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The environment

The PhosAgro Group’s key priorities are to protect the environment and reduce the environmental impact of its operations. We strive to create our fertilizers in a safe and environmentally friendly way, ensuring sustainable growth in agricultural production worldwide.

The main areas of PhosAgro’s Environmental Policy:

  • Reduction of negative impact on the environment;
  • Conservation of natural ecosystems;
  • Constant improvement of the environmental resource management system.

PhosAgro's Environmental Policy

2025 Goals:

  • by 5%

    Reduction of specific pollutant emissions by 5%
  • by 20%

    Reduction of specific volumes of wastewater discharge by 20%
  • by 10%

    Reduction of specific greenhouse gas emissions by 10%
  • to 40%

    Hazard classes I–IV wastes utilised and neutralised

Environmental management system

The Company’s Board of Directors determines the Company’s environmental policy and sets strategic goals for environmental safety and environmental impact reduction. Overall management, organisation and coordination of the continuous improvement of the environmental management system is carried out by Apatit’s Department of Ecology and Environmental Management. In order for the Company to fulfil its obligation to continuously improve and reduce its negative environmental impact, it established environmental monitoring and environmental management services at its enterprises and branches. Officials responsible for environmental protection have been appointed to enterprise production units. The production units, which have the greatest environmental impact, have a procedure in place for identifying and assessing risks and opportunities. Based on the results of a risk assessment, we identify the activities that are necessary to bring risks to an acceptable level with respect to significant environmental aspects.

All planning processes in the Company are closely linked to interaction with stakeholders. Public hearings are a legitimate and effective mechanism for establishing dialogue, as stakeholders gather at a discussion platform to express their opinions and proposals regarding initiatives under consideration. This is an effective mechanism and has a positive and constructive impact on the decision-making process. Engaging the general public and an array of stakeholders in discussion is an important step to ensure that all points of view are considered. The list of completed public hearings is available via the Public hearings link.

IFA SHE Excellence Gold Medal

On 19 November 2018, PhosAgro was awarded the International Fertilizer Association’s (IFA) Gold Medal for Industrial, Occupational and Environmental Safety (IFA SHE Excellence Gold Medal), which confirms the full compliance of PhosAgro’s largest processing facility, the Cherepovets production plant, with IFA standards for the rational use of natural resources, environmental friendliness and occupational safety

Managers and specialists responsible for decision-making in the course of economic or other types of activities that have or may have a negative impact on the environment are trained through a programme called “Ensuring environmental safety on the part of managers (specialists) of general economic management systems”. Class I–IV wastes are handled only by individuals who have undergone appropriate professional training.

We ensure regular monitoring of the environmental impact of the Group’s entities in accordance with applicable environmental regulations. Monitoring results are used to identify and assess environmental aspects, identify risks and opportunities, and develop and implement risk management and response measures. The status of environmental risk management is regularly reviewed by PhosAgro’s Board of Directors. Based on the results of regular assessments, the list of risk factors and their features are updated, and additional initiatives and policies are developed.

In order to confirm the compliance of the management system with the requirements of the IFA’s Protect and Sustain and ISO 14001 standard, independent external audits are conducted at planned intervals.

Group enterprises have a special internal audit management procedure in place. Every year, an internal audit programme is developed that takes into account the environmental aspects of the processes being audited, the changes affecting the Company and the results of previous audits. The results of these audits are used as input data for analysing the functioning of the environmental management system on the part of management.

Opportunities for improvement are identified as a result of monitoring, measurement, analysis and assessment related to environmental performance and compliance, audits of the environmental management system and analysis by management. In order to implement the identified opportunities for improvement, including the management and correction of nonconformities, appropriate corrective actions are identified and taken. A procedure for monitoring corrective actions has been established and is now in effect.

Waste management

The waste management system is a part of PhosAgro Group’s comprehensive environmental management system. As part of our strategy in this area, we aim to increase the share of disposed and neutralised waste in hazard classes I–IV by 13% by 2025.

Share of waste (classes I–IV) utilised and neutralised, %

Specific waste generation, tonne/tonne

To achieve this target:

— The Cherepovets branch of our company is upgrading the equipment used in the production of aluminium fluoride. As a result, the following environmental outcomes will be achieved: full use of fluorine extracted from the processing of apatite concentrate; reduction of lime consumption for the neutralisation of effluents; reduction of solid waste.

