MMK representatives highlight sustainability achievements at 18th Steel Summit
Sustainable development was the focus of this year's presentations by MMK's representatives. Grigorii Shchurov, Director for Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Protection, noted in his report that MMK reduced gross air pollutant emissions by 19.6 thousand tonnes in 2020 thanks to the commissioning of Sinter Plant No. 5 and decommissioning of obsolete Sinter Plant No. 4, construction of a casting yard aspiration system at Blast Furnace No. 2 and dust suppression systems in the sinter plant and coal preparation shop. In addition, MMK ensured zero discharges into the Magnitogorsk Reservoir in 2020 by switching to a closed water recycling system.
As Grigorii Shchurov clarified, these achievements are part of MMK's systematic movement towards implementing the Clean City initiative, part of the Company's 2025 Development Strategy and aimed at radically reducing the Company’s environmental impact. "Among further projects that contribute to MMK's goals are the construction of the new coke oven battery complex No. 12 and the new blast furnace No. 11, equipped with the most advanced environmental protection facilities. Their launch will make it possible to put obsolete units out of operation and reduce atmospheric emissions by 11.3 and 6.6 thousand tonnes per year, respectively," explained Shchurov.
In addition to reducing overall emissions, the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is of great importance for MMK. "It is now a common development trend for all socially responsible companies to reduce their carbon footprints, this, of course, includes MMK," said Grigorii Shchurov. He said that the Company, within the framework of its 2025 Development Strategy, will analyse and, in case of significant CO2 reduction, plans to implement a number of best practices among global steel-making companies aimed at greenhouse gas emission reduction, including: a smart system for regulating the operating mode of the blast furnace, dry extinguishing with steam and electricity generation using gas heat, slab and scrap pre-heating and using CO from waste-gases collected from electric steel-making and oxygen converter furnaces as fuel. "We are carefully analysing the experience of our peers, both domestic and international, and we see that these measures are used by the most advanced companies in the industry and they have proven to be effective. Implementation of these practices at MMK will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1 million tonnes," Grigorii Shchurov concluded.
Yaroslava Vrubel, Head of MMK's Sustainability Department, in her speech also paid great attention to MMK's environmental activities, which are one of the main components of sustainable business development. "In terms of the climate agenda, MMK has taken a proactive stance in 2020. For the first time, we have assessed the risks associated with global climate change and quantified and verified direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions for our main production site in Magnitogorsk," said Yaroslava Vrubel. MMK plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 2.2 million tonnes by 2025. In addition to ensuring low-carbon and environmentally friendly production, initiatives such as achieving the Zero Injury target and developing a corporate culture of opportunity are important for MMK's sustainable development.
Last year, social investment was defined by the coronvirus pandemic, as Yaroslava Vrubel emphasised, "clearly the key focus of our efforts in 2020 was to keep people safe and healthy and to support local communities in the face of the pandemic. The Group spent more than $6.9 million on disease control activities in 2020." In addition, in 2020, MMK successfully updated its 2025 Development Strategy, its activities were highly commended by independent experts (in particular, in the WWF Russia rating, the Company was ranked among the top 10 steel companies in terms of transparency regarding environmental responsibility), and already this year the Company has issued an integrated annual report prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative's international Sustainability Reporting Standards. "Despite the market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to implementing our social and environmental goals, which will always remain part of our strategy," concluded Yaroslava Vrubel.
In 2021, the annual Steel Summit was held in Volzhsky city in Russia’s Volgograd region, at the site of TMK's Volzhsky Pipe Plant. As before, the event was organised by Eurasian Metals with the support of the Russian Steel Association and was attended by executives, top managers and leading specialists from Russia's largest steel companies. Traditionally, the summit addresses key issues regarding the state of the industry, the state of the steel products market and development plans of the industry’s leading companies.