4.2. Environmental Protection

Gazprom takes a set of special measures to minimize the adverse impacts of its production processes on land and water resources, protect the atmosphere, preserve biodiversity, and reduce industrial waste.

Reducing Water Consumption and Improving Water Quality

11,071.61 mcm

volume of recirculated and reused water across the Gazprom Group in 2020

19.5 %

decrease in water discharges into surface water bodies across the Gazprom Group in 2020 versus 2019

44

wastewater treatment plants with a total daily capacity of 17,000 m3 and one recirculated water system with a daily capacity of 240,000 m3 were put into operation at the Gazprom Group in 2020

97.0 %

share of partially clean (untreated) water and water partially treated at purification plants in the total volume of wastewater discharged by the Gazprom Group’s facilities into surface water bodies in 2020

Management of Water-Related Impacts

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Efficient water resources management is part of the measures taken to implement the Environmental Policy of PJSC Gazprom, which facilitates cooperation with local communities, the government and investors. The Company’s facilities each have a water management system in place. A water supplier in certain Russian regions, Gazprom is responsible for providing local communities with clean water. In a number of cases, the Group receives wastewater under contracts with external parties, which prompts the Company to pay even closer attention to non-production wastewater discharges.

The main goal of PJSC Gazprom in water resources management is to discharge less water into surface water bodies and improve wastewater treatment. As required by the applicable laws, the Company measures and monitors the wastewater quality (including temperatures) to make sure it meets the regulatory requirements at every production facility. PJSC Gazprom’s Comprehensive Environmental Program for 2020–2024 envisages a set of measures to reduce the share of excess discharges into surface water bodies to 4%.

In water resources protection, the EMS of PJSC Gazprom sets the Corporate Environmental Target for 2020–2022 to achieve a lower share of polluted and insufficiently treated wastewater discharged into surface water bodies than the 2018 baseline level of 5.29%. The status of achieving the Corporate Environmental Target is evaluated annually. In 2020, the target was achieved at 4.95 p.p. below the baseline.

In 2020, the Company completed the “Water of Life” Water Resources Utilization System Development Program of PJSC Gazprom for 2016–2020.

The results of the “Water of Life” Program in 2020:

  • share of water purification plants that ensure conformity to the existing sanitary and epidemiological requirements for the quality of potable water increased from 70% in 2014 to 93%;
  • share of wastewater purified at sewage treatment facilities to match the standard parameters in the total volume of wastewater discharged into the water bodies increased from 60.7% in 2014 to 97% in 2020, exceeding the target of 72%;
  • water intensity of commercial products manufacturing decreased by 10%;
  • volume of water reused for process purposes more than tripled, growing above the target of 25%.

Water Consumption

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The Gazprom Group companies withdraw water from surface and subterranean sources solely in accordance with the effective legislation and pursuant to water use agreements and extraction licenses, without causing any significant impact on the environment. None of the regions of the Company’s production operations are classified as areas with water stress.

In 2020, the Gazprom Group companies withdrew (received) 3,236.63 mcm of water for water supply purposes, which is 17.5% less than in 2019. Gazprom Energoholding accounts for around 90% of the total annual water withdrawal. PJSC OGK-2, a subsidiary of Gazprom Energoholding, withdrew 23%, or over 650 mcm, less water in 2020 than a year ago as electric power generation reduced by 19%.

Gazprom Group’s water consumption structure by types of sources in 2017–2020, mcm
Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Water withdrawn and received, total 4,523.45 4,280.21 3,921.41 3,236.63
incl. from surface sources 4,103.56 3,911.53 3,484.33 2,824.11
incl. freshwater 4,254.29 4,037.82 3,533.93 2,863.36
non-freshwater 29.23 27.51 37.35 42.42
incl. from ground water sources 179.96 153.80 86.95 81.67
incl. freshwater 179.96 153.80 86.95 81.67
non-freshwater 0 0 0 0
incl. from public water supply utilities 145.84 133.79 143.11 137.96
incl. freshwater 145.84 133.79 143.11 137.96
non-freshwater 0 0 0 0
incl. from other water supply systems 94.09 81.09 207.02 192.89
incl. freshwater 94.09 81.09 207.02 192.89
non-freshwater 0 0 0 0

Natural sources account for 90% of the Group’s water withdrawal, with the shares of surface water bodies and underground water sources at 97.2% and 2.8%, respectively. The Group’s water consumption structure by types of sources depends upon specific features of production operations and locations of the facilities.

