Voluntary Environmental Standards in Key Russian Industries: A Comparative Analysis

Voluntary Environmental Standards in Key Russian Industries: A Comparative Analysis

E. Shvarts J. Bunina  A. Knizhnikov 

Director of Conservation Policy, WWF Russia

Postgraduate Student, University of Freiburg, Germany

Head of the Programme for Environment Policy in the Power Generation and Mining Sectors, WWF Russia

30 June 2015
| Citation



This paper provides a comparative analysis of voluntary environmental standards in key Russian industries. Five Russian industries, namely the oil and gas, mining, power generation, forestry and financial sector, with a high economic and environmental impact were analysed in order to determine the degree of implementation of voluntary environmental standards. It was determined whether or not companies possess voluntary environmental standards and reporting, in the oil and gas, mining and electricity production industries, an ISO 14001 and/or sustainability (non-financial) reporting with confirmation by an independent third party in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative; in the forestry industry a Forest Stewardship Council certification; and in the financial sector the Equator Principles, United Nations Environmental Program Financial Initiative, Principles for Responsible Investments and Carbon Disclosure Project. The paper presents data and information on adherence to the above-mentioned standards by the main Russian companies by size in each sector. The research determined that the top performing industries are forestry and oil and gas, whereas the power generating indus- try and the financial sector show fairly low levels of implementation.


International environmental standards, voluntary certification, sustainability reporting, Russia, oil and gas industry, mining, forestry, financial sector, FSC, ISO 14001, GRI


[1] Shvarts, E., Kniznikov, A. & Bunina, J., Russian business and sustainable development: implementation of international standards in environmental risk management (Chapter 8). UNDP National Human Development Report for the Russian Federation, ed. S.N. Bobylev, UNDP: Moscow, pp. 143–162, 2013. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2328178

[2] World Bank, Russia Environmental Management System: Directions for Modernization, Public expenditure review (PER), World Bank: Washington, DC, available at http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2009/05/11210086/russia-environmental-management-system-directions-modernization, 2009.

[3] Larin, V., Mnatsakanian, R., Chestin, I. & Shvarts E., Okhrana Prirody Rossii: Ot Gorbacheva do Putina. (Nature Protection in Russia: From Gorbatchev to Putin), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): Moscow, 2003.

[4] Henry, L.A. & Douhovnikoff, V., Environmental issues in Russia. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 33, pp. 437–460, 2008. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.energy.33.051007.082437

[5] Shvarts, E. & Gerasimchuk, I., Environmental policy and the international competitiveness of the Russian economy. Environmental Finance and Responsible Business in Russia: Legal and Practical Trends, eds. F.M. Mucklow & Dr. W.Th. Douma, T.M.C., Asser Press: The Hague, pp. 121–131, 2010. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-6704-529-2_9

[6] Tulaeva, S., Transformasiya korporativnoy social`noi otvetstvennosti predpriyatii lesnogo sektora pod vliyaniiem global`nykh protsessov (Translation: Transformation of corporate social responsibility in the forestry sector under the influence of the global processes). Zhurnal Sottsiologii i Sotsialnoi Antropologii (Translation: Journal of the Sociology and social Anthropology), 10, pp. 112–126, 2007.

[7] Federal State Statistic Service, http://www.gks.ru

[8] UN data – Country profile Russian Federation, https://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Russian%20Federation

[9] Climate Policy and Emissions Data Sheet: Russia, Yale, available at http://envirocenter.yale.edu/uploads/pdf/Russia_Climate_Policy_Data_Sheet.pdf, 2005.

[10] Gerasimchuk, I., Ilymzinova, K. & Schorn, A. (eds), Pure Profit for Russia: Benefits of Responsible Finance. WWF’s Trade and Investment Program Report, WWF: Moscow, 2010. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1592859

[11] Global Impacts Report, Marine Stewardship Council, available at http://www.msc.org/documents/environmental-benefits/global-impacts/msc-global-impacts-report-2013, 2013.

[12] Romero, C., Putz, F., Guariguata, M., Sills, E., Carutti, P. & Lescuyer, G., An overview of current knowledge about the impacts of forest management certification: a proposed framework for its evaluation. CIFOR, Bogor: Indonesia, 2013. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17528/cifor/004188

[13] Netreba, P., Na prirodu s chistoi sovestyu (Translation: Having a good conscious for nature). Kommersant, 104, p. 6, 2013.

[14] US Energy Information Administration, available at http://www.eia.gov/

[15] 2012 Ranking Expert – 400, Expert Russia, available at http://expert.ru/dossier/rating/expert-400/, 2013.

[16] Paillard, , Russia and Europe’s mutual energy dependence. Journal of International Affairs, 63, pp. 65–84, 2010.

[17] Metalurgiceskaya i gornodobivaushaya promishlennost` v Rossii i SNG (Translation: Mining industry in Russia and CSR) Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), available at http://www.pwc.kz/en_KZ/kz/publications/Metals_Mining_Russia_the_CIS_rus_2011_fin.pdf, 2011.

[18] Tysiachniouk, M., Transnational Governance through Private Authority – The Case of Forest Stewardship Council Certification in Russia, Vol. 7, Wageningen Academic Publishers: The Netherlands, 2013. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-772-1

[19] Lesprom, available at http://www.lesindustry.ru/top/

[20] UNEP Finance Initiative, available at http://www.unepfi.org/

[21] Equator Principles, available at http://www.equator-principles.com/

[22] RBC Banks Rating, available at http://rating.rbc.ru/category.shtml?method/925574