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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 23.7%

    Reduction of specific pollutant emissions by 23.7%
  • by 27%

    Reduction of specific volumes of wastewater discharge by 27%
  • by 14% (in 2028)

    Reduction of gross greenhouse gas emissions (scopes 1, 2, and 3) by 14%
  • 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

In November 2020, the Group was awarded a gold medal for its HSE achievements by the International Fertiliser Association (IFA) in recognition of the Company’s advanced occupational health and safety practices. The decision to grant the award was preceded by an IFA audit with an expanded scope of certification as compared to 2019: in addition to the Cherepovets production facility, the Balakovo Branch was also certified.

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 emission management system are:

  • Compliance with the requirements of national legislation in the areas of air quality management;
  • Ensuring quality of air at the boundaries of buffer zones near production facilities;
  • Facility upgrade, introduction of new processes using the best available technologies.

PhosAgro’s strategic goal in this area is to reduce specific emissions by 24% by 2025 as compared to 2018.

Specific emissions, kg\t:


per ton of commercial and semi-finished products
PhosAgro participates in the ’Clean Air’ federal project as part of the national ’Ecology’ project.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, the Vologda Region Government, and PJSC PhosAgro signed a quadripartite Cooperation Agreement as part of the federal project implementation.

The project aims to drastically reduce air pollution in major industrial centers, including at least 20 percent emissions reduction in the most polluted cities.

Steps taken in 2019-2020 to achieve the target:

  • The following arrangements were implemented at the Cherepovets site in accordance with the Comprehensive Emissions Reduction Plan within the framework of the ’Clean Air’ federal project:
    • Upgrade of SK-600/3 sulfuric acid production; environmental impact — 0.892 thousand tons of sulfur dioxide emissions; project CAPEX — 2,731,018 thousand rubles;
    • Retrofitting of UKL-7 tail gas regenerative heating, environmental impact — 0.105 thousand tons in 2019, project CAPEX — 10,975 thousand rubles;
    • Upgrade of technological system No. 3, block 2.70, mineral fertilizer production, project CAPEX — 467,323 thousand rubles. The environmental impact will be determined by the results of the work in 2021;
  • The Volkhov site is installing equipment for technological purification of waste gases to the level of the best available technologies as part of the Wet-Process Phosphoric Acid Production upgrade with capacity increase to 450 thousand tons of P2O5 per annum, construction of a 800 tpa sulfuric acid production system, and retrofitting of Mineral Fertilizer Production with gas purification equipment upgrade;
  • The Balakovo site is retrofitting CFU TS Nos. 5, 6 with gas-handling equipment upgrade in two stages with a planned emissions reduction by 0.1 thousand tons;
  • The Kirovsk branch is taking steps to suppress dust on tailing dump surfaces.

Management of impact on bodies of water

In 2019, the Company made a commitment to contribute to the achievement of UN sustainable development goals. SDG 6 Clean Water & Sanitation is an important reference point for us when we plan our activities, increase operational efficiency, and implement lean principles.

Sustainable water management

The Company’s facilities are located in water-rich regions. According to Water Risk Atlas and Water Risk Filter, all our production facilities are located in regions with low and medium water scarcity.

However, access to clean water poses a significant challenge on a worldwide scale. We carefully monitor water consumption at the Company’s facilities and cooperate with stakeholders regarding water management issues.

Changes in water availability pose serious problems for food security and agriculture, as irrigation accounts for 70% of fresh water use worldwide.

Water management at PhosAgro

Water management is closely related to the specific features of production processes and environmental protection issues. Monitoring of water balance at all stages of the production cycle, from water intake through consumption and use in technological processes to multi-stage treatment and return of water to the environment, is one of the key control elements.

The long-term trend demonstrates a significant reduction in specific rates of both water intake and discharge of wastewater and contaminants.

Specific wastewater discharges, m3/t:

Specific water intake, m3/t:

Specific discharge of contaminants, kg/t:

The Company is committed to preserving the sustainability of natural ecosystems and mitigating the impact on water bodies. We believe in transparency and report all water flows at the facilities to stakeholders in Integrated Report. We also consolidate indicators for previous periods in a data book.

