OREANDA-NEWS. June 05, 2012.  Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) has successfully passed an audit of its Environmental Management System with regard to its compliance with the requirements of international standard ISO 14001:2004, yet another one of the audits regularly conducted in the last ten years.

 Last week auditors of the certification body TUV Rheinland Cert GmbH (Germany) examined the operation of NLMK’s business units and technical services, as well as current environmental management system documentation. Among the audited units were: Sinter Plant, Coke and By-Product Plant, BF Shops, BOF Shops, Rolling Shops and auxiliary shops. 

 The audit resulted in an unqualified opinion on NLMK’s environmental practices, implemented projects and projects in progress and also confirmed that the Company had fulfilled its environmental obligations.

 NLMK received a certificate on compliance with a recognized international environmental standard in 2002, being one of the first among Russian steelmakers. Annual audits invariably confirmed efficient operation of all the elements of the Environmental Management System at NLMK.

 At the closing meeting Harold Tone, the head of the audit team, said: “In the last ten years NLMK’s investments into air and water protection, accumulated waste recycling demonstrated an appreciable return. The shops and the site have become significantly cleaner and the personnel’s responsibility improved”.

 Implementation of upgrading plans since 2000 allowed the Company to reduce gross atmospheric pollutant emissions by 22% while steel output grew by 19%. In 2004 NLMK stopped solid industrial waste accumulation and started to process the waste accumulated during the Soviet times. Since then their volume was reduced by over 1.6 million tons. Starting from 2009 NLMK does not discharge pollutants into Voronezh River. The Company plans to stop fresh river water intake and to use part of effluents from municipal purifying facilities for replenishing its closed water circuit after additional treatment. Total investments into environmental projects for the period amounted to over RUR 21 bn.

 At the same time Mr. Tone commented on the necessity to continue the Company's work related to reduction of smoke emissions and creating conditions for development of environmental awareness of its employees: “People need to be able to visually assess the results of the work being done, and each employee of the Company needs to understand the importance of the measures taken and not perceive them simply as instructions or orders”.