04. Strategy


Sustainable development is today’s
most significant challenge and priority.
Russian and international communities pay
close attention to implementing comprehensive
and well-balanced solutions in the area
of sustainable development,
and the respective role of businesses.


These trends exist globally (UN initiatives, tightening of environmental legislation all over the world), locally and individually (responsible consumption), as well as in various industries, from traditional (agriculture and mining) to breakthrough ones (medicine, biotech, etc.). A special focus here should be placed on developing responsible financing.

As a company with more than 80 years of history and a strong social and environmental commitment, Nornickel strives to keep abreast of the current global agenda for sustainable development. By accumulating substantial production, financial, human, and intellectual resources, the Company makes significant contribution to achieving sustainable development goals.

Russia and other nations have come up with a number of initiatives set to join forces of responsible companies in delivering on the said goals. These initiative enjoy active support from Nornickel, which became one of the first Russian companies to sign up, in 2005, to the Social Charter of the of the Russian Business adopted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). In response to requests from the community, investors and shareholders, the Company holds dedicated sustainable development meetings and consistently increases disclosures on its respective strategy, policies, performance and plans. In 2016, the Company joined the UN Global Compact, which marked the transition to a new strategic development cycle. We support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development signed by Russia, and the relevant sustainable development goals.

Nornickel’s impact on sustainable development



  • Business ethics
  • Contribution to research and development
  • Corporate governance quality
  • Corporate security
  • Legal compliance
  • Product quality management
  • Participation in drafting regulations
  • Financial and economic efficiency

UN Global Compact

Respect of human rights

Labour relations

  • Employee incentivisation
  • Health and safety
  • Professional and cultural development of employees
  • Development of talents in regions of operation
  • Social and working conditions


  • Water consumption
  • Air emissions
  • Use of renewable energy sources
  • Use of resource-saving technology
  • Provision of metals to sunrise industries (Li-ion batteries, electric motors, medicine, hydrogen fuel cells)
  • Waste disposal
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Energy efficiency

Preventing and combating corruption

Development of local communities

  • Contribution to regional economic development
  • Development of local communities
  • Infrastructure development
  • Transport accessibility

Nornickel’s support of sustainability and CSR initiatives and standards 102-12 102-13

Standard/initiative Nornickel's support
UN and the International Labour Organisation conventions Declaring support and aligning by-laws accordingly
UN Global Compact Official support
The Association “National Global Compact Network” (Russia) Member
UN Sustainable Development Goals up to 2030 Declaring support and aligning governance practices accordingly
ISO 14001:2004/2015 Compliance of MMC Norilsk Nickel, Gipronickel Institute, Kola MMC, and Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta management systems with the standards
ISO 14001:2004/2015
OHSAS 18001:2007 Compliance of MMC Norilsk Nickel and Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta management systems with the standard
ISO 26000:2010 Declaring support, reporting
GOST R ISO 26000–2012 Declaring support, reporting
International Platinum Group Metals Association Member
International Information Security Research Consortium Member
Nickel Institute Member. Since 2017, Nornickel's Head of Marketing has been chairing the Institute’s Board of Directors. 
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Ranking among the leading environmentally responsible mining companies in Russia according to the WWF
FTSE4Good Index Inclusion in the FTSE4Good Emerging Index
Sustainalytics Assignment of independent ESG ratings
RSPP Social Charter of the Russian Business Member and signatory
RSPP Anti-Corruption Charter of the Russian Business Member and signatory
RSPP sustainability indices (Responsibility and Transparency, and Sustainable Development Vector) Ranking among the leaders (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
RSPP Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility and Demographic Policy Member
Environmental Charter of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Signatory
GRI Standards Pioneers Programme participant 
GRI GOLD Community Organisational member

Mission and values 102-16

The Company focuses on developing a universal group-wide corporate culture shared by all employees in which mutual respect, trust and openness are of central importance. The corporate culture seeks to ensure effective implementation of the Company’s strategy based on sustainable development principles.

