The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How Polymetal promotes occupational health and safety

Case study: How Polymetal promotes occupational health and safety

As a leading precious metals mining group, with operations in Russia, Kazakhstan and Armenia and a portfolio of seven productive gold and silver mines, Polymetal is a major employer in the regions where it operates. As a consequence – and taking into account that mining is, unavoidably, a dangerous operation –, safeguarding the health and well-being of its 9,238 employees is a top priority.

This case study is based on the 2015 Sustainability Report by Polymetal 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/ 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.Layout 1


Polymetal’s people are its greatest asset. Accordingly, the company is committed to promoting safe working environments across all its operations, meeting the strictest health and safety standards. In order to promote occupational health and safety Polymetal took action to:

  • implement new safety initiatives
  • promote emergency preparedness
  • provide health and safety training for employees
  • prevent occupational diseases

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Polymetal identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, procurement practices, training and education, local communities, diversity and equal opportunity. Among these, promoting occupational health and safety stands out as a key material issue for Polymetal.

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 organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process s 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 Polymetal engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Investors and shareholders




·         AGM/GM

·         Annual and Sustainability Reports

·         Investor conferences and one-to-one meetings

·         Presentations/conference calls

·         Site visits

·         Direct correspondence



·         Employee opinion polls and questionnaires

·         Workers’ councils

·         Internal hotline, website, suggestion boxes and grievance mechanisms

·         Meetings and face-to-face communication with management

·         Performance reviews

·         Annual direct line with the Group CEO

Suppliers and contractors


·         Direct correspondence

·         Contractual relationships

·         Meetings

·         Compliance with Polymetal’s requirements (for example,

health and safety)

Government and industry authorities



·         Working groups

·         Meetings

·         Direct correspondence

·         Industry conferences

Communities and NGOs ·         Opinion polls and questionnaires

·         Public and face-to-face meetings

·         Communication with Company managers

·         Press conferences

·         Working groups (for NGOs)

·         Grievance mechanisms

·         Email and telephone helplines 

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material issues Polymetal engaged stakeholders through a questionnaire, asking them to identify and rank, according to importance, all such issues.

What actions were taken by Polymetal to promote occupational health and safety?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Polymetal reports that it took the following actions for promoting occupational health and safety:

  • Implementing new safety initiatives
  • [tweetthis]To enhance occupational health and safety Polymetal developed several new safety initiatives[/tweetthis], including the following:
    • strengthening transport speed control and safety monitoring
    • changing the incentive system in cases where it led to unsafe conduct
    • reviewing the company’s training programmes, focused on key risks
    • visualising risks, consequences and employee conduct in certain situations
    • improving the quality of safety checks and increasing checks by independent external auditors
    • expanding and upgrading the company’s geotechnical capabilities
  • Promoting emergency preparedness
  • To promote emergency preparedness Polymetal:
    • constantly strengthens its Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS), which is implemented across all operations
    • makes sure its operations are fully licensed for relevant safety activities
    • conducts safety audits across all buildings, constructions and technical facilities where hazardous activities take place
    • signs obligatory liability insurance agreements to indemnify harm caused by possible accidents in hazardous production facilities
  • Providing health and safety training for employees
  • In 2015, the following safety courses were offered to Polymetal’s employees:
    • introductory safety courses (1,974 employees)
    • specialised training in internal environmental audit and environmental safety training (1,764 employees)
    • work safety and industrial safety courses, also related to hazardous production risks (1,741 employees)
    • other training and development courses (2,608 employees)
  • Preventing occupational diseases
  • Every year, all Polymetal employees undergo at least one medical check to assess their health and well-being. In addition, a team of in-house medical professionals continuously monitors employee health and responds to any relevant issues.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-LA6: Type of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of work-related fatalities, by region and by gender and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-2 Types of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities


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.

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1) This case study is based on published information by Polymetal, 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:




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