UES is Russia's worst polluter

Nov 18, 2003 01:00 AM

National power provider Unified Energy Systems (UES) is Russia's worst polluter, according to a new study of 31 top companies. The annual report, released by the non-government Independent Environmental Rating Agency, ranks the Western Siberian Metals Plant, Norilsk Nickel, Severstal and Russian Aluminium as the next four worst polluters in 2001.
The most environmentally friendly companies are shipbuilder Severnaya Verf, followed by carmakers GAZ, KamAZ and AvtoVAZ and nuclear fuel supplier TVEL. The worst polluter on the previous list, which was released last year and ranked only 13 companies, was Norilsk Nickel, while the cleanest company was GAZ.

Companies were rated by how much fresh water they used, the amount of pollution they emitted and the amount of waste -- toxic or otherwise -- they disposed of, among other things.
"A UES employee leaves an environmental footprint that is 15 times bigger than that of an average Russian employee," Independent Environmental Rating Agency director Alexander Martynov said.

10 worst polluters
1 UES
2 Western Siberian Metals Plant
3 Norilsk Nickel
4 Severstal
5 Russian Aluminium
6 Alrosa
7 Kuzbassrazrezugol
8 Magnitogorsk Metals Plant
9 Mechel
10 Rosneft

UES said pollution in the electricity sector was part of a global problem.
"Unfortunately, emissions into the atmosphere are unavoidable in the energy sector, and this is the case all over the world," UES spokeswoman Tatyana Milyaeva said. "But we pay great attention to environmental issues and work on developing renewable sources of energy to further minimize harmful emissions," she said.
Martynov said companies are gradually becoming more environmentally responsible, pointing out that all 13 companies in the previous list refused to assist researchers while this time around 12 of the 31 companies agreed to help.

In addition, Tyumen Oil "had the worst environmental indicators last year. But this year the company was readying itself for a merger with British Petroleum and they significantly improved their stance," Martynov said.
"Such environmental ratings can become a real economic force to drive technological and managerial innovations," he said. "We hope that it will affect companies' investment and capitalization ratings and lead them to work on environmental programs to get a better rating than their competitors."

GAZ said it was pleased with is environmentally friendly rating two years in a row.
"It is the result of systematic work in this direction," GAZ chief ecologist Sergei Tsymbalov said. "Last year we spent up to 10 % of our investment budget on various environmental programs."

Source: Moscow Times
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