Since 2017, the Company has been running the corporate culture development programme. The programme's key principles include:

The Company leverages a wide range of advanced tools to develop its corporate culture. The projects implemented in 2017 include:

To boost the efficiency of HR management, corporate culture objectives have been integrated into the HR policy as follows:

Our mission

Through the efficient use of natural resources and equity, we supply mankind with non-ferrous metals, which make the world a more reliable place to live and help people realise their aspirations for development and technological progress.

Corporate strategy

Approved in 2013, the Company’s new corporate strategy primarily aims to unlock the potential of the Taimyr and Kola Peninsulas’ resource base, improve operating efficiency and raise the quality of investment and capital management.

In line with our new strategy, we prioritise projects with a good safety buffer in terms of performance, securing robust returns on investments and located in the high-potential regions where the Company has a competitive edge. By focusing on the development of its Tier-1 assets, the Company will be able to make better use of the existing infrastructure and fully unlock its geological and technological potential to deliver the highest margins and fulfil its obligations in the area of sustainable development.

In 2017, Nornickel completed the first stage of the production chain upgrade and development and implemented key projects approved as part of its corporate strategy launched in 2013. The effects include:

В конце 2017 года компания представила обновленные стратегические приоритеты на следующие пять лет. Согласно им в период до 2023 года компания «Норникель» реализует беспрецедентную экологическую программу, направленную на улучшение экологической ситуации в России, вступит в новый инвестиционный цикл для обеспечения устойчивого развития и формирования платформы для роста и продолжит создавать долгосрочную акционерную стоимость.

In late 2017, the Company presented its updated strategic priorities for the next five years.

In line with those, Nornickel will be running a unique programme to improve environmental conditions in Russia and commence a new investment cycle to secure sustainable development and build a platform for future growth. It will also continue generating long-term value for its shareholders.

In 2017, the Company kept implementing the New Norilsk concept, a vision of Norilsk as a city of sustainable development, introduced in 2015. It prioritises:

These corporate priorities are viewed as a foundation to achieve the following targets:

  1. Promoting innovation and professional incentives by:
    • transformation of its corporate culture;
    • creating innovative jobs;
    • introducing young talent development and retention programmes.
  2. Breaking the island mentality by:
    • improving the region’s environment for new businesses to emerge;
    • building a fibre optic communication line (completed in 2017);
    • upgrading Norilsk (Alykel) Airport’s runway.
  3. Improving local infrastructure by:
    • building convenient social, sporting and transport infrastructure;
    • supporting public initiatives to develop urban infrastructure jointly with the regional authorities.

In 2017, the Company selected the technology to implement the Sulphur Project, its key environmental initiative. Following its completion in 2023, Polar Division expects to significantly reduce its sulphur dioxide emissions that currently account for around 98% of total atmospheric emissions in Norilsk.

Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant will construct a facility to produce and neutralise sulphuric acid using natural limestone, with gypsum obtained as a by-product. Copper Plant will launch additional elemental sulphur capacities.

Investments in the Sulphur Project are estimated at up to RUB 150 bn.

In 2017, Sustainalytics upgraded Nornickel’s score to 58 against 49 in 2016; as a result, the Company moved up from the last year’s 56th to the 35th position in the ESG rating of global metals and mining companies.

2013–2017: strategic focus on developing our assets in Russia

In 2017,
Sustainalytics upgraded
score to
58 against
49 in 2016;
as a result,
the Company
moved up from
the last year's 56th
to the 35th position
in the ESG rating
of global metals
and mining companies.