Water intake data analysis showed that the Kirovsk Branch of the Company, where mining operations are conducted, accounted for over 3/4 of all water intake in 2019.

Water intake by branch, % of total water intake in 2019

The mining waters of the Kirovsk Branch also account for a significant share of the water intake structure by water types of the Company as a whole, reaching 42%. Water consumption analysis (difference between water intake and wastewater discharge) shows that the share of Kirovsk Branch consumption is only 16%.

Water intake by source, % of total water intake in 2019

Water intake by plant in 2019, %

Hence, it is obvious that the accounted mining water is natural, and it is not used in production cycles. It returns to the environment, but, at the same time, substantially affects water consumption indicators.

It is important to conduct such an analysis when calculating specific indicators because it helps to identify the share that is not associated with production processes and does not carry the risk of generating wastewater that entails, for example, additional treatment expenses.

2020-2025 Water Strategy

In 2020, the Company has developed a Water Strategy to improve water management efficiency. Its main objectives are as follows:

  1. Increasing water use efficiency;

    We optimize our own production processes and try to reclaim water without having to draw additional water and discharge treated wastewater. At present, two plants, in Volkhov and Balakovo, have implemented arrangements that basically exclude the discharge of treated industrial wastewater into surface water bodies. All water from the production cycle flows to the treatment plant, where it passes through a multi-stage treatment system and returns into production.

    The Water Strategy contains a list of projects for each branch, including the following investment programs:

    • Target program “Water efficiency improvement at the Cherepovets facility of JSC Apatit in the course of production upgrade in 2020-2025”;
    • Target program “Reduction of discharge volumes and improvement of wastewater quality at the Kirovsk Branch of JSC Apatit in 2019 and beyond”;
    • Creation of a closed water circulation system at the Volkhov Branch of JSC Apatit (elimination of wastewater discharge into the Volkhov River).

    These activities are consolidated in a single schedule of their approval in accordance with the procedures adopted in the Company. This schedule comprises an integral part of the Water Strategy.

  2. Ensuring high quality reporting and creating a solid basis for setting water intake and consumption, as well as wastewater discharge targets;

    Due to long-term reduction of specific water intake and wastewater discharge rates and the adopted investment programs we may set ambitious strategic goals in the field of water protection:

    Water intake reduction targets (per ton of product and semi-finished product) by 2025 from 2018 level

    in % Specific water intake rate, m3/t of product and semi-finished product
    During implementation of planned arrangements 26% 5.16
    During implementation of planned and prospective arrangements 31% 4.78

    Waste water discharge reduction targets (per ton of product and semi-finished product) by 2025 from 2018 level

    in % Specific waste water discharge rate, m3/t of product and semi-finished product
    During implementation of planned arrangements 31% 4.16
    During implementation of planned and prospective arrangements 35% 3.93
  3. Creating a responsible and caring attitude towards water resources and water bodies as an integral part of the environment, involvement of all the Company’s personnel in achieving these goals.

    For many years, the Company has been implementing joint riverside cleaning programs with local volunteer associations.

    PhosAgro participates in the federal “Volga Recovery” project

    The main target of the federal project is to reduce the amount of polluted wastewater discharged into the Volga River by 3 times from 3.17 cubic km in 2018 to 1.05 cubic km by 2024. Sixteen constituent entities of the Russian Federation take part in the project.

    The Company implements a program aimed at reproduction of aquatic biological resources.

    The amount of fish released into water bodies in the regions where PhosAgro operates as part of environmental protection arrangements in 2019:

    Cherepovets facility of
    JSC Apatit
    Balakovo Branch of JSC Apatit Kirovsk Branch of JSC Apatit
    Biological resource type Young wild carp Young wild carp Young silver carp Young-of-the-year sterlet Young (two-year-old) Atlantic salmon
    Qty 6,500 30,000 25,000 84,353 2,130
    Location Gorky Reservoir Volgograd Reservoir Sukhona River Umba River

Greenhouse gas emission reduction

Issues of environmental protection and efficient use of the Company’s resources, including those related to climatic aspects of operation, are the Company’s strategic priorities. UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate action is one the basic for the Company; it is integrated in the strategy and current activities of PhosAgro. Particular emphasize is currently put on issues associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy efficiency.

