Russian Railways spent more than 8.5 billion roubles on environmental protection in 2018. This figure was announced at a meeting of the Central Commission for Environmental Protection at Russian Railways, which was held at the Company’s headquarters under the Chairmanship of Sergey Kobzev, the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Engineer of Russian Railways.
“Within our internal policy, the environment has been and will certainly remain one of the most important components of our work at the Company’s engineering unit,” said Kobzev.
According to the Deputy Managing Director, the priority areas for Russian Railways are to reduce the negative impact of technological activity on the environment, introduce modern resource-saving technologies, and create a system for efficient waste management.
In 2018, the Company reduced its emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources by 5% compared with 2017, cut discharges of polluted wastewater into surface water bodies by 10% and commissioned 22 heat supply facilities using energy-saving technologies and 9 wastewater treatment plants and equipment etc.
The Company also adopted an Environmental Strategy aimed at achieving the government’s policy goals and objectives in the field of environmental development. A resource-saving programme is also being implemented. Every year, Russian Railways recycles over 70% of industrial wastes, including scrap metal, reinforced concrete waste, ash, slag, paper, cardboard and lubricants etc.
Since 2014, Russian Railways has been pursuing greater environmental and social responsibility by voluntarily adopting a programme for the selective collection of solid waste at all its buildings and railway stations. This work is aimed at extracting valuable secondary raw materials, reducing the flow of waste entering the disposal facilities and streamlining the collection of waste in the Holding’s structural units.
The meeting identified the Company’s main objectives with regard to the environmental in 2019, which include the elimination of untreated wastewater discharges and an increase in the proportion of waste involved in secondary recycling. Wood waste, for example, can be used to produce fuel pellets and building materials and plastic is useful in the production of coatings, films, sheeting, accessories, paving slabs, containers and packaging. Oil sludge, ash and slag can be used in road construction.