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How Polyus combats fire as a key climate risk

22 September 2021
How Polyus combats fire as a key climate risk

Climate change is a serious global threat that affects all industries in different ways. Nobody, whether a company or an individual, is exempt from playing a part in solving this issue and its related effects. Polyus is clear about the risks posed by the Earth’s rising temperature and its impacts on our operations and local communities.

To understand the impact of climate change and how our operations will be impacted, Polyus initially mapped out the climate risks for the pilot project at Kuranakh, Yakutia, before rolling this out and assessing these risks for other production assets. At Kuranakh, we assessed the physical consequences and transition risks for three scenarios for rising temperatures; 1.5°C, 2°C and 4.5°C. Notably, fires were identified as the principal risk for Polyus in Yakutia.

This year, the number of areas impacted by wildfires recorded were at a record high in Russia since the beginning of the 21st century. According to the Russia’s Federal Forestry Agency’s remote monitoring system, over 18.2 million hectares of forests were affected. Polyus’ operations in the Yakutia, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions are all based in areas impacted by wildfires. The Company assessed its preparedness for wildfires as a priority in Summer 2021 as part of its annual drills organized together with the municipal emergency services and other local stakeholders. This involved checking that fire extinguishers were available and functioning, as well as the condition of local public address systems. This year, Polyus conducted additional internal audits and unscheduled inspections across all business units to check on and improve the risk management system following the Company’s climate risk assessment.

Following a challenging 2021, Polyus has implemented large-scale exercises to extinguish wildfires, as well as conducting detailed reviews of fire safety levels among employees, the general public and authorities. Following this review, the Company implemented additional measures to improve its emergency responses.

Following the implementation of these drills and measures, the main physical climatic risk to the Yakutia business unit identified at the first stage of the climate strategy development appears to currently be under control. The Company expects its continued efforts focused in this area will enable it to both reduced its carbon footprint and better control climate related risks and their impact on operations.

Climate change was discussed at the International Baikal risk forum held in September in Irkutsk. For more details on the forum see: