RusHydro Group adheres to environment protection and sustainable use of natural resources while observing the approved Environmental Policy, which is based on Russia’s national policy for environmentally sustainable development and safety, the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws and regulations, and international treaties of the Russian Federation governing the same.
RusHydro Group also takes into account global standards for environmental management and international best practices applicable to energy projects.
While planning and carrying out its operations, the Group abides by the precautionary approach adopted by the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992“Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” (Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992).. [102-11]
The integration of RusHydro and RAO ES East had an impact on the Group’s operations, changing the perimeter of its operations and causing the Group to revise its Environmental Policy, which now addresses today’s challenges and trends in environmental protection while taking into account the specific operating environment of RusHydro’s hydropower and heat assets.
The updated Environmental Policy sets out KPI seeking to increase the installed capacity of low-carbon generation, reduce direct and per unit greenhouse gas emissions, prevent species elimination as a result of operating activities, additionally train staff in environmental protection, etc.
The plan by 2025 is to increase the installed capacity of low-carbon generation by 632.3 MW and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6% as compared to 2015. the intensity of СО2 emissions is set to decrease 7.7% in the electricity generation segment and 6.4% in the heat production segment.
The restated Environmental Policy addresses today’s challenges and trends in environmental protection. the document was prepared on the basis of federal government authorities’ proposals, specifically those by the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Natural
Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Environmental Policy won recognition during public hearings attended by representatives of theWorld Wildlife Fund (WWF), Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Moscow State University, RUSAL, EuroSibEnergo, Rosseti, etc.
It is worth noting that the Environmental Policy is binding on all companies within RusHydro Group as well as entities that collaborate with the Group on contractual terms.
RusHydro approved the Implementation Program for the Environmental Policy. As part of the Rehabilitation and Modernization Program, RusHydro procures to upgrade and replace hydropower units
and repair HPP turbines, including to prevent environmental contamination in the course of its operations. Bank protection efforts are ongoing to maintain water conservation zones in good repair. RusHydro Group seeks to replace oil-filled electrical equipment with vacuum or SF6 gas, which contains no oil, or with that with lower oil content. RusHydro Group procures to upgrade TPP boilers to feed on natural gas, which helps reduce pollutant emissions into the air and enhance the efficiency of gas purification and dust collecting equipment.The Company also employs other initiatives to reduce its negative environmental footprint, including:
- construction of industrial waste landfills;
- rehabilitation of storm drains and waste water treatment facilities;
- collection of floating rubbish and transfer to waste disposal facilities;
- landscaping and planting of greenery;
- repair of ash and slag disposal facilities.
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RusHydro adheres to a number of technical standards providing for environmental safety.
To assess the impact on environment and ensure industrial control, RusHydro introduced corporate standards such as Hydroelectric Power Plants: Environment Protection, Environmental Impact Assessment. Guidelines and Hydroelectric Power Plants: Industrial Environmental Control. Standards and Requirements.
National Standard GOST R 58 224-2018 Hydroelectric Power Plants, Loss Allowance for Turbine Oil While in Operation, Method of Calculation for Turbine Oil Losses While in Operation applies to both the Company’s day-to-day management and state supervision.
RusHydro ensures environmental safety at all stages of the life cycle of its industrial facilities. Prior to starting a new project or modifying the existing facilities (at the project initiation and design stages), the Company procures to assess their impact on environment.
In 2018, there was no need to hold public hearings on environmental impact assessment for projects being designed or constructed.
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It is mandatory for the Company to develop draft standards applicable during the construction and operation of its facilities which establish permissible pollutant emission and discharge limits, waste generation and disposal limits as well as design documentation related to environmental protection, including initiatives to reduce negative environmental footprint and preserve biodiversity.
These documents are to be approved by the respective government agencies in charge of environmental protection, including:
- Ministry, of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation;
- Federal Service for Supervision over Natural Resources Management;
- Federal Agency for Water Resources;
- Federal Fishery Agency;
- Federal Service for Supervision over Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare.
The Company relies on the documents so approved to carry on its business in compliance with environmental protection standards.
The Company has a permanent expert collective body, the Scientific and Technical Council (STC), which provides for a unified system of technical expertise ensuring that R&D solutions, projects and programs are examined for compliance with the Technical Policy and applicable technical regulations.
