ACRA has assigned ESG-3, category ESG-B to ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation (hereinafter, the Corporation), which corresponds to a very high assessment in the field of the environment, social responsibility, and governance.

According to the ESG Assessment Methodology, a very high ESG assessment means that the Corporation pays increased attention to environmental, social responsibility, and governance matters.

The assessment is based on the Company’s favorable indicators in the fields of environmental impact and social responsibility compared to peer companies, as well as high quality corporate governance (see Key Assumptions). In addition, the analyzed divisions and the Corporation in general have policies and procedures for managing key ESG risks, as well as a high level of compliance with best practices.

The Corporation is fully state-owned, and its activities are regulated by a separate federal law that determines the specifics of a number of corporate governance practices.

The Corporation is a diversified holding company with assets and expertise in all areas of the nuclear energy production and technological chain: geological surveying and production of uranium, enrichment and conversion of uranium, fabrication of nuclear fuel, design and construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs), power engineering, production of electric energy, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, as well as a fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. The Corporation includes more than 360 enterprises and organizations, including research institutes. The Corporation carries out unified state policy in the field of nuclear energy and fulfills the international obligations of the Russian Federation on the use of peaceful nuclear energy and limiting the spread of nuclear materials.

KEY ASSESSMENT FACTORS

Very high assessment of the Corporation’s activity in the area of environmental impact and its actions to minimize environmental risks. This assessment reflects the favorable environmental metrics of most of the analyzed divisions compared to industry peers, the high-quality study of most relevant environmental risks, as well as a high degree of compliance with best practices.

The Corporation’s Electric Power and Fuel Divisions demonstrate positive (low) indicators for atmospheric emissions of harmful substances, as well as greenhouse gases (Scope 1) per unit of revenue in monetary terms compared to the sample companies. In particular, the Electric Power Division, due to the absence of direct greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity at NPPs, demonstrates extremely low specific values of these indicators in comparison to companies in the Diversified Electric Power industry. At the same time, due to the specifics of nuclear power generation technology, this division is characterized by high specific indicators of water consumption and wastewater discharge coupled with positive dynamics for both indicators (reduction of water consumption and wastewater discharge, respectively). Taking into account this division’s significant share in the Corporation’s revenues, the values and dynamics of these indicators had a significant impact on the final assessment of the Corporation in terms of the level of environmental impact.

Most of the analyzed divisions (with the exception of the Mining Division, see below) demonstrate high scores for the indicator of specific waste generation and energy consumption, which had a positive impact on the final assessment of the Corporation.

Out of all the divisions analyzed in the impact assessment part, the Mining Division received the most conservative scores, which is due to the high degree of negative impact of its main activities on the environment (uranium mining, associated scandium mining, coal mining, and others).

When assessing all the divisions, the Agency applied positive modifiers in the area of environmental impact. When assessing the Corporation as a whole, the experience of issuing green bonds by JSC Atomenergoprom in 2021 was taken into account. In addition, positive modifiers were used for individual divisions of the Corporation. In particular, for the Electric Power Division, the use of recycled water supply was taken into account, for the Sales and Trading division, the contribution to the conservation of biodiversity in the regions of presence was taken into account, and for the Electric Power and Fuel Divisions, the availability of automated environmental monitoring and control systems was taken into account.

There are internal regulations and procedures for almost all relevant environmental risk zones at the level of the analyzed divisions, and necessary risk mitigation measures are carried out. Most of the relevant risks are reflected in the Corporation’s top-level documents, including the industry-wide policies applied by all divisions. At the same time, physical climate risks are not explicitly highlighted in the Corporation’s documents and those of its individual divisions, which limits the assessment.

In terms of compliance with best practices, the Corporation and all the analyzed divisions also received a high score. Key environmental risks are regulatory monitored and assessed in all divisions. All divisions have dedicated units or employees who are responsible for monitoring environmental risks, and programs for increasing energy efficiency have been adopted (these practices have been developed and applied in accordance with strict legal regulation of atomic energy activities). The Corporation has a Unified Industry Environmental Policy.

The absence of a practice for calculating indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2) limits the assessment of the compliance with best practices part. In addition, the Agency took into account the fact that the Sales and Trading Division operates inside a specially protected natural area, which also constrains the Corporation’s overall assessment.

High assessment of the Corporation’s social impact and actions to minimize social risks. This assessment is based on the relatively low injury rate, favorable indicators for gender equality and social investments in most of the analyzed divisions compared to peers, and the elaboration of most of the relevant ESG risks.

Among the key indicators of social impact, the indicators of injuries and fatal injuries have the most positive impact on the assessment of the Corporation. In all the analyzed divisions, comparatively low injury rates had a positive impact on the assessment. The Agency additionally notes the zero level of injuries in the Sales and Trading Division, as well as the positive dynamics of this indicator in the Electric Power Division. There were cases of fatal injuries in the Electric Power, Fuel, and Mining Divisions during the period under review (2019–2021), but they were significantly lower than at the majority of the sample companies. Fatal injuries in the Engineering Division are at an average level relative to the sample.

In addition, the majority of the analyzed divisions are characterized by high indicators of the share of women out of the total number of employees, as well as high specific indicators of the level of social investment (in relation to revenues). Both indicators had a positive impact on the overall assessment of the Corporation.

