London, United Kingdom, 5 December 2017 - Nord Gold SE (“Nordgold” or the “Company”), the internationally diversified gold producer, is pleased to announce that together with its sister company PAO Severstal, one of the world's largest vertically integrated steel and mining companies, it presented at the 2017 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights on November 27-29 in Geneva.
For the first time ever, the Forum featured a special Russian delegation programme coordinated by the UN Global Compact Network Russia. International experts deemed that Nordgold and Severstal both hold a level of expertise that would benefit other regions. A representative from Nordgold showcased the Company’s projects in West Africa, which is home to four out of its nine operating mines, the representatives from Severstal showcased the projects in Russia.
The UN Sustainability Principles are a major priority for Nordgold. As we have developed our mines, it has been crucial for us to establish mutual communications with local communities, gather feedback, and respond quickly to any concerns. We introduced a complaint management system that helps prevent any acute social issues, assures residents that their voice is heard, and enables us to operate our mines in an efficient manner that will create new jobs and improve regional economies. Oleg BazaleevHead of Internal Communications and Sustainability at Nordgold
Reliable communications channels generate mutual trust between gold miners and local communities, and improve the effectiveness of social programmes. One example given was during the Ebola virus epidemic of 2013-2015 in Guinea, when Nordgold worked with the local and federal authorities to organise a series of medical and educational events on disease prevention. The outbreak subsequently did not affect the areas surrounding Nordgold’s mine in this country.
With ever increasing changes in economic structures and shifts towards automation, concerns surrounding monotowns are growing all over the world. It can be quite a challenge to find a new development angle for industrial centres that are now losing employees and active residents, face social challenges and even become dependent on external financing. In this context, the transformation of Cherepovets from a mono-town to a high-growth area seems to be an exemplary public-private partnership in terms of its scale and efficiency. Severstal is not trying to replace the government by addressing every single social issue, but we understand that everyone benefits from the accelerated development of our regions, including both the local communities and Severstal itself. Therefore, we think of these projects more as long-term social investments, rather than charitable acts. We hope that with our continued support, the Cherepovets 2035 Development Programme is fully implemented; something that will further diversify the municipal economy, and increase the share of labour force employed by small and medium businesses from 22% to 38%. Vladimir ZaluzhskyHead of Communications and Investor Relations at Severstal
As one of the best programmes in Russia, it has helped reduce child abandonment to almost the minimum possible level in the regions where Severstal operates. For example, in Vologda Oblast, which covers an area of five European countries, this programme has ensured the adoption about 9,000 children. 18 orphanages were closed, because all the children were adopted and 17 others were converted into family planning centres. Supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Way Home Programme has received three grants, as well as support from trained representatives of 120 non-profit organizations from 37 different municipalities. It’s worth noting that Severstal only works in five out of these 37 municipalities. This is an excellent example of cooperation between the state, businesses and communities. On top of that, we also engage the media in these programs. With this element in place, people start trusting charitable programmes, businesses, and above all, this partnership. Natalia PoppelHead of Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand at Severstal
Severstal and Nordgold would like to thank Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Global Compact Network Russia (UNGC, Russia) for the opportunity to present at the Forum.
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