Environmental Protection

RusHydro Group operates hydropower generation facilities accounting for over 80% of the Group’s electrical capacity. This puts biodiversity conservation at the top of its strategic priorities, along with a focus on greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions from coal and gas fired power plants. Environmental metrics underpin its ongoing modernization initiatives together with energy conservation and higher energy efficiency, advancement of renewable energy, and innovative development, which cumulatively helps reduce negative environmental footprint and increase the Company’s shareholder value.

RusHydro Group 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.

Environmental management system sh

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. The Environmental Policy is binding on all companies within RusHydro Group as well as entities that collaborate with the Group on contractual terms.

The Policy sets out KPIs 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 share of installed capacity of low-carbon generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6% as compared to 2015 (base year recommended by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development). The intensity of СО2 emissions is set to decrease 7.7% in the electricity generation segment and 6.4% in the heat production segment.

RusHydro Group 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).

RusHydro’s subsidiaries undergo an annual audit to confirm their compliance with the ISO 14001 environmental management system. In March 2020, DRSK had its environmental management system recertified under ISO 14001:2015. The audit of Yakutskenergo’s integrated management system, including the environmental management system, was conducted remotely in two stages, with no inconsistencies identified. Due to the restrictions resulting from the novel coronavirus infection outbreak, DGK performed no environmental audits in 2020.

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.

RusHydro has a robust environmental impact management framework in place.

RusHydro Group 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.

The Group 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. RusHydro is a member of international industry associations such as the Center 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.

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.

RusHydro’s environmental management system

Investments in environmental protection

In 2020, total investments in environmental protection stood at RUB 1,737.8 mn (down 8.4% y-o-y), driven by lower current (operating) costs and costs for capital repair of environmental protection fixed assets.

RusHydro Group’s environmental costs by type, RUB mn
RusHydro Group’s environmental costs by area, RUB mn
Metric 2018 2019 2020 2020/2019, %
Atmospheric air protection and climate change prevention 389.7 423.2 370.6 –12.4
Waste water collection and treatment 591 609.2 602.5 –1.1
Waste management 468.2 590.4 414.5 –29.8
Protection and reclamation of lands, surface and ground waters 121.1 187.6 194.1 3.5
Environmental protection against noise, vibration, and other physical impacts 3.3 4.9 3.1 –36.7
Preservation of biodiversity and protection of natural areas 8.7 12.6 60.5 380.2
Environmental radiation safety 0.09 0.1 0.3 200.0
Research activities and developments to mitigate human interventions 12.6 16.6 10.5 –36.7
Other environmental protection areas 101.8 52.5 81.7 55.6
Total 1,693.5 1,897.1 1,737.8 –8.4
RusHydro Group’s pollution charges, RUB mn
Metric 2018 2019 2020 2020/2019, %
Charges for air pollutant emissions by on-site facilities, including: 27.8 22.2 17.9 –19.4
for volume or amount of air pollutant emissions within permissible limits 16.9 18.0 16.4 –8.9
for volume or amount of air pollutant emissions within temporary permissible limits 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0
for volume or amount of emissions in excess of approved limits 10.2 4.2 1.5 –64.3
Charges for pollutant discharges into water bodies, including: 7.3 13.5 8.3 –38.5
for volume or amount of discharges within permissible limits 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.0
for volume or amount of discharges within temporary permissible limits 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
for volume or amount of discharges in excess of approved limits 6.9 13.0 7.8 –40.0
Charges for industrial and consumer waste disposal, including: 63.8 56.1 38.4 –31.6
for waste disposal within permissible limits 56.9 52.7 34.8 –34.0
for industrial and consumer waste disposal in excess of approved limits or limits set forth by the environmental impact statement and reports on industrial and consumer waste generation, usage, decontamination, and disposal 6.9 3.4 3.6 5.9
Total 98.9 91.8 64.6 –29.6

In 2020, RusHydro Group’s limit-exceeding charges accounted for 19.97% of its total pollution charges.Calculated as a ratio of environmental charges for pollutant emissions, discharges and waste disposal in excess of approved limits to total environmental charges.

Environmental penalties and non-financial sanctions
Metric 2018 2019 2020 2020/2019, %
Penalties, RUB mn 2.3 1.6 2.7 68.8
Number of non-financial sanctions 58 35 22 –37.1