Rating agency “Expert RA” assigned the ESG rating to the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, JSC at the level of ESG-II(c) which means a very high level of compliance with the interests in the sphere of sustainable development in making key decisions. The rating outlook is stable https://raexpert.ru/releases/2022/may13.
Block E (Enviromental) has a moderately positive impact on the ESG level of the APPM rating. The Agency singled out the accounting of indicators affecting the environment which is carried out on an ongoing basis in accordance with the requirements of applicable legislation, as well as the annual verification of reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.
The APPM main document establishing the list of measures for reducing negative impact on the environment and material goals the achievement of which is ensured with the implementation of these measures, is the Program for improving environmental efficiency for 2021-2027 (hereinafter referred to as PEE), agreed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. The PEE includes 22 activities, the planned volume of financing of the measures amounts to 18.2 billion rubles. In 2021 under the PEE all three planned activities were implemented.
The Agency also positively assesses the measures implemented by the APPM that contribute to the transformation of offices into “green”.
“Expert RA” positively assessed block S (Social). Among the markers of successfulness there is APPM’s remuneration system including annual wages indexation, the concept of bonuses and supplemental payments. These documents are highly detailed and clear criteria have been established.
A positive impact on the rating level is ensured by 100% provision of employees with voluntary medical insurance policies in CJSC Medexpress (ruA + from Expert RA). APPM, together with NPF VTB Pension Fund JSC (ruA+ from Expert RA), is implementing a corporate pension program for the company's employees, which is also assessed positively.
The employees have an opportunity of getting supplementary education at the expense of the plant. Training is conducted both under mandatory programs in accordance with the requirements of the applicable legislation and on demand. Agreements have been signed with the Novodvinsk Industrial College, with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University for the training of employees in the magistracy, and a system of distance learning has been developed. In 2020, 61% of employees completed training, in 2021 – 45%.
The Agency emphasizes the high level of social security of the APPM employees: financial assistance is paid at the birth of a child, to large families, if it is necessary to conduct a paid operation and medical examination in the amount of 50%, if they were not carried out within the framework of VHI, in the event of the death of an employee, his close relatives or former retired employees. Employees and their children are paid once every two years travel to and from the place of vacation within the Russian Federation, children of employees are provided with preferential vouchers to children's health camps, and they are given the opportunity to go in for sports free of charge (swimming pool, gyms, fitness facility). Since 2016, the APPM has been running the Housing for Young Professionals program - the company co-finances a housing program for young families. The Agency positively assesses interaction of the APPM and the society. Annually significant funds are allocated for the implementation of social programs in various areas. In 2021 439.2 million rubles were allocated to internal and regional programs, including 129.3 million rubles to charity. The company is holding a competition of social initiatives “4D” aimed at supporting public projects and volunteer ideas in Novodvinsk and the Primorsky District. Together with the Novodvinsk Complex Center of Social Services, the target program “Together we can do more” is being implemented, in accordance with which funds are allocated to pay for medical services, medicines and devices for the adaptation of children with disabilities.
Block G (Governance) has a moderately positive impact on the ESG level of rating.
The quality of strategic planning is assessed by the Agency as neutral. A draft Development Strategy for 2017-2025 has been presented, three main areas of development have been identified: cardboard production, pulp production, power engineering, specific goals have been set. Разработка и утверждение самостоятельной стратегии в области устойчивого развития запланировано на 2022 г. Ключевая роль в интеграции и продвижении принципов устойчивого развития принадлежит управлению организационного развития, в составе которого в 2021 г. был создан отдел устойчивого развития.
The quality of APPM's risk management is also assessed as high. The Standard STP ISM 33-2020 was developed. "Planning in the field of quality, environmental protection, labour safety and health protection", regulating the identification and assessment of risks, establishing reporting forms. A document with a high degree of detail. The company has technical means to ensure information security: endpoint antivirus protection, virtual infrastructure antivirus protection, server antivirus protection, next generation firewall (NGFW), data leakage prevention system (DLP), risk management system (SGRC), user awareness system.
The agency also notes that APPM's reports on greenhouse gas emissions are annually verified by an independent audit company, in 2019-2020. KPMG acted as verifier. The plant plans to publish a report on sustainable development activities in accordance with the GRI standard for 2021 in 2022. Additional support for the rating is provided by the regular publication of data on the CDP platform (rating A-), the decision to disclose data for 2021, taking into account the suspension of assignment CDP ratings for Russian companies will be adopted later.