Business Ethics and Anti-Corruption

Nornickel is committed to conducting business in a transparent, honest and ethical manner. This approach is not only beneficial in building trust-based relationships with investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders, but is also instrumental in improving social and economic conditions for the Company.

Nornickel sets the bar high for its employees and partners with respect to integrity and responsible business conduct, and has zero tolerance to any form of corruption at all levels. With an anti-corruption and compliance framework in place, the Company works to eliminate any and all unethical and corrupt practices.

Anti-corruption practices: allocation of responsibility GRI 2–9, 2–12, 2–13

Guided by the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Nornickel also ensures compliance with Federal Law No