With most of its business related to large-scale production, Basic Element places a particularly strong emphasis on environmental stewardship. The group’s key priorities include consistent improvement of environmental performance and contribution to the global efforts to tackle climate change.
Basic Element’s key environmental projects:
- Upgrading facilities and furnishing them with new up-to-date equipment
- Developing and deploying new eco-friendly technologies
- Launching new environmentally friendly facilities
- Organizing buffer zones
- Scientific research
- Educational programmes
- Initiatives focused on the improvement of environmental legislation
Key environmental projects:
Basic Element actively participates in the UN’s international programme aimed at mitigating the climate change risks. The group’s facilities implement large-scale projects to reduce hazardous emissions of greenhouse gases, which scientists claim to be the major cause of global warming.
As part of its efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change, RUSAL has set a goal to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2015. As of the end of 2011 this goal has been 47% achieved.
RUSAL’s Krasnoyarsk and Bratsk Smelters, the world’s largest aluminium producing facilities, are implementing programmes to reduce the emissions of perfluorocarbons in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. In 2009 RUSAL became the first Russian company to make a profit fr om the sale of ERUs (emission reduction units) under the emission trading programme.
The majority of the group’s environmental projects are aimed at reducing the amount of hazardous emissions stemmed into the atmosphere. In order to achieve this target the group’s companies implement a range of programmes including the modernization of production capacities, development and introduction of cutting-edge technology and construction of new eco-friendly facilities.
RUSAL implements a range of programmes to reduce hazardous emissions. The company’s key projects include switching production capacities to eco-friendly technologies and equipping smelters with dry gas scrubbers and alumina point feeders. RUSAL’s Engineering and Technology Centre is currently developing a revolutionary production technology using inert anodes. The new technology will make the production of aluminium completely safe for the environment.
EuroSibEnergo is involved in a series of programmes to increase the production of renewable eco-friendly hydropower. The company is currently implementing a programme to modernise the Bratsk Hydro Power Plant. The project will increase the plant’s production capacity and reduce the consumption of coal power in the region.
Moreover, together with the State Corporation Rosatom EuroSibEnergo is working on the development of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors which offer one of the most effective and eco-friendly solutions to the problem of satisfying the growing demand for electric power.
In 2012, together with MOBEL GAZ Group developed a new electric city bus. The use of these buses will help to reduce the level of hazardous emission up to 100%. In 2011 GAZ Group became the first company in Russia to launch serial production of Euro-5 and Euro-5+ buses. The first buses of this category appeared in Moscow in 2011; their utilization has already helped to significantly reduce the amount of hazardous emissions into the atmosphere compared to the current Euro-3 standards: carbon dioxide – 3.76 times less, nitrogen oxide – 25 times less, hydrocarbon – 143 times less, soot – 27 times less.
Basic Element implements programmes aimed at safeguarding water resources and reducing water consumption at the group’s production facilities. The company constructs and renovates local treatment facilities which help to reduce the amount of waste water and improve its quality. Basic Element’s facilities also use water recycling systems which help to reduce the consumption of fresh water.
RUSAL plans to introduce water recycling systems at all of its production facilities.
Between 2012 and 2014 the systems of closed-loop water supply will be installed at the Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk smelters and the Achinsk Alumina Refinery.
All of the GAZ Group’s facilities utilize a system of recirculated water supply where water is reused after it has been purified in a closed-loop cycle.
GAZ Group is also implementing a multi-stage programme to modernise treatment facilities. The programme covers the Gorky Automobile Plant, Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl Motor Plants, Pavlovo and Likino Bus Plants and other facilities.
To rehabilitate disturbed lands, the companies of Basic Element are implementing projects focused on reinvigorating damaged areas through constructing facilities that retain runoff water, arranging buffer zones and landscaping.
Ural Automobile Plant, part of GAZ Group, is currently involved in a project to re-cultivate the disturbed lands in the vicinity of the burnt soil dump (casthouse waste).
Basic Element implements a number of projects for industrial waste disposal and utilization. One of the key focus areas of the group’s environmental strategy is the development of technologies which will enable the company to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste.
RUSAL’s Engineering and Technology Centre is developing a technology to recycle red mud, a waste product in the production of alumina. The technology of recycling red mud which contains numerous valuable elements will enable the company to eliminate the need to bury this type of waste.
GAZ Group’s Gorky Automobile Plant has completed the first stage of construction of an industrial waste landfill. The investment into the project amounted to 150 million rubles.
Basic Element runs a number of projects aimed at the preservation of the natural heritage of the Russian regions, supporting natural reserves and increasing public awareness of the pressing environmental issues.
Strana Zapovednaya National Foundation
Established by Basic Element, the foundation Strana Zapovednaya (Reserved Land) contributes to the preservation of the unique biodiversity of the Altay-Sayany eco-region. The foundation’s projects include environmental monitoring, restoration of the biological and landscape diversity of the region and arranging special events aimed at engaging the local population in the projects to safeguard the environment.