ACRA has upgraded the ESG rating of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation (hereinafter, the Corporation) from ESG-3 (ESG-B) to ESG-2 (ESG-B), which corresponds to a very high assessment in the field of the environment, social responsibility, and governance.
According to the Methodology for Assigning ESG Ratings, a very high ESG assessment means that the Corporation pays increased attention to environmental, social responsibility, and governance matters.
As part of the ESG rating revision procedure in 2023, the Agency reviewed information provided by the following six divisions of the Corporation: Mining, Electric Power, Sales and Trading, Fuel, Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Compared to the last year’s assessment, the Mechanical Engineering was included into the list of assessed divisions. The corporate perimeter of those Corporation’s divisions that presented their reports to the Agency was also updated. ACRA has taken into account the presence of intra-group revenue of the divisions.
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, procedures and measurable indictors for managing key ESG risks, as well as a high level of compliance with best practices.
The ESG rating has been upgraded due to, among other things, a change in the Agency's methodology, the revision of a number of policies and procedures of the Corporation in 2022–2023 and the positive dynamics of a number of assessed indicators. Additionally, in 2023, the Corporation calculated greenhouse gas emissions and approved Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as well as developed documents such as the Roadmap for Climate Change Adaptation and the next 5-year Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Program. In addition, the sustainable development goals and the energy transition and climate agenda have been included into the 2030 Strategy.
KEY ASSESSMENT FACTORS
The Corporation’s Electric Power Division demonstrate positive (low) indicators for waste generation, atmospheric emissions of harmful substances, as well as greenhouse gases (Scope 1) per unit of revenue in monetary terms compared to the peer companies. In particular, the Electric Power Division, due to minimal 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 positive dynamics of these indicators over the past three years 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 and Mechanical Engineering Divisions) demonstrate high scores for the indicators of specific waste generation and energy consumption; the Sales and Trading and Engineering Divisions show positive (low) indicators of water consumption and wastewater discharge, which had a positive impact on the final assessment of the Corporation.
Out of all the divisions analyzed in the environmental impact assessment part, the Mining and Mechanical Engineering Divisions received the most conservative scores, which is due to the relatively high degree of negative impact of their main activities on the environment compared to peers.
For certain divisions, the Agency applied positive modifiers in the area of environmental impact. In particular, for the Engineering Division, the high share of regulatory clean wastewater discharges was taken into account, for the Sales and Trading Division, the training of its suppliers in the ESG aspects 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.
At the same time, for the Sales and Trading Division, the Agency applied a negative adjustment due to implementation of projects within natural reserves.
ACRA also notes the experience of issuing green bonds by JSC Atomenergoprom (an integrated company that consolidates civil assets of the Russian nuclear industry within the Corporation) in 2021 and 2022.
There are internal regulations and procedures for almost all relevant environmental risks at the level of the analyzed divisions, necessary risk mitigation measures are carried out, and relevant performance indicators are established. ACRA highly assesses the approach to managing the risks of conflicts with the local population in the environmental protection matters, tightening environmental regulations, irrational use of energy resources, increased emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere, as well as the risks of the impact of operational activities on human health through electromagnetic, noise and vibration effects. However, for some risks, the lack or insufficient, according to the Agency, information on measurable performance indicators, as well as the availability of internal regulatory documents, had a deterrent effect on the assessment.
In terms of compliance with best practices, all the analyzed divisions also received a high score. Key environmental risks are regulatory monitored and assessed in all divisions. All divisions have an external communications and feedback procedures for environmental issues, certificates of environmental management systems, and competence centers for analyzing and mitigating environmental risks. All divisions collaborate with non-for-profit organizations, R&D institutes, and other organizations in the area of environmental protection. The Corporation has a Unified Industry Environmental Policy.
The absence of a public strategic document setting the environmental goals, public information of GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by division, and a program for increasing the water use efficiency in some divisions limits the assessment of the compliance with best practices part.
Among the key indicators of social impact, the low indicators of injuries have the most positive impact on the assessment of the Corporation. The Agency additionally notes the zero level of injuries in the Sales and Trading Division. At the same time, in other divisions, there were cases of fatal injuries during the period under review, and in some divisions, this indicator showed a negative trend.
In addition, the majority of the analyzed divisions are characterized by the high share of women in the total number of employees compared to general industry indicators, 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.
