According to a recent report, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta’s share of pollutants in industrial wastewater has decreased.
The Russian Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of refined nickel and palladium with a facility in Harjavalta, Finland, presented the main results of the company’s sustainable development efforts in 2020, as well as published environmental plans for the future.
According to the report, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta’s share of pollutants in industrial wastewater has decreased. For example, the nickel content from 0.6 in 2018 to 0.4 in 2020, as well as ammonium (NH4) from 70 in 2018 to 60 in 2020. The company’s environmental spending increased from $0.7 million in 2018 to $3.5 million in 2020.
The company notes that Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta has all the necessary environmental permits and uses a certified integrated management system.
In 2020, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta fulfilled all permitting requirements for emissions, discharges and waste disposal. The decrease in waste volumes is associated with the transition to the company’s own raw materials, which are less contaminated with impurities compared to materials from third-party manufacturers.
One of the most important achievements in the field of sustainable development in 2020 was the preparation of a new comprehensive environmental strategy for the entire Norilsk Nickel Corporation.
The strategy identified six key areas of action covering various aspects of environmental protection, with selected targets set for 2030. For example, as part of its climate change strategy, Norilsk Nickel intends to maintain greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in absolute terms of less than 10 million tons of CO2-equivalent to increase production by 25-30%.
To implement this strategy, Norilsk Nickel is planning capital investments of more than US $5.5 billion, of which US $3.6 billion is earmarked for the unprecedented sulfur 2.0 program, which aims to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 95% by 2030. The company has set goals for each of the six areas that should be detailed in 2021.
An essential part of the plan also contains environmental programs related to nature reserves.
The Lapland Biosphere Reserve, with an area of 278,000 hectares, is one of the largest protected areas in Europe. Designed to save wild reindeer from extinction, it now boasts more than 1,000 deer, the largest reindeer herd in Northern Europe. The beaver population has also been successfully restored thanks to the reserve. In 1985, the reserve was included in the UNESCO Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Since 2002, Norilsk Nickel has been carrying out activities within the framework of contracts concluded with the Lapland Biosphere Reserve, to restore the disturbed natural environment in the territories subject to long-term emissions from the Kola MMC, as well as to monitor the territories adjacent to the Monchegorsky site and the Lapland biosphere protected area. Research results provided a basis for further rehabilitation of disturbed lands and improvement of sanitary and fire protection of forest areas.
Another nature reserve is already on the border with Norway.
Pasvik State Nature Reserve is included in the Ramsar Shadow List as one of the wetlands called Fjarvann – Shanning Field Base. It covers a total area of over 14,000 hectares. Pasvik is the only Russian nature reserve to be certified by the EUROPARC Federation, which is awarded to the best-protected areas in the world. Such certification is an important prerequisite for international cooperation with foreign reserves.
Since 2006, under a contract with Norilsk Nickel, the reserve has been assessing the state of the environment in the Kola MMC region (including Zapolyarny, Nikel and their suburbs, as well as the Pasvik State Nature Reserve) and is developing a long-term environmental monitoring program.
The reserve is also working on several projects that have received grants under the World of New Opportunities charity program. These projects target Russian and Norwegian audiences and cover a variety of topics, including traditional use of natural resources, raising the environmental awareness of schoolchildren and promoting research.
The Pasvik Tourism Center, built with our support, is an international platform for scientific forums and educational events dedicated to environmental protection.