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

Responsibility for reviewing and resolving issues related to climate change is vested in the Health, Safety and Environment Committee headed by the PhosAgro Board of Directors Member and Executive Director. Climatic functions of the Committee include monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, development and accomplishment of GHG emission reduction projects, including initiatives on improvement of energy efficiency.

Dynamics of GHG gross direct (scope 1) and indirect energy (scope 2) emissions by PhosAgro

Distribution of GHG gross direct (scope 1) and indirect energy (scope 2) emissions by PhosAgro branches for 2019

Dynamics of relative GHG direct emissions, scope 1

Distribution of direct (scope 1) GHG emissions for 2019 by activities

PhosAgro has been putting particular attention to environmental protection for many years, and the new approach to climate-related issues is followed with the support of existing structures, which contributed to the Company’s success for a long period of time. The Company has in place the documented process of identification, assessment, monitoring and management of climatic risks and opportunities as a part of general risk and opportunity management process.

PhosAgro assigns necessary resources for compliance with the provisions of applicable law and other regulations, such as the adopted Federal Law On Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Improvement and Amendments to Certain Legal Acts of the Russian Federation dated November 23, 2009 No. 261-FZ (“Energy Efficiency Law”).

In 2019, the Company prepared for the first time the report on management of climatic aspects of activities for 2018 in response online system of Carbon disclosure project (CDP, GHG emission reduction program), which resulted in obtaining the “C” rank.

Furthermore, in 2019, at the Board of Directors approved the goal to reduce the relative GHG emission rate (scope 1) by 2025, as well as a range of measures aimed at achieving that goal.

In 2020, PhosAgro Board of Directors considered and approved the Climatic Strategy, which includes the review of climatic scenarios according to TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) guidelines, identification of climatic risks and opportunities, definition of scientifically substantiated target rates of GHG emissions, as well as measures of achieving them — a low-carbon transition plan.

Moreover, the Climatic Strategy describes provisions on interaction with value chain stakeholders, including the conception of the supplier management plan. The main goal of interaction is control over GHG emissions along the entire value chain for obtaining necessary data enabling the Company to regulate internal corporate processes and actions and influence on main suppliers and consumers in the field of GHG emission reduction.

In 2020, the Company submitted to CDP the report for 2019, which includes detailed information on all such aspects.

PhosAgro priorities in implementing the Climatic Strategy:

  • GHG emission reduction by 2028 by 14% against 2018.
  • Expansion of area of climatically responsible business in Russia and on a global scale as a result of responsible selection of suppliers.
  • Decrease in climatic risks of production and business processes, leveraging on appearing climatic opportunities for expansion and strengthening of the business.
  • Increasing the Company’s openness and transparency, also through broadening interaction with stakeholders and international platforms with a view to promote the climatic agenda.
  • Integration of climatic issues in all internal management and decision making processes in the Company.

PhosAgro Climatic Strategy is a new level of the Company’s responsibility to the global community and future generations, as well as a prerequisite for sustainable business development in contemporary world.

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. For more information please refer to the presentation.
  • 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.

The company aims to reduce the negative environmental impact both in production and use of its products, as well as in transportation of goods, by implementing green initiatives in logistics.

Documents

PhosAgro Environmental Policy

291 KB

Certificate ISO 14001

2.9 MB

Certificate IFA «Protect and Sustain»

1.5 MB

Information about safety of hydraulic structures

965 KB

Code of Conduct for Counterparties

2.6 MB

2019 report of Phosagro PJSC on climate activities

722 KB

Water Strategy for 2020–2025

1.7 MB

Green initiatives in logistics

1,2 МБ

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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