On 22 March, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in collaboration with the UNDP, GEF, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation announced the results of their assessment of the level of environmental responsibility of Russian mining companies. In addition to SUEK, the top of the ranking featured such companies as Alrosa, Norilsk Nickel, Rusal, Polymetal, Evraz, and other industry leaders.
Modelled along the lines of the environmental rating of Russian oil & gas companies, this was the first environmental responsibility rating of Russian mining companies. The rating compares the level of environmental responsibility of mining companies and the environmental impact of their activities, including on biodiversity. The assessment and rating process rely on publicly available information, primarily comprised of non-financial reporting. According to its organisers, the rating should incentivise companies to improve the quality of their non-financial reporting. The rating exercise will be held annually and will consider efforts made by companies to reduce their environmental footprint, while also providing an indication of industry trends.
Ensuring environmental safety, minimising environmental risks from production, and conservation are integral pillars of SUEK's sustainable development strategy. The company is implementing a series of measures designed to reduce air emissions (capture and utilisation of methane) and protect water resources (wastewater treatment) as well as to increase energy efficiency, land reclamation and biodiversity conservation. In 2016, SUEK allocated $11 million for environmental protection. SUEK's environmental activities have repeatedly been applauded by the environmental community, having won the EraEco Awards (supported by UNIDO and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation), the Evolution Awards, and the Eco Best Award.