

We aim to conduct business only with those supply chain partners that are fully compliant with national, regional and local legislation requirements and ready to share our values such as the avoidance of negative environmental impacts, creation of social benefits, focus on operational safety and respect for human rights. We have developed Supplier code of conduct to ensure that Group HSE standards are also met by all suppliers.

We recognise that a number of environmental and social issues faced by the business community, and in particular by Polyus, can be solved more efficiently through collaboration and joint action from all involved parties.

Commitment to external initiatives

Therefore we work actively with a wide range of industrial associations and national and international advocacy organisations, including:

  • Gornoye delo (‘Mining’ — a national association that promotes the mining industry)
  • The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP; an independent, non-governmental organisation)
  • The Russian Union of Gold Producers (a non-profit organisation)
  • The National Association for Subsoil Examination (a non-profit partnership)
  • The All-Russia Intersectoral Association of Employers — producers of nickel and precious metals (a trade union)
Development Goals

While recognising the importance of all 17 of the UN’s SDGs, Polyus believes that as a company it can make the greatest positive contribution to those SDGs that are most impacted by its operations. For this reason, we prioritise eight goals.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 (SDGs), adopted following the 2015 UN General Assembly,represent an important unified effort to address social, environmental and economic issues to achieve global sustainable development and a better future.

We believe that, like every major organisation, we have a role to play in supporting the SDGs through our everyday operations as well as corporate sustainability programmes that go above and beyond, to lead by example in its industry and market.

The mining industry has its own specific impact on the environment around it. When managed properly, miners can bring investment and infrastructure to remote regions, create jobs and drive innovation, however the physical nature of the activity carries many challenges relating to preservation of the environment and the safety and well being of people.

Polyus’ priority SDGs, and their Integration into its core business

Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  • Rigorous workplace health and safety monitoring and reporting
  • Provision of healthcare services to the Company’s employees
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Provision of learning opportunities for employees
  • Cooperation with colleges and universities
  • Apprenticeship/graduate programmes
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Undertaking energy audits and improving our energy efficiency
  • Developing energy infrastructure in the remote regions of Russia
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Generation of employment and local economic opportunities
  • Ensuring a decent working environment
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
  • Developing infrastructure facilities in regions of operation under social partnership programmes with regional authorities
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Increasing efficient use of natural resources
  • Working with responsible suppliers of goods and services
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through gradual transition to renewable energy sources
  • Improving energy efficiency
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable developments
  • Supporting sustainability initiatives promoted by Russian and international industry organisations
  • Fostering cooperation with peers
  • Building mutually beneficial relations with local authorities

Polyus constantly seeks to engage and build respectful, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships with its stakeholders, address their concerns and expectations — and keep them informed of the Company’s activities. Understanding our stakeholders and their values and needs is of the utmost importance to Polyus.

Shareholders, lenders, bondholders

Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Long-term value by ensuring consistent financial returns
  • Annual general meetings
  • Regular hard-copy and electronic communications
  • Regular meetings with institutional shareholders
  • Internal newspapers
  • Top management
  • Investor Relations function

Government and regulators

Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Legislative and regulatory compliance
  • Environmental and social performance, fiscal regimes
  • Agreements on social-economic partnerships
  • Charity and sponsorship initiatives
  • Conferences and forums
  • Government Relations function

Employees and contractors

Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Health and safety
  • Working conditions
  • Career opportunities
  • Wages, benefits and social packages
  • Training and education
  • Direct communication with employees through immediate supervisors and management
  • Corporate newspaper: ‘Territory of Polyus’
  • Internal web portal
  • Operation-based newsletters
  • Security hotline
  • Confidential feedback boxes
  • Corporate sports and cultural events, professional competitions
  • Volunteer projects
  • Employee surveys
  • Contractual relationships
  • HR and Organisational Development function
  • HSE&SD function
  • Operations and Technical function

Local and indigenous communities

Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Potential environmental and social impacts
  • Employment opportunities
  • Infrastructure development
  • Newsletters and targeted communications
  • Public hearings and meetings
  • Confidential feedback boxes
  • Charity activities
  • Social programmes
  • Public Relations function
  • Government Relations function


Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Supply agreements
  • Payment processes
  • Tenders
  • Contractual relationships
  • Workshops
  • Commerce and Logistics function

NGOs and industry organisations

Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Social and environmental performance of operations
  • Mitigating non-financial risks
  • Industry-specific issues
  • Regular interaction with relevant national and international organisation
  • Public Relations function
  • Government Relations function


Key concerns of stakeholders Engagement mechanisms Responsible within the Company
  • Broad range of issues reflecting all stakeholder interestsli
  • Press releases, briefings
  • Presentations and interviews
  • Site visits
  • Public Relations function
Climate strategy
Sustainability policies
Sustainability risk management
  • Health and safety policy
  • Environmental policy
  • Biodiversity conservation standard
  • Contractors’ safety management standard
  • Environmental and social impact assessment standard
  • HSE leadership standard
  • HSE training standard
  • Medical support and emergency medical care standard
  • Mine closure and land recultivation standard
  • Root-cause analysis standard
  • Risk management standard
  • Standard for the sustainable use of natural resources and the prevention of environmental pollution, accounting and reporting on environmental indicators
  • Standard on cyanide management
  • Traffic safety management standard
  • Standard on environment and social impact assessment
Stakeholder engagement and local communities
  • Stakeholder engagement policy
  • Human rights policy
  • Charity, donation, and sponsorship policy
  • Corporate ethics code
  • Involuntary resettlement standard
  • Engagement with indigenous peoples standard
Economic stability
  • Anti-corruption policy
  • Risk management and internal control policy
  • Business continuity policy
  • Corporate governance code