Sustainable development goals 103-2

Focus area 2030 SDGs1 Strategic goals Key results in 2017
Human rights 1, 2, 16, 17
  • No violations of human rights across the Company’s operations
  • No complaints related to human rights violations
  • The Indigenous Rights Policy developed
Anti-corruption 16, 17
  • Efficient corruption-related risk management
  • No confirmed incidents of corruption
  • 99.8% of employees informed about the Group’s existing anti-corruption policy and methods
Contribution to the professional and cultural development of employees 4, 5
  • Stabilisation of the employee churn rate
  • Full compliance with staff training laws
  • High-quality training of employees
  • Improved performance of the corporate training centres
  • Employee churn rate reduced to 10.3%
  • Number of trained employees up by 36%
  • Start of developing online training courses in cooperation with in-house experts
  • Interactive health and safety courses developed
  • Corporate training centres assessed
Development of talents in the Company’s regions of operation 4, 5
  • Recruitment of highly skilled employees, including those from the skills shortage list
  • Effective support to local vocational training institutions
  • Provision of career guidance
  • All internship positions at production facilities filled
  • 713 of school children and students invited for internship positions in the Norilsk Industrial District
  • 460 students invited for internship positions as part of the Career Start-Up programme
  • The Company’s programme to promote engineering and blue-collar jobs, provide guidance for school graduates to plan future careers at Nornickel fully implemented
Incentives and motivation 5, 8
  • Individual and team performance improvements
  • Staff incentivisation to achieve the best results
  • Employee attraction and retention
  • Building the talent pool
  • 93% of jobs covered by the grading framework
  • The talent pool management system introduced at three of the Group’s facilities
  • Social programmes successfully implemented across the involved facilities
Health and safety 3
  • Achieving zero work-related fatalities
  • Number of fatal accidents reduced from 13 in 2016 to 7 in 2017
Social and working standards at the Company’s production sites 3
  • Creating favourable social and working conditions for the Company employees
  • Overhauls of 31 social facilities completed, 19 relocatable buildings purchased
Environment 13
  • Gradual reduction of air pollutant emissions
  • Air pollutant emissions reduced by 4.6%
  • Consistent reduction of wastewater discharges into water bodies
  • The wastewater volume treated to standard quality at treatment facilities up by 16.7%
  • Development of waste disposal sites to reduce man-made impact on the environment
  • The first stage of Talnakh Concentrator’s tailings pit designed to store ca. 31 mt of mineral waste in an environmentally safe way, commissioned
  • Biodiversity conservation across regions of operation
  • Support to research and educational projects at the Pasvik, Lapland, Putoransky and Relict Oaks Nature Reserves
  • Over 316,000 Siberian sturgeon fingerlings and 235,000 salmon fingerlings released into the Yenisey River and the Umba River (Murmansk Region)
  • The Biodiversity Policy developed
  • Environmental management compliance with ISO 14001
  • Transition of MMC Norilsk Nickel’s environmental management system to ISO 14001:2015 completed
  • Surveillance and certification audits passed
  • Prevention of pollution during sea transportation and vessel operation
  • No significant impact from the Company’s transport operations
  • No spills
Energy efficiency 7
  • Reliable and high-quality power supply to production sites and local communities
  • Reduction of energy costs
  • Hydroelectric unit No. 7 at the Ust-Khantayskaya HPP launched
Development of local communities 4, 8—11, 16, 17
  • Maintaining social stability at the Company’s facilities and in regions of operation
  • Improved quality of life across the Company’s regions of operation
  • Tax and non-tax payments increased by 9.6% to RUB 100.3 bn.
  • Social, charitable and social infrastructure expenses increased by 21.5% to RUB 28.7 bn
  • High-speed internet brought to Norilsk
Financial and economic efficiency 8, 9
  • Ensuring financial and economic efficiency for sustainable development
  • Target unit cost achieved
Corporate governance and business ethics 16, 17
  • Compliance with the best practices in corporate governance and business ethics to improve the Company’s investment case, efficiency and competitiveness
  • A number of corporate policies (anti-corruption, human rights, local community relations, working conditions, etc.) approved
Compliance with the applicable legislation, including environmental, labour and tax laws 16
  • Minimisation of breaches of law
  • Group company fines reduced by 11%
  • Antitrust compliance system rolled out
  • The procedure of reporting legal risks to the Head Office by the Group’s units and companies developed
Product quality management 12
  • Certification of the quality management system under ISO 9001:2015
  • Re-certification and surveillance audits passed