— Waste utilisation and neutralisation units were put into operation at the Kirovsk branch: a UTD-1 thermal destruction unit and a thermal waste neutralisation unit with high-temperature exhaust gas afterburning. This resulted in the elimination of waste accumulation sites and the complete processing of waste (tires, used railway sleepers, wood)—both our own waste and that accumulated by other regional businesses.

— a technology for phosphogypsum (waste by-product from phosphoric acid production) use in road construction has been developed and implemented. In June 2020, IFA (International Fertilizer Association) included this PhosAgro project in the Phosphogypsum: Leadership, Innovation, Partnership report as an innovative practice in waste by-product management illustrating transition to a circular economy. Read more.

The safe operation of tailings dams, which are special hydraulic engineering facilities designed for storage or burial of mineral processing waste, is of particular importance to the Company.

In accordance with declarations on the safety of hydraulic engineering structures approved in 2018 by the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of the Russian Federation, the safety level of the hydraulic structures used for the Company’s tailings is rated as normal (the highest), which means that the structures comply with the design, applicable standards and regulations; the criteria used to measure the level of safety are within the maximum permissible values for the operable condition of structures and foundations; operation is carried out without violations of applicable laws, standards and rules; instructions from state oversight and monitoring bodies are fulfilled.

In the absence of reporting standards for the safety of hydraulic structures, PhosAgro actively cooperates with financial institutions that adhere to the principles of responsible investment and also discloses this data.

Management of atmospheric emissions

The main principles of the Company’s emissions management system are compliance with the requirements of national legislation in the areas of air quality management, ensuring the quality of air at the boundaries of buffer zones near production facilities, and the upgrading of facilities using the best available technologies. PhosAgro Group’s strategic goal is to reduce specific pollutant emissions by 5% by 2025.

PhosAgro is a partner in the Clean Air federal project.

Specific pollutant emissions, kg/tonne:

To achieve our target:

— Environmental programmes are being implemented under the Clean Air federal project in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan to Reduce Emissions of Pollutants into the Atmosphere in Cherepovets, approved by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation on 28 December 2018;

— Our SK-600/3 sulphuric acid production unit is being upgraded, which will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 0.75 thousand tonnes;

— Technical upgrading of the equipment used at the stage of the recuperative heating of residual gas from UKL-7 units is being carried out, which will reduce pollutant atmospheric emissions by 0.14 thousand tonnes.

Management of discharges into bodies of water

Water discharge management is focused mainly on the maximum reuse of water resources and the return of effluents into enterprises’ water circulation cycles, the effective treatment of wastewater discharged into waterbodies, and continuous monitoring of the condition of waterbodies in the regions where aquatic biological resources are present and reproduce.

The Company’s strategic goal in terms of the protection of waterbodies is to reduce the specific volume of wastewater discharge by 20% by 2025.

Specific wastewater discharges, m³/tonne:

Specific pollutant discharges, kg/tonne:

The following programmes, among others, are being implemented to achieve the target:

— Target programme: “Optimisation of water use at JSC Apatit’s Cherepovets facility in the context of production upgrades in  2020–2025”;

— Target programme: “Reduction of discharges and quality improvement of wastewater at Apatit’s Kirovsk branch for 2019–2020”;

— Target programme: “Operation of a closed water circulation system at the Volkhov branch of JSC Apatit (eliminating wastewater discharge into the Volkhov River)”;

— Programme for the reproduction of aquatic biological resources.

PhosAgro is a partner in the Volga River Recovery federal project.

Number of fish released into bodies of water in the regions of PhosAgro’s operations as part of environmental protection measures:

2018 Cherepovets branch Balakovo branch Volkhov branch Kirovsk branch
Bioresource type Carp Carp Bighead carp Whitefish Atlantic salmon
Number 6,500 61,620 55,140 2,276 5,000
Location of release Gorky Reservoir, Yaroslavl Oblast Volgograd Reservoir, Saratov Oblast Saratov Reservoir Volkhov River, Leningrad Oblast Umba River, Murmansk Oblast

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

PhosAgro’s Board of Directors and its Environmental, Health and Safety Committee, as well as its Sustainable Development Committee established in May 2019, pay special attention to issues related to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

PhosAgro has been a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programme) since 2019

In 2019, the Company prepared an environmental activities report for 2018 in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP, Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program) online response system for the first time, and was rated “C”.

