In 2020, Acron Group, a leading vertically integrated mineral fertiliser producer in Russia and globally, invested RUB 2.3 billion in sustainable development. Investments in environmental programmes, occupational and industrial safety protection measures, social and charitable programmes, and social and economic development in the Group’s footprint regions increased 44% year-on-year.
Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov sees the ESG strategy as a crucial part of the Group’s operations. ‘Acron makes real contributions across all spheres of the ESG framework: it takes care of its employees by providing competitive salaries and an attractive social package, invests in their safety at work, implements environmentally important initiatives, and supports socially significant programmes in its footprint regions’.
Over the course of 2020, the Group’s enterprises (Acron in Veliky Novgorod, Dorogobuzh in Smolensk region, and NWPC in Murmansk region) implemented measures to protect air and water resources and reduce the impact of production waste. Key environmental measures included upgrades at all facilities’ main shops to improve the environmental safety of their operations and products. NWPC releases juvenile fish into a tributary of the Umba River in the White Sea basin to conserve aquatic biodiversity. The Company spent a total of over RUB 13 million to release more than 60,000 juvenile fish. In the reporting year, the Group invested a total of RUB 338 million in environmental efforts, up 59% year-on-year.
The Group’s occupational and industrial safety measures include running equipment diagnostics to ensure that equipment and process flows are operated safely and testing the safety of feedstock and materials used in operations. Acron Group’s occupational and industrial safety policies focus on ensuring accident-free operations, the occupational safety of its employees, and the health of people living in the Group’s footprint regions. In 2020, Acron’s investments in occupational and industrial safety measures almost doubled year-on-year to RUB 640 million.
Acron Group also significantly contributes to social and economic development in its footprint regions. The Group is an attractive employer and responsible taxpayer. It also invests in local regions, improving the quality of life for employees, their families, and local residents. Each year, Acron executes agreements with local authorities, investing in the development of local infrastructure, healthcare, education, cultural, art, and sports facilities and implementing social and charitable programmes aimed at supporting public organisations, social institutions, and communities. In the reporting year, the Group allocated RUB 674 million to support social and economic development and charitable programmes, up almost 80% year-on-year.
Social support for employees is a critical element of the Group’s ESG policy, including:
Preventive health care, medical services, and insurance
Professional training and career growth
Sports and healthy lifestyles
Engagement and retention of highly skilled employees
Cooperation with educational institutions
Goal-oriented social programmes
All Acron Group facilities have signed collective agreements that include an extended package of social benefits and guarantees and support programmes for long-time employees and young specialists, with the goal of improving the quality of life for employees and their families. In 2020, a modern geriatric centre was opened in Veliky Novgorod with Acron support to help seniors maintain their health, energy levels, and social connections using state-of-the-art medical rehabilitation technologies. Acron Group invested a total of RUB 650 million in employee social support.
In 2020, Acron Group was voted one of the top 100 large Russian employers by users at HeadHunter, a respected recruiting website (hh.ru).