Relatively high turnover rates in the Electric Power, Engineering, and Mining Divisions had a negative impact on the final assessment of social impact. The average salary, including bonuses, had a moderately negative impact on the assessment of most divisions and the entire Corporation. To compare certain divisions with international industry peers, available data was converted into US dollars, taking into account purchasing power parity. This is typical for most companies operating in Russia.

The Agency applied a number of positive modifiers for the Corporation and its divisions. The overall assessment of the Corporation’s social impact was further upgraded in view of a broader social package offered to employees compared to peer companies (voluntary health insurance programs, support for retirees, housing programs for employees, and sports events for employees) and significant attention paid to the social development in the regions of presence. Additional positive modifiers were applied to the Sales and Trading Division for the presence of the Supplier Code, as well as the high percentage of female employees in the division's management (“CEO -1”). At the same time, a negative modifier was applied to the Electric Power Division for the absence of women on the board of directors.

In each of the analyzed divisions, main internal documents on the management of key social risks have been developed. In particular, the Agency notes the high level of elaboration and detail of the procedures regulating employee and public safety, as well as personnel management. Moreover, in 2022, a Unified Industry Policy on Human Rights was developed. At the same time, further elaboration of internal regulations and procedures on human rights at the divisional level is a potential area of improvement on the back of the introduction of the Unified Industry Policy on Human Rights.

From the point of view of compliance with best practices, all the analyzed divisions are characterized by a high level of information transparency (the presence of procedures for notifying stakeholders about any disputes or conflicts in the field of social responsibility), as well as by the availability of vocational training and retraining programs. At the same time, the lack of specific procedures and training sessions on compliance with ethical standards at the workplace had a negative impact on the assessment.

The Mining, Engineering, and the Sales and Trading Divisions disclosed information about the gender balance in public non-financial statements for 2021. At the same time, the lack of this information for the Electric Power and Fuel Divisions had a negative impact on the assessment of compliance with best practices.

The Agency also notes that all divisions enable employees to submit complaints on the protection of labor rights, although establishing effective remedies for such employees, including the anonymity of complaints, is a potential area for improvement.

Highest assessment of quality of corporate governance. The Agency notes that as part of the assessment of corporate governance quality factors, differences between divisions are minimal since key corporate governance documents are unified and approved at corporate level.

All the divisions are characterized by a high degree of information transparency, which is due to the high level of disclosure of non-financial statements (GRI, base). The boards of directors of all the divisions demonstrate stability of membership and significant industry experience. In addition, the Agency is of the opinion that the quality of strategic planning in the Corporation is high.

The assessment was further upgraded due to the presence of an external independent opinion on the Corporation’s non-financial statements.

Effective measures are being taken in the Corporation and the analyzed divisions to minimize corporate governance risks, top-level documents have been drawn up to manage these risks, and internal regulations and procedures have been adopted.

Among the best corporate governance practices adopted both at corporation and division levels, the Agency notes the availability of the Code of Ethics and Official Conduct, risk management and compliance services in each division, as well as the Provisions on the Procedure for Approving Related-party Transactions.

The lack of an ESG strategy in the Corporation limited the assessment of corporate governance quality. At the same time, integrated ESG management is carried out through annual plans; commitment to sustainable development principles is included in the Corporation’s strategy.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

  • The assessment has been carried out by way of polling, analyzing public and non-public information, including non-financial reports and corporate governance documents, and interviewing the following divisions of the Corporation: Mining, Electric Power, Sales and Trading, Fuel, and Engineering. The above divisions accounted for more than 75% the Corporation’s revenue and 65% of its staff fell on the above divisions in 2021.

  • Companies from the following sectors were used as benchmarks: Electric Power, Diversified; Metals and Mining, Diversified; Infrastructure Construction; Commercial Services.

  • The final ESG assessment and separate E/S/G assessments of the Corporation are weighted averages for the analyzed divisions based on the divisions’ revenues.

  • Data specified in questionnaires and non-financial reports of the Corporation and its divisions is reliable and comparable to benchmarks.

assessment components

Final ESG assessment: ESG-3.

Final ESG category: ESG-В.

ESG assessment determination: very high assessment in the field of the environment, social responsibility and governance. Increased attention is paid to the environment, social responsibility, and governance matters.

additional information

The ESG assessment has been assigned in accordance with ACRA’s ESG Assessment Methodology.

An ESG assessment has been assigned to ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation for the first time and is valid for one year from the date of assignment, if information is sufficient to maintain the ESG assessment, or until the withdrawal of the ESG assessment.

The ESG assessment was assigned based on data for 2019–2021 provided by ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation, information from publicly available sources, and ACRA’s databases.

The ESG assessment is solicited and ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation participated its assignment.

In assigning the assessment, ACRA used only information, the quality and reliability of which were, in ACRA’s opinion, appropriate and sufficient to apply the methodology.

No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of the assessment process.

The assigned assessment is not a credit rating.

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Analysts

Vladimir Gorchakov
Director, Sustainable Development Risk Assessment Group
+7 (495) 139 04 80, ext. 132
Tatiana Sorokina
Senior Analyst, Sustainable Development Risk Assessment Group
+7 (495) 139 04 80, ext. 157
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