Russian diamond miner Alrosa has published a three-year action plan for its comprehensive 2021 to 2025 Sustainability Programme.
The company is focused on increasing responsibility and transparency across its diamond mining and production operations, as well as reinforcing consumer confidence.
Alrosa operates eight openpit mines, three underground mines and eight alluvial deposits, most of which are located in two Russian regions – Yakutia and Arkhangelsk. It also has exploration joint ventures in place in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and a 32% stake in Catoca Mining Company, in Angola, which produces more than 6-million carats of rough diamonds a year.
The action plan, which will ensure the company meets its sustainability commitments, covers strategic activities such as developing sustainability key performance indicators for the company’s senior management, expanding the company’s participation in relevant international initiatives and ensuring compliance with leading responsible business standards.
Additionally, the plan contains objectives to develop practical measures towards reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and ensure efficient use of natural resources, while keeping top of mind the aspects of human rights, anticorruption compliance and improving Alrosa’s risk management framework.
For oversight of these ambitions, Alrosa has appointed senior management level supervisors and a Strategy and Sustainability Committee comprising a team of international experts.
Alrosa chairperson and CEO Sergey Ivanov says 2021 has been a year of transition for the company to a qualitatively new level of sustainable development.
He is confident the company will champion international standards in the fields of climate, the environment, social responsibility, corporate governance and industry self-regulation.
Some of the sustainability targets the company aims to achieve include maintaining a 30% ratio of women in the workforce; maintaining an 11% ratio of indigenous people employed, achieving 31 hours of training on average per employee per year; and ensuring zero fatalities and zero accidents at production sites.
It also includes ensuring that GHG emissions intensity not exceed a level of 0.03 t of carbon dioxide equivalent per carat of manufactured products annually by 2025; achieving a 15% reduction in surface water intake intensity compared with 2019 levels; and achieving a 50% increase in recycled and neutralised industrial and municipal waste intensity compared with 2019 levels.
Alrosa is also fully committed to ethical diamond sourcing principles imposed by the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties.
Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings in August raised Alrosa’s standalone credit profile to “BBB” and affirmed its long-term credit rating at “BBB-“, which is on par with Russia’s sovereign rating, with a stable outlook.
S&P, in its ratings decision, considered Alrosa’s leadership in the global diamond market, for which the ratings agency has a strong fundamental outlook, as well as the company’s resilient business model and commitment to balanced and transparent financial policy.
Although Alrosa, on a standalone basis, met the criteria for a credit rating above that of the Russian sovereign, S&P says the company’s rating is constrained by that of the country at “BBB-“.
Alrosa is one of the three Russian companies with an individual credit rating of “BBB”. It is also one of the few global companies with State ownership to have an individual rating higher than the sovereign.
Another ratings agency, Moody’s, has also included Alrosa in its top 100 annual Best Emerging Market Performers Ranking.
Moody’s, through its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Solutions agency, ranks companies according to a “best-in-class” approach, based on 38 criteria divided into six key areas of ESG – environmental protection, respect for human rights, human resources, community involvement, business behaviour and corporate governance.
Companies are excluded from the ranking if their level of commitment is insufficient even in one of those key areas.
“Alrosa is committed to ESG matters and, therefore, we are glad that our ESG initiatives are valued by a reputable international agency.
“Moreover, we are proud that Alrosa is one of the three Russian companies present in the ranking. Our company continues to improve its sustainability system,” Ivanov states.