RUSAL pays special attention to environmental issues, so in its activities it seeks to minimise the impact on the environment; the Company is a participant and initiator of international and Russian climate protection initiatives, global and regional environmental projects. In 2011, RUSAL adopted its corporate Environmental Policy, which defined the key operational principles and main development areas for the Company’s [ESG/sustainability] strategy.
About 90% of RUSAL aluminium is produced using electricity from renewable sources, which is supplied by hydraulic power plants in Siberia. The Company's production facilities adhere to the requirements of international environmental management system standard ISO 14001, which is confirmed by relevant [certificates/independent bodies]. Innovative solutions and technologies developed by the Company's scientists and large-scale modernization of existing production assets enable the Company to reduce harmful air emissions, saving resources, implementing closed-loop water circulation systems and energy-efficient production projects. Thanks to this approach, RUSAL was one of the first in the world to launch onto the market its 'green' aluminium under the ALLOW brand – metal that has a minimum carbon footprint at all production stages.
RUSAL was the first Russian company to join the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to participate in the international programme for minimising climate change which assumed voluntary commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Company introduced an internal assessment of the environmental impact of all new investment projects. By 2025, carbon dioxide emissions (in equivalent) at RUSAL aluminium smelters are forecast to have decreased by 15%, and at alumina refineries – by 10% (vs 2014).
RUSAL strives to minimise waste from its alumina and aluminium production, and to improve the methods of storage and disposal. The share of waste recycling grows from year to year, and the technology used in the process of recycling waste can produce products that are in demand in the market – from rare earth metals to materials for the metallurgical, construction and other industries.
In the regions where it operates, RUSAL actively participates in programmes to preserve natural resources and biological diversity. In particular, these programmes provide continuous monitoring of the environment and human impact on ecosystems, the rehabilitation of disturbed land, the planting of trees and shrubs, stocking of reservoirs with fish, etc. The Company's volunteers take an active part in these projects.
From year to year, RUSAL has been increasing its investments in environmental protection activities in accordance with the strategic goals set by the Company's environmental policy. In 2018, the total amount of funds spent on scheduled environmental activities exceeded USD 200 mln.
Main areas of RUSAL's environmental activities
- Modernization of production, equipment of enterprises with new modern equipment.
- Development and introduction of new environmentally friendly production technologies.
- Introduction of new ecologically effective capacities.
- Arrangement of sanitary protection zones.
- Research and development activity.
- Educational programs.
In 2015, RUSAL launched an initiative to establish a climate protection partnership in Russia to unite the efforts of Russian businesses to reduce their environmental impact and prevent climate change. Apart from RUSAL, such companies as ALROSA, RUSNANO, Sberbank, Ingosstrakh, Alfa Bank, VTB and others have joined the Russian Partnership for Climate Conservation.