Gazprom Group’s natural source water consumption, 2017–2020, mcm
Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Water withdrawn and received, total 4,523.45 4,280.21 3,921.41 3,236.63
incl. from natural sources 4,283.52 4,065.34 3,571.28 2,905.78
incl. freshwater 4,254.29 4,037.82 3,533.93 2,863.36
non-freshwater 29.23 27.51 37.35 42.42

Gazprom Energoholding accounts for 90% of the Gazprom Group’s water consumption and 97% of its water discharges into surface water bodies, while the Group’s gas business accounts for a mere 1.8% of the latter (including 0.9% at PJSC Gazprom).

 

Gazprom Group’s water resources use indicators, 2017–2020, mcm
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Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Water used, total, including water used for: 4,421.11 4,180.89 3,863.11 3,175.81
household and drinking purposes 47.25 63.09 54.98 31.83
production purposes 4,164.84 3,947.36 3,678.12 3,008.63
other purposes 209.01 170.44 130.01 135.36

Water consumption for internal (production) needs was as follows:

  • 0.014 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the hydrocarbon production and exploration companies;
  • 0.206 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the processing companies;
  • 0.012 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the gas transportation companies.
Volume of water recirculated and reused at the Gazprom Group, 2017–2020, mcm
UNCTAD B.1.1
Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Volume of water recirculated and reused 12,006.85 11,063.73 11,409.12 11,071.61

In 2020, the share of recirculated water at the Gazprom Group was 342%.

Wastewater Disposal

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In 2020, the Gazprom Group’s wastewater disposal reduced by 19.1% to 2,742.73 mcm on lower withdrawal to ensure process water supply for cooling PJSC OGK-2’s power generating equipment.

For more details on the Gazprom Group’s 2017–2020 water discharge trends by destination, including breakdown by treatment method, see Appendix

In 2017–2020, the Gazprom Group reduced wastewater discharges into surface water bodies by 33%, with partially clean (untreated) water and water partially treated at purification plants accounting for 97% of its total discharges into surface water bodies.

Gazprom Group’s wastewater discharges into surface water bodies, 2017–2020, mcm
Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Water discharge, total, incl.: 4,141.40 3,871.11 3,389.63 2,742.73
Freshwater 4,118.99 3,849.78 3,359.87 2,713.76
Non-freshwater 22.41 21.33 29.76 35.97
Water discharge to surface water bodies, total, incl.: 3,905.26 3,637.11 3,212.03 2,574.81
Freshwater 3,882.85 3,637.11 3,212.03 2,574.81
Non-freshwater 22.41 21.33 29.76 35.97
Water discharge on land, total, incl.: 1.18 0.97 1.10 0.94
Freshwater 1.18 0.97 1.10 0.94
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to subterranean layers, total, incl.: 45.28 44.69 45.67 43.37
Freshwater 45.28 44.69 45.67 43.37
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to irrigation sewage fields 5.15 5.96 6.63 6.23
Freshwater 5.15 5.96 6.63 6.23
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to absorption fields 0.58 0.52 0.47 0.46
Freshwater 0.58 0.52 0.47 0.46
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to holding basins, total 0.99 0.57 0.45 0.43
Freshwater 0.99 0.57 0.45 0.43
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to public utilities 144.15 134.02 82.92 68.95
Freshwater 144.15 134.02 82.92 68.95
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water discharge to other systems 38.81 25.94 10.60 11.57
Freshwater 38.81 25.94 10.60 11.57
Non-freshwater 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Gazprom Group’s wastewater discharges into surface water bodies (by business line), 2017–2020, mcm
Company 2017 2018 2019 2020
Gazprom Group 3,905.26 3,658.44 3,241.79 2,610.78
Gas business companies 33.87 31.80 41.83 45.90
including PJSC Gazprom 10.74 9.78 18.89 23.08
Gazprom Neft Group(1) 0.12 0.11 0.09 0.07
Gazprom Energoholding 3,832.00 3,587.15 3,161.88 2,525.10
Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat 39.26 39.38 37.99 39.71
(1) Excluding Gazprom Neft Group’s foreign assets.