The Engineering and Mining Divisions demonstrate high turnover rates, although the Agency notes the positive dynamics (declining rates) over the past three years. The average salary, including bonuses, had a moderately negative impact on the assessment of most divisions. 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 to the Corporation’s divisions, in particular, for a significant contribution to the social development in the regions of presence and a broader social package offered to employees compared to peer companies. Additional positive modifiers were applied to the Sales and Trading Division for the high percentage of female employees in the division's management and the board of directors (40%), as well as for the percentage of employees who took training programs (>85%). At the same time, a negative modifier was applied to the mechanical Engineering and Mining Divisions for the absence of women on the board of directors. For the Electric Power, Fuel and Mechanical Engineering Divisions, a positive modifier was applied for annual indexation of wages on par with the inflation rate. ACRA also notes the application of computerized safety control systems in the Electric Power and Mechanical Engineering Divisions.
As regards social risks, the Agency notes the high level of elaboration and detail of the procedures regulating contacts with local inhabitants, employee and public health and safety, as well as personnel management. At the same time, further elaboration of risks of social responsibility of business, violation of human rights in the Corporation’s labor practices and supply chains, and risks associated with discrimination and social responsibility of suppliers is a potential area of improvement for certain divisions as regards the availability of information on the relevant key performance indicators.
Social responsibility and environmental matters are a priority for the Corporation, and the approach to solving these issues generally corresponds to the best international practices. The divisions publish information on gender balance, conduct vocational trainings, have certification of OHS management systems, and the Corporation has adopted the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of Employees and the Unified Sectoral Social Policy.
For all the divisions under consideration, the Agency notes the absence of official regulations, procedures and trainings on the inadmissibility of sexual harassment at work, as well as the absence of specific maternity support programs beyond the market practices. These factors are areas of potential improvement. In some divisions, the improvement area is a more systematic informing of stakeholders and the general public about the presence of disputes and conflicts in the field of social responsibility and labor rights, 100% coverage of employees by a personnel evaluation system with transparent KPIs. In the Electric Power Division, an area for improvement is also the annual certification of OHS management systems by an external auditor, and in the Sales and Trading Division, the availability of housing programs.
The state is the sole founder of the Corporation, and its activities are regulated by a dedicated federal law, which affects the specifics of corporate governance practices. In this regard, the presence of independent members on the board of directors and the concentration of shareholding were considered irrelevant. The Company received a moderately conservative score for the board of directors stability (the average tenure on the divisions’ boards of directors is 5.7 years). 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 Agency also applied a positive modifier due to the independent certification of the Company’s non-financial reports.
At the same time, the Agency applied a negative analytical adjustment for the Fuel Division due to the uneven quality of information provided for the rating purposes.
In the corporate risk block, ACRA highly assesses the management of risks of the strategy and control over the business reputation of managers and shareholders in all divisions of the Corporation. Corruption risks, business ethics risks, risks associated with the use of financial resources of dubious origin and with the preparation and audit of financial statements are areas of improvement for individual divisions in terms of providing information on measurable performance indicators.
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 and risk management and compliance services in each division.
The lack of an ESG strategy in the Corporation limited the assessment of corporate governance quality.
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 holding rating interviews with the following divisions of the Corporation: Mining, Electric Power, Sales and Trading, Fuel, Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. As of end-2022, the above divisions accounted for more than 70% of the Corporation’s revenue and about 50% of its staff.
Companies from the following sectors were used as benchmarks: Electric Power, Diversified; Metals and Mining, Diversified; Infrastructure Construction; Commercial Services, Heavy Machine Building, Production of Diversified Chemicals.
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.
Final ESG rating: ESG-B.
Final ESG level: ESG-2.
ESG rating 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.
E assessment: ESG-2.
S assessment: ESG-3.
G assessment: ESG-1.
The ESG rating has been assigned in accordance with the Methodology for Assigning ESG Ratings and the Key Concepts Used by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency within the Scope of Its Rating Activities.
An ESG rating of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation was published by ACRA for the first time on November 9, 2022. The ESG rating of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation is expected to be revised within one year following the publication date of this press release.
The ESG rating was assigned based on data provided by ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation, information from publicly available sources, and ACRA’s databases.
The ESG rating is solicited and ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation participated its assignment.
In assigning the ESG rating, ACRA used only information, the quality and reliability of which were, in ACRA’s opinion, appropriate and sufficient to apply the methodologies.
No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of the assessment process.
The assigned ESG rating is not a credit rating.