We strive to ensure that our operations are conducted in the most sustainable way possible and do our utmost to mitigate adverse environmental impacts caused by our day-to-day operations, in order to comply with environmental obligations and to meet the expectations of stakeholders. We invest great efforts into enhancing all aspects of our environmental performance, and the Group’s contributions have received positive feedback from the international business community.
Our HSE Policy establishes a framework for environmental management (see the Health, safety, and environmental governance). All our enterprises have adopted an environmental management system (EMS), based on the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model. The EMS provides a framework that contributes to mitigating environmental risks and supports the organisation of the Group’s environmental compliance.
EVRAZ strictly adheres with applicable environmental requirements. We conduct internal audits in terms of risk assessments and HSE management system evaluations. External environmental audits are performed by state authorities and third parties at our operations to ensure that the Group complies with environmental requirements. There were no significant environmental incidents or material environmental claims involving the Group’s assets during the reporting period. The total value of non-compliance-related levies and fines issued against the Group in 2020 was US$3.1 million, compared to US$5.0 million in 2019.
In 2020 we began reviewing our corporate regulations relating to the registration, evaluation, authorisation, and restriction of chemicals (REACH) compliance vis-à-vis products supplied to or manufactured in the European Economic Area by the Group’s assets. The completion of the update is scheduled for 2021.
We implement environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) for all our new projects and operations. During these we evaluate the potential direct and indirect impacts of our activities on local communities and surrounding environments. The purpose of the assessments is to prepare detailed plans to mitigate and manage these impacts. When conducting ESIAs, we consult with local and regional stakeholders (governments, businesses, and communities) throughout the project’s life to discuss any decisions and measures to be implemented.
When conducting day-to-day operations, EVRAZ employees are required to adhere to established Fundamental Environmental Requirements. These comprise procedures related to environmental control systems, and prohibitions against the discharge of any chemical products and waste disposal outside designated areas.
In order to maintain a high level of environmental awareness and competence among our employees, we hold various trainings on waste management methods, HSE practices, and other topics. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these trainings were held in an online format.
In 2020, EVRAZ spent US$56.95 million on projects to improve its environmental performance and US$32.87 million on measures to ensure environmental compliance. The Group has also committed to implement various environmental protection programmes over 2021–2026. As of 31 December 2020, the estimated cost to implement these programmes totaled US$226.2 million, compared with US$198.6 million as of 31 December 2019. The rising environmental commitments is mainly related to renewal of obligations under the Wastewater Management programmes of steel production sites to implement “zero water discharge” goal.
Case study Environmental strategy
EVRAZ has formulated an Environmental strategy, which contains a framework for ensuring environmental compliance and mitigating against any potential adverse environmental impacts. The strategy is based on sustainable business practices and environmental principles, which are incorporated into all stages of our value chain.
Previously, EVRAZ had five-year environmental goals (set in 2017) in three areas: water, waste, and GHG emissions. We achieved the following results (for data on GHG emissions see the GHG emissions and energy efficiency section):
- Reducing water consumption to 207 million m3: water consumption in 2020 fell to 206.2 million m3.
- Recycling non-mining waste and by-products at a rate of 95%: 102.7% recycled in 2020.
In 2020 EVRAZ updated the Environmental strategy and elaborated two scenarios, related to the level of impacts and capital investments: realistic and stressful. In order to meet the expectations of investors and society, the Group has also set new goals for the period up to 2030 (with 2019 as the baseline year), which cover four aspects – water, waste, air emissions, and GHG indicators (see the GHG emissions and energy efficiency section). New goals were set with the realistic scenario in mind, and are listed below:
|Area||Goal (2019–2030)||2020 status|
|Water||Zero wastewaterFor the purpose of disclosing wastewater discharge the Steel segment is represented by EVRAZ ENA, EVRAZ ZSMK and EVRAZ NTMK only, while other environmental indicators include also EVRAZ KGOK, Evrazruda, EVRAZ Vanady Tula, EVRAZ Nikom and EVRAZ Caspian Steel. Mining assets are not included in Steel segment as they produce effluents of quarry and mine water, that EVRAZ cannot reduce due to their natural origin factors. discharges from steel production.||68.6 million m3|
|Waste||Utilise 95% of waste from metal production and general waste.||102.7%|
|Recycle 50% of mining waste.||28.5%|
|Air emissions||Reduce total atmospheric emissions from steel production by 33%.||3.7% decrease|
|Reduce dust emissions from coal mining by 1.5 times.||10.1% decrease|
Within the new strategy the Group also aims to ensure full regulatory compliance and transparent data measurements by 2025. To enhance the disclosure of information regarding its Environmental strategy, the Group also updated its environmental reporting procedures during the reporting period.