Polluted (untreated) and insufficiently treated wastewater discharges into surface water bodies were as follows:

  • 0.0000288 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the hydrocarbon production and exploration companies;
  • 0 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the processing companies;
  • 0.000562 m3 per ton of reference fuel for the gas transportation companies.

For more details on the formation water produced by the Gazprom Group, see Appendix

Land Preservation and Restoration

Geological exploration, drilling, hydrocarbon production, and the construction and use of pipelines and other facilities cause land disturbance and pollution. The Gazprom Group follows the required remediation and rehabilitation procedures to put the disturbed or polluted land back into economic use. The Gazprom Group companies use land in ways that ensure preservation and restoration of soils’ fertility and environmental functions.

In the reporting year, the Gazprom Group companies disturbed 23,850 hectares of land, 4% more than in 2019. The 2020 increase was mainly attributable to geological exploration and seismic surveys at PJSC Gazprom’s assets. In places where these activities had been completed, the lands were remediated, including those disturbed or polluted in previous years. The remediation covered a total of 15,840 hectares.

Gazprom takes comprehensive measures to enhance the reliability of pipeline systems, which has a positive impact on the preservation of soils and other components of the natural environment.

Land-related impacts are not an acute environmental issue for the Group, with remediation taking place as necessary and in due time.

Gazprom Group’s land protection performance, 2017–2020, hectares
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Indicator 2017 2018 2019 2020
Territory of lands disturbed during the year 42,162.29 25,786.97 22,885.37 23,837.88
incl. polluted lands 87.33 111.26 73.16 79.41
Disturbed lands remediated during the year 19,600.05 15,767.52 17,670.50 15,836.39
incl. polluted lands 89.10 96.13 65.69 65.77

For more details on the restoration of disturbed and polluted lands, see PJSC Gazprom Environmental Report 2020

Reducing Air Pollutant Emissions

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In 2020, gross pollutant emissions from stationary sources of the Gazprom Group companies amounted to 2,445,660 tons, which is 14.6% lower than in 2019.

The structure of the Group’s emissions is determined by the specifics of the production activities of PJSC Gazprom and other gas business companies. The main pollutants in Gazprom’s gross emissions are hydrocarbons (including methane), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. Solid emissions come mostly from Gazprom’s energy segment, while volatile organic compounds are commonly associated with the Gazprom Neft Group and gas business companies.

Component structure of air emissions across the Gazprom Group in 2020, thousand tons, %

Sulphur dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions decreased the most because of natural gas replacing coal in the fuel mix of Gazprom Energoholding’s generating facilities, lower volumes of gas transported, and initiatives related to gas saving (employing mobile compressor stations during maintenance works at trunklines, using distribution stations to deliver gas to consumers, blowing natural gas from the section under repairs into an active pipeline, and using gas from a compressor shop’s process pipelines for internal needs).

Pollutant emissions amounted to:

  • 0.312 kg per ton of reference fuel for the hydrocarbon production and exploration companies;
  • 2.391 kg per ton of reference fuel for the processing companies;
  • 1.851 kg per ton of reference fuel for the gas transportation companies.

For more details on pollutant emissions, see PJSC Gazprom Environmental Report 2020

Yulia Chizhova

Head of Environmental Unit at Operations Directorate, PJSC OGK-2; managed the successful implementation of projects to restore bioresources (fish stocking in the Kan River) and eliminate accumulated environmental damage across the company’s areas of operation (remediating lands and industrial waste landfills, minimizing bottom ash waste generation and dumping).