Moreover, in 2019, the BOD Committee approved a goal to reduce the specific GHG emission level (scope 1) by 2025, as well as a number of arrangements aimed at achieving this goal.

Additional arrangements implemented in the course of 2019-2020:

  • Development of a climate strategy and a low-carbon transition plan until 2028;
  • Development of an action plan to implement a low-carbon transition strategy;
  • Identification of science based target GHG emission levels;
  • Climate scenario analysis;
  • Development of a value chain participants engagement plan and a system to evaluate its effectiveness;
  • Development of climate risk management mechanisms as part of PhosAgro’s overall risk management system.

In 2020, the Company submitted a 2019 report to the CDP detailing all these aspects.

Specific GHG emission level (scope 1), kg / t:

Energy efficiency Program

Sustainable Development Committee pays great attention to the synergy of aspects of sustainable development. We understand that energy efficiency and greenhouse gases emissions are closely related.

Therefore, in August 2020 an Energy Efficiency Program was approved. Program combine projects that are under implementation and perspective initiatives. All of them are focused on energy conservation, reduction of energy consumption and energy losses, as well as the Company's pilot project in the field of renewable energy - solar power plant construction in Balakovo.

Policy on environmentally responsible procurement

In line with principles of corporate sustainability, PhosAgro Group reviews potential suppliers for compliance with environmental and social requirements enshrined in the Company’s Code of Conduct for Counterparties.

Work to ensure the environmental safety of raw materials and supplies procured by Company enterprises is carried out in the following areas:

Monitoring incoming purchased products

The Company produces, on an annual basis, a list of industrial products subject to incoming inspection. For chemical products, Safety Data Sheet is the document containing information about their environmental and toxicological safety characteristics. Safety Data Sheets of chemical products are reviewed by dedicated expert organizations and comprise an obligatory part of technical documentation for chemical products; they are designed to provide the consumer with reliable information on the safety of industrial and household use, storage, transportation, and disposal of chemical products. The Safety Data Sheet contains reliable information in an accessible and concise form, sufficient for a consumer to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of human health and safety at work and environmental protection at all stages of chemical products life cycle. Quality tests are carried out by the Quality Control Department. If necessary, samples may be sent to accredited third parties to perform tests in respect of the parameters covered by their accreditation.

Requirements for suppliers

— Request for confirmation of product quality by providing a Safety Data Sheet, the conclusions of technical oversight departments, ISO 9001:2011 certificates on the quality management system (ISO 9001:2008, ETA, MSDS technical regulations);

— Requirements for the use of materials and equipment that meet Russian quality standards (regulations), that have a manufacturer’s certificate and that are approved for use in Russia;

The requirement to comply with the rules for the storage and transportation of goods by motor transport and by train, as set out in the relevant regulations.

Additional inspections

Additional inspections will be arranged if the subject matter of a tender requires such inspections. Group specialists perform the necessary expert evaluation, which may include a request to confirm that potential contractors have the necessary production capacities and technologies, relevant professional qualifications, licences, certificates (including ISO certificates) and technical auditors’ reports. The person in charge of the environmental management system provides a report on an acceptable decision from the point of view of environmental safety.

In 2020, PhosAgro took the following actions to implement its environmental responsibility principles in practice:

  • Development and publication of the Company’s Code of Conduct for Counterparties, which contains key requirements for suppliers and contractors in the areas of ecology, corporate governance, and social responsibility, including human rights and modern slavery.
  • Development of a questionnaire containing more than 60 ESG criteria for evaluating a supplier's (contractor's) activities, the first study based on the questionnaire, and an initial ESG rating of the Company's suppliers and contractors. The research currently covers more than 4% of the total volume of purchases, and we plan to increase this share in the future.
  • Inclusion of the procedures for generation and regular update of supplier and contractor ESG ratings in the Company's local regulations.

