ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Feb. 27, 2020 (Press Release) -In his Address to the Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin paid special attention to environmental issues and urged businesses to switch to the best available technologies and receive integrated environmental permits (IEP).
Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill entered the pilot group of 16 Russian companies doing so, and is now the first of the country's pulp and paper industry enterprises to receive an IEP.
On January 1, 2019, amendments to federal legislation regarding the application of state regulatory measures in the field of environmental protection to domestic enterprises came into force. Innovations obliged enterprises of I category, and some of II category, to receive an IEP.
By order of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, a list of the 300 largest enterprises of the country in category I that have an impact on the environment was determined. They are obliged to apply to Rosprirodnadzor with an application for IEP in the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022 inclusive. The list includes energy, metallurgy, oil and gas production and processing, coal mining, and chemical industry enterprises, as well as large water utilities.
The pulp and paper industry is represented by the nine leading enterprises of the country, including the largest newsprint producer, Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill JSC.
Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill is an advanced enterprise. Most of the best pulp and paper production technologies available have already been implemented at the mill and are being successfully applied. The environmental program of the enterprise is being constantly updated and strictly implemented. Therefore, plant management decided not to delay the receipt of new Russian ecology documentation and, on its own initiative, was among the first to send an application for an integrated environmental permit.
“A careful attitude to its environmental impact has always been and remains a distinctive feature of the Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill. We think about those who come after us and make the highest demands on ourselves in environmental matters. This approach allows us to be one of the first to meet modern requirements of environmental legislation and to get an integrated environmental permit,”said Stanislav Banzin, head of the environmental service of Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill JSC.
In order to receive the IEP, the Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill prepared the necessary package of documents and carried out a number of procedures, including an environmental impact assessment (EIA). The analysis of the results showed that during the operation of the facility, the negative impact on the environment does not exceed acceptable levels, and sanitary standards for all indicators of environmental quality are within the established technical standards.
The results of the EIA were announced on December 9, 2019 at a public hearing. The event was attended by managers and workers of the plant, deputies of the city council, city residents, representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Karelia, the Russian Association of Pulp
and Paper Industry Organizations and Enterprises (RAO Bumprom) and the Center for Environmental Industrial Policy (NII CEPP).
The Chairman of the Board of RAO Bumprom Yuri Lakhtikov noted that with the receipt of an integrated environmental permit, the Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill will enter a new legal field for itself, and its primacy in obtaining the IEP will strengthen the credibility of the plant and its products in foreign and domestic markets.
The format of public hearings implied not only a speech by representatives of the enterprise and experts, but also a consideration of public opinion. Answers to the questions posed there were entered into the public protocol and sent along with the project materials for state environmental review to the central office of Rosprirodnadzor.
In January, an integrated environmental permit was issued by the territorial department of Rosprirodnadzor. Kondopoga Pulp and Paper Mill was the first in the industry and the first among the enterprises of the North-West Federal District that passed all the procedures established by law and received this new type of document. It should be noted that similar mechanisms for assessing environmental impact today exist and are actively used in the European Union.
“High-quality, environmentally friendly newsprint, made from certified wood and in compliance with the requirements of environmental legislation that is understandable to the customer, is what the European consumer wants to see first of all. Today we can offer our customers such a product,”commented Yuri Aivazov, General Director of Karelia Pulp LLC.
For a company with more than 80% of its products exported, obtaining an IEP can become a key element of business negotiations with representatives of European countries. The similarity of approaches in environmental issues for export-oriented production is an important factor in establishing business relationships with European consumers.