To ensure environmental safety while developing new technical solutions, the Company established the STC’s task force on water reservoirs and environmental protection. It includes representatives of R&D institutions, the Chair for General Ecology of the Department of Biology at the Moscow State University, the Information Fund for Water Resources of the Federal Agency for Water Resources, and the Papanin Institute of Biology of Inland Waters (Russian Academy of Sciences).
RusHydro Group actively cooperates with international organizations on matters of environment protection and conservation of biological diversity. the Company supports industry-specific and international initiatives to reduce the man-made load on the environment and strives to adopt best practices for the successful implementation of its environmental projects.
Prior to March 2018, RusHydro had been a partner of Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Russia’s Energy Sector Policies and Operations project run by the United Nations Development Program, the Global Environmental Facility and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation (the “UNDP Project”). the Project was implemented in Russia between 2012 and 2018. the Project’s objectives were as follows:
- demonstration and introduction of international best practices in the field of biodiversity conservation in Russia’s energy sector;
- improving biodiversity status in industrialized regions of Russia;
- assistance in the set-up of a monitoring system for biodiversity status and testing of environmental technologies in oil producing, coal mining, and hydropower production; and
- promoting the adoption of policies and guidelines on biodiversity conservation in the energy sector.
Within the UNDP Project, RusHydro was focusing on:
- biodiversity conservation;
- sustainable development of hydropower; and
- development of guidelines on biodiversity conservation in the hydropower sector.
In 2018, RusHydro continued its membership in international industry associations such as the Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation (CEATI), the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD). Membership in these organizations enables the Company to interact with the world community on the safe, innovative and sustainable development of hydropower. [102-13]
To promote the principles of sustainable development in Russia, the Company contributes to the implementation of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) as a statutory instrument.
In late 2015, RusHydro supported an initiative to unite the efforts in Russia to reduce the impact on the environment and prevent climate change, signing the Statement of the Russian Business on the Negotiation Process and Adoption of a New Climate Agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC was held on December, 2018 in Katowice (Poland), whereby Timur Khaziakhmetov, Director of RusHydro’s Department of Development and Standardization of Production Processes, presented his report RusHydro Group’s Low-Carbon Development at the Russian Investments for a Transition to the Low GHG Emission Development round table and spoke on RusHydro’s sustainable development policy at the Day of Sustainable Energy. Both events were sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Energy to discuss sustainable development and Russia’s transition to low-carbon development, improving the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, including the preparation of a national greenhouse gas emissions survey.
The participants included Ruslan Edelgeriyev, special representative of the Russian President on climate issues, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Russian Meteorological Service (Roshydromet), RUSAL, EuroSibEnergo, SUEK, etc.
Since 2015, RusHydro has been a member of the Climate Partnership of Russia, which seeks to unite the efforts of businesses in the interests of transition to environmentally friendly technologies.
In 2018, the Company continued to report on greenhouse gas emissions to the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), having been its participant since 2015.
In 2018, RusHydro also continued its work, together with EuroSibEnergo and the Association of Hydropower of Russia, within the working group on developing a methodological approach to understanding global climate change processes in terms of greenhouse gas emissions from the surface of HPP freshwater reservoirs and evaluating their absorbing capacity.
In March 2018, RusHydro and the Hydropower of Russia Association held a round table in Moscow “Hydropower in the context of the transition of the energy sector of the Russian Federation to sustainable and low-carbon development”. the event discussed a wide range of issues related to the sustainable development of hydropower, existing methodologies for assessing the compliance of hydropower projects with sustainable development criteria, ensuring reliable operation of hydroelectric power plants amid climate change, minimizing the negative impact on biodiversity during construction and subsequent operation of hydroelectric power plants, the impact of hydroelectric power plants and their reservoirs on the balance of greenhouse gases.
B. Bogush, member of the Board, First Deputy General Director - Chief Engineer of RusHydro, representatives of federal authorities, energy companies, the Association of Hydropower of Russia, scientific and environmental organizations took part in the round table.
Based on the results of the round table, a decision was made on the desirability of adapting the existing international and Russian methods of calculating and studying the effect of reservoirs on the greenhouse gas balance in order to properly take into account the natural conditions Russian hydroelectric reservoirs operate in, and the need to develop methodological approaches to ensuring and assessing projects criteria for sustainable development.