The following steps are planned for 2021:

  • Automation of generation and regular update of supplier and contractor ESG ratings.
  • Integration of ESG rating into the system of counterparty selection criteria.
  • Updating the supplier audit procedure to include ESG criteria.
  • Updating contracts to include references to the Code of Conduct for Counterparties.
  • Considering the feasibility of introducing the following indicators as the procurement department KPIs: the proportion of suppliers and contractors that have passed ESG assessment; the average ESG rating of suppliers and contractors.

Products and services that meet the requirements for sustainable development

In order to promote its products in the marketplace, the Company uses the slogan “Clean minerals for healthy lives” (highlighting the unique purity of its fertilizers) and cooperates closely with agricultural producers.

PhosAgro’s vertically integrated business model is an inherent advantage. In terms of the extraction and processing of raw materials, we have our own extensive and high-quality resource base with a minimum of contaminants. When it comes to manufacturing our final product, the Group’s entities are located close to the main raw materials required for fertilizer production, such as natural gas and sulphur.

PhosAgro’s largest company, Apatit, has a dynamically developing business process model, and it applies the best international practices covered by ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and GMP+ standards.

Targets have been set for all production processes evaluation criteria and oversight methodologies have been specified.

PhosAgro produces unique products:
some of the safest phosphate-based fertilizers in the world, with cadmium content of 0.2% mg/kg of P2О25

The Balakovo branch of Apatit is the only company in Russia that produces monocalcium phosphate used as feed. In 2008, it became the first Russian company to pass an assessment for compliance with European quality standards for GMP+B2 feed materials. In 2018, the Cherepovets site was certified for compliance with the requirements of the GMP+B1 Feed Safety Management System for the purposes of the production and sale of feed urea to EU countries.

PhosAgro is constantly searching for product innovations both through its own developments based on experience and knowledge in the industry and in cooperation with the Samoilov Institute for Fertilizers and Insectofungicides. For example, Apatit’s Quality Control Department has a technological laboratory that studies the market for new reagents and conducts R&D work on new products and services together with consumers and partners.

In order to increase the Company’s confidence in the safety of its operations and products, Apatit promptly applies for the necessary licences for all controlled activities. All fertilizers are certified.

The Company’s products exported to EU countries are registered in accordance with European Commission Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The quality of mineral fertilizers produced is confirmed by state registration certificates and declarations of conformity and safety certificates. Environmental and toxicological safety, as well as the effectiveness of new fertilizer brands, have been confirmed in the course of expert reviews. Products are properly classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with EC Regulation No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation).

Mineral fertilizers produced by Apatit must undergo state registration of agrochemicals by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation. All brands of Apatit mineral fertilizers registered in the Russian Federation have undergone mandatory evaluations: toxicological and hygienic evaluations are carried out by the F. F. Erisman Federal Research Centre for Hygiene biological evaluations are carried out by the Pryanishnikov Institute of Agrochemistry environmental evaluations are carried out by Rosprirodnadzor and Moscow State University; and sanitary and epidemiological evaluations are carried out by Rospotrebnadzor.

Certification according to the ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, OHSAS 18001 and GMP+ international standards attests to product quality and reliable oversight at all stages in the product life cycle. PhosAgro has regular internal and external audit procedures in place in order to evaluate the Group’s compliance with these standards and to obtain certificates. The Company reaffirms its compliance with international standards on an annual basis.

In September 2020, we once again were certified for compliance with the IFA’s Protect and Sustain standard. The IFA, with the support of SGS, developed this standard in 2010 for IFA companies in order to ensure that their products comply with high standards of quality, safety and reliability through the introduction of best industry practices and technologies.

IFA’s Protect and Sustain certification
with quality management score 97,8 out of 100.

The Company is a member of the IFA and the International Plant Nutrient Institute. We actively participate in Russian and international meetings, seminars, exhibitions, conferences and forums on issues related to agriculture and fertilizers (Golden Autumn, St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Eastern Economic Forum, a Chemistry exhibition, International Green Week Berlin and events organised by the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association of), where we share best practices with our customers by providing individual recommendations for fertilizer application and provide samples of new products to consumers.


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  • Social responsibility

    We take care of our employees and implement significant educational, medical, youth-related and professional sports

  • Corporate governance

    We are building an effective and transparent governance structure based on equality of shareholders, responsibility and accountability of each governance body, leadership and independence of the Board of Directors, and a corporate culture that does not tolerate any form of corruption or discrimination