The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Petropavlovsk protects biodiversity

Petropavlovsk is a London premium-listed, Russia-focused gold mining and R&D business and one of Russia’s major gold mining companies, in terms of both production and Reserves and Resources. Protecting biodiversity remains one of Petropavlovsk’s main priorities, and Petropavlovsk works hard to make sure that wildlife and local habitats are protected for future generations through all stages of mine life.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2019 Annual Report by Petropavlovsk published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Petropavlovsk recognises that its mining operations have the potential to negatively impact the natural environment. Accordingly, Petropavlovsk’s main aim is to prevent environmental harm wherever possible. In order to protect biodiversity Petropavlovsk took action to:

  • identify potential impacts of operations on wildlife
  • develop a biodiversity management programme
  • protect flora and fauna

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Annual Report Petropavlovsk identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, environmental compliance, training & education, waste management, occupational health and safety, water management. Among these, protecting biodiversity stands out as a key material issue for Petropavlovsk.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Petropavlovsk engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Shareholders, lenders, bondholders

 

·      AGM

·      Annual Report

·      Investor conferences, conference calls, one-to-one meetings

·      Site visits

Employees

 

·      Website

·      Intranet

·      Corporate newspaper Pokrovka Plus, Social media accounts

·      Trade Union

·      Meetings and face-to-face communication with management

Suppliers and contractors ·      Direct correspondence

·      Meetings

·      Contractual relationships

Local communities, including Indigenous communities

 

 

·      Public hearings

·      Corporate newspaper Pokrovka Plus, Social media accounts

·      Social and charity activities

·      Company website

·      Site visits

·      Grievance procedure

Government and industry authorities

 

 

·      Meetings, round-table conferences

·      Industry conferences

·      Direct correspondence

·      Company website

·      Circulation of information (brochures, factsheets, leaflets, etc.)

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Petropavlovsk engaged with its stakeholders via an online survey.

What actions were taken by Petropavlovsk to protect biodiversity?

In its 2019 Annual Report Petropavlovsk reports that it took the following actions for protecting biodiversity:

  • Identifying potential impacts of operations on wildlife
  • Before a mine becomes operational, Petropavlovsk outlines potential impacts of the operations on wildlife, along with the measures and actions to be taken in order to manage and mitigate these possible risks. This procedure, which is part of the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), has an important role in Petropavlovsk’s decision-making. Biodiversity management plans, outlining preventative measures and prohibited activities, are also developed and implemented at all Petropavlovsk’s operations.
  • Developing a biodiversity management programme
  • Petropavlovsk has developed a biodiversity management programme based on the following initiatives:
    • Preventing pollution and minimising its environmental impact;
    • Minimising noise levels as far as possible;
    • Minimising and controlling the disposal of food waste which could attract wildlife;
    • Use of “cat’s eye” road reflectors and other wildlife deterrents near areas close to moving vehicles, as well as wildlife awareness warning signs for drivers;
    • Monitoring discharges to air, soil and water;
    • Installing digital bird repellent systems to protect waterfowl; and
    • Maximising use of all brownfield sites.
  • Protecting flora and fauna
  • Petropavlovsk has various biodiversity strategies in place to protect flora and fauna and to avoid contamination of local rivers, ponds or streams, which include:
    • Prohibition of felling trees or clearing wooded areas using heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, flooding of forest land, dumping waste or rubbish, fishing, hunting or poaching and driving vehicles outside designated zones or existing roads;
    • Replenishing aquatic biodiversity in local rivers, in partnership with the Federal Authority on Fishery and Biological Resources Preservation of Amur region (Amurybvod), with over US$185,000 having been spent in restocking over the last six years; and
    • Annual information campaigns to raise awareness of forest fires, which can have a potentially devastating impact on biodiversity. Petropavlovsk’s experience shows that the use of billboards, posters and warning signs at its operations as well as in the surrounding area (such as at rest areas on the motorways) has a noticeable positive effect.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 304-1 Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas

 

Disclosure 304-1 Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Petropavlovsk, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Petropavlovsk: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.