Waste Handling

Waste Handling

92.4 %

of the Gazprom Group’s production waste are low-hazard and virtually non-hazardous waste

22 %

waste reduction by the Gazprom Group in 2017–2020

> 500

measures taken in 2020 to protect the environment from production and consumption waste

Waste Reduction

Document governing waste handling activities:

Master Plan for Production and Consumption Waste Management at PJSC Gazprom’s Facilities in Various Regions of Russia.

For more details on the Master Plan for Production and Consumption Waste Management see the Waste Reduction subsection at Gazprom Group’s Sustainability Report 2019

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The Company has been adopting the latest production practices related to the best available and innovative technologies aimed at minimizing waste generation and burial and increasing the share of waste sent for recycling.

Protecting the environment from adverse drilling waste effects is a key well construction requirement. During the pre-development of fields, this is achieved by actively implementing design solutions to minimize the impact of drilling operations on ecosystems. The Group develops and uses low-toxic drilling muds and the pit-free drilling method for the construction of wells. The drilling waste recycling technologies that produce mineral construction materials for general construction works in the course of field pre-development are increasingly being used.

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At the Gazprom Group, most of the waste is bottom ash waste of Gazprom Energoholding (solid coal combustion products generated by TPPs), as well as drilling waste and oil sludge mainly generated by oil and gas production and processing facilities.

Gazprom Group’s waste production by type, 2020, %
Gazprom Group companies’ share in waste production, 2020, %

The majority of waste belongs to the low-hazard and almost non-hazardous categories. Beyond the use of production facilities, waste generation is also driven by construction and repairs.

In accordance with the Environmental Policy, PJSC Gazprom assesses risks while planning its activities or implementing its investment projects and controls the activities of contractor companies, including waste handling. In 2020, over 948,800 tons of waste was generated by contractor companies involved in capital construction (investment) projects, with 75% recycled or neutralized.

During the procurement stage, bidders are checked for availability of documents certifying their environmental compliance (including licenses for handling every type of waste) and the equipment and technical infrastructure for handling the Group’s waste. Every contract sets out compliance obligations, including those related to the Environmental Policy of PJSC Gazprom. The Company’s Environmental Inspectorate is among those who regularly monitor the handling of waste produced by contractor companies at the Group’s construction sites.

The EMS of PJSC Gazprom sets the 2020–2022 target for reducing the share of buried waste versus the 2018 baseline level (38.28%). In 2020, this share was 23.06 p.p. below the baseline.

All Group companies have implemented sorting procedures for waste of Hazard Classes I–V, which helps reduce the share of dumping. Waste that may not be buried is handed over for recycling or neutralization.

To reduce the share of waste sent for burial, the Group optimizes its waste treatment activities, adapting them to regional specifics, and leverages the best available technologies in waste disposal and neutralization.

For the block diagram of waste handling at the Gazprom Group, see Appendix

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In 2020, the Gazprom Group companies produced 3,229,830 tons of waste, which is 3.2% less than in 2019, as Gazprom Energoholding replaced coal with natural gas in its fuel mix, thus reducing the generation of Hazard Class V bottom ash waste by 20%.

The reporting year saw the share of recycled and neutralized waste at the Group increase to 0.61 t/t from 0.56 t/t in 2019.Bottom ash waste of Hazard Class V not included in the Group’s waste generation and handling volumes.

Gazprom Group companies’ waste production, 2017–2020, thousand tons

Under the legislation of the Russian Federation, all waste across the Gazprom Group is classified as hazardous (Hazard Classes I–V).

Gazprom Group companies’ waste production by hazard class, 2017–2020, thousand tons
2017 2018 2019 2020
Total waste generated in the reporting period 4,130.29 3,555.09 3,337.08 3,229.83
Hazardous waste, including: 1,389.93 1,286.29 1,448.87 1,755.71
Hazard Class I 0.27 0.21 0.24 0.23
Hazard Class II 0.75 0.78 0.83 0.79
Hazard Class III 94.26 84.82 154.59 244.36
Hazard Class IV 1,294.65 1,200.48 1,293.21 1,510.33
Almost non-hazardous waste (Class V) 2,740.36 2,268.8 1,888.21 1,474.12

For more details on production and consumption waste neutralization and disposal by the Gazprom Group, see Appendix

For more details on production and consumption waste management at the Gazprom Group, see Appendix

According to the environmental hazard classification, the bulk of the Gazprom Group’s waste belongs to class IV (low-hazard) or class V (almost non-hazardous) and is typically either recycled or handed over for safe placement. These two classes account for 47% and 46%, respectively, of the total waste generated by the Group.

