Dangerous emissions from the Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company dropped by nearly 9 percent during 2017, says data from the company, marking, according to its figures, a significant drop in pollution over the previous year.
The data were published in the annual report of Norilsk Nickel, the Kola enterprise’s Siberia-based parent company and one of the world’s largest nickel producers, which has long been a focus of environmental ire.
Last year’s drop in sulfur dioxide will come as welcome news to the Murmansk Region and neighboring Scandinavia, which have long suffered pollution from the nickel refining works –– as well as decades of broken promises to bring it to heel.
Yet for the past year, Norilsk Nickel has embarked on a highly vocal multi-billion dollar effort to rewrite its history as a major Russian polluter, vowing to revamp its production facilities to stem their harmful emissions.
The stakes for the company are high – Norilsk Nickel produces metals vital to the production of batteries in electric cars, but many major auto makers, like Tesla and Volvo, refuse to buy products produced by unrepentant polluters.
To reverse this course, Norilsk Nickel has pledged to stem emissions at its Siberian facilities by 75 percent over 2015 levels by 2023, with a corresponding drop from the chimneys of its Kola facilities by 50 percent by the same year.