Class I and II waste is handed over for neutralization or recycling. Its share is 0.03%.

Class III is represented, inter alia, by some of the oil-contaminated waste (that with a share of petroleum products greater than 15%).

Oil-Contaminated Waste

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Oil-contaminated waste accounts for nearly 9.5% of the total waste generated by the Group and is handed over for neutralization or recycling.

Handling of oil-contaminated waste at the Gazprom Group, 2020, %

Nikita Pershin

Chief Offshore Inspector, PJSC Gazprom; has actively contributed to the development of measures for protecting wildlife and marine biodiversity on the continental shelf, as well as to the provision of accident-free operation of marine machinery and equipment and enhancement of the respective regulatory environment.

Biodiversity Support

Drilling Waste

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In 2020, a total of 1,354,900 tons of drilling waste (including 241,900 tons present at the beginning of the year, 1,106,200 tons generated and 6,800 tons received from other entities) were in circulation; of this total volume, 74.7% (1,013,100 tons) of waste was recycled at the facility or handed over to specialized licensed organizations for recycling and neutralization.

Handling of drilling waste at the Gazprom Group, 2020, %

For more details on drilling waste generation and management at the Gazprom Group in 2017–2020, see Appendix

Biodiversity Support

RUB 507.29 million

was allocated by the Gazprom Group for the preservation of biodiversity, protection of designated natural areas, as well as protection and replacement of fish reserves in 2020

34.8 million fish

were released into water bodies in 2020

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The Gazprom Group companies greatly contribute to international, Russian and local programs on plant and animal life protection in their regions of operation. Strict compliance with environmental laws and standards, care for the environment, and prevention of damage to marine and terrestrial ecosystems are all preconditions for the projects of Gazprom.

The Group seeks to minimise any and all adverse impacts by:

  • applying modern technological solutions to mitigate the environmental impacts of its production operations;
  • performing continuous environmental monitoring;
  • implementing biodiversity preservation programs both across the Group companies’ footprint and in other Russian regions.

Bird and terrestrial wildlife protection activities include:

  • suspending construction works during the spring nesting season;
  • establishing buffer zones where operations and movement of vehicles are prohibited for the duration of the nesting season for birds of prey and the period when their nestlings begin flying (zones of this kind are also used during repair works at the facilities);
  • setting helicopter routes so as to avoid any harm to nesting sites;
  • implementing bioengineering initiatives, including artificial roost sites and nesting tree protection measures;
  • installing special bird protection devices on power transmission lines;
  • having suspension insulators equipped with polymeric covers and their cross-arms grounded;
  • arranging special passages crossing linear structures not to hinder reindeer migration.

To avoid disturbance to the well-being of river and sea inhabitants, the water intake facilities of the Gazprom Group companies are equipped with fish protection devices. To preserve protected animal species and perform works safely, the Company takes a set of measures, such as the setting of corridors and speed restriction for marine vessels, determination of safe distances from marine mammals to be observed, and obligatory presence of observers onboard to mitigate the risk of possible collision.

To track biodiversity preservation efforts and assess their efficiency, the current monitoring results are compared against the data obtained in previous years, as well as against the values of the same type observed in the control area which is not affected by the production facilities.

To achieve strategic objectives and targetsSet by Decree No. 204 (Section 7) of the President of the Russian Federation dated May 7, 2018. and ensure biodiversity preservation during the development of oil and gas fields at the Arctic continental shelf of the Russian Federation, at inland sea waters, in the territorial waters, and contiguous zone of the Russian Federation, PJSC Gazprom annually submits data on the implementation of programs for the preservation of biodiversity in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation to the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources. The programs are designed to boost the efficiency of biodiversity preservation in areas affected by geological prospecting, exploration and production of oil and gas, construction or placement of facilities required for the development of offshore fields or other infrastructure of offshore fields, as well as transportation of hydrocarbons.

PJSC Gazprom subsidiaries provide financing to the projects implemented in the Arctic in collaboration with the Russian Geographic Society, including the monitoring of island ecosystems and the preservation of populations of rare marine mammal species and the polar bear within the designated conservation areas in the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea.

Gazprom is implementing the Biodiversity Preservation Program Based on the List of Flora and Fauna Species Being Indicators of Marine Ecosystems Stability in the Arctic Zone of the Russian FederationDeveloped in furtherance of the Order of the President of the Russian Federation following a meeting on effective and safe exploration of the Arctic on June 5, 2014.. The Program contains PJSC Gazprom’s biodiversity preservation strategy and Actions plans to be carried out in the course of the Gazprom Group’s projects implementation at the Arctic continental shelf of the Russian Federation, at inland sea waters, in the territorial waters, and contiguous zone of the Russian Federation.

The Program was developed with the participation of leading research and scientific institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Arctic National Park Federal State Budgetary Institution, and Marine Mammal Council Regional Public Organization.

The reporting year saw the following fieldwork performed in the Arctic zone:

  • ichthyological research, observations of marine mammals, bird fauna studies in the Kara and Barents seas;
  • sampling of various aquatic bioresources with the necessary repeatability and from different horizons in the Gulf of Ob (phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos, ichthyoplankton), compiling of an account of the species composition and population numbers of the fauna (mammals, birds) living near Arctic terminal facilities on the Novoportovskoye field in the Cape Kamenny area, as well as in the area of the main oil transportation routes;
  • coastal bird studies, hydrobiological works, studies of phytoplankton, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton and benthos;
  • ichthyological research, Atlantic walrus studies in the area of the Prirazlomnoye license block, offshore areas near the Matveyev, Golets, and Dolgy islands of the Nenets State Nature Reserve, as well as Vaygach Island (Lyamchina Bay).

The research and monitoring did not identify any significant changes in the ecosystems and confirmed that the Company’s operations bear no negative impact on the Arctic biodiversity.

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Nordmann’s greenshank is one of the rarest and least studied bird species in the world whose population is exceptionally small. It is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (Russia, Sakhalin Region). Gazprom Dobycha Shelf Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk LLC conducted research that yielded information on the state of the Nordmann’s greenshank population, its habitats, feeding and nesting grounds in the areas near the mouths of the Orkunyi, Chyornaya, Nabil and Vazi rivers, as well as on a number of limiting factors that affect the Sakhalin population of the bird.

Impact on Designated Conservation Areas

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The Gazprom Group’s facilities are located, inter alia, in or near environmentally vulnerable and designated conservation areas (DCAs). In particular, these include:

  • Anyuysky, Kislovodsky, Losiny Ostrov, Meshchersky, Nechkinsky, Orlovskoye Polesye, Pleshcheevo Ozero, Pripyshminskiye Bory, Sochinsky, Ugra, Khvalynsky, Yugyd Va national parks;
  • Klyazminsky, Nadymsky, Priazovsky, Ryazansky, Saratovsky, Severo-Osetinsky, Kurgalsky, Utrish state nature reserves and federal reservations;
  • some regional DCAs.

The Gazprom Group’s OECM programs include environmental monitoring of designated conservation areas or sites with a special environmental status located on the territories potentially affected by the Group’s entities.

To track biodiversity preservation efforts and assess their efficiency, the current monitoring results are compared against the data obtained in previous years, as well as against the values of the same type observed in the control area which is not affected by the production facilities.

The Group performs its activities in DCAs in full compliance with the national environmental protection legislation and land use terms and conditions specified for a relevant DCA.

GRI 304-2

The reporting year saw no significant direct or indirect impact of the Group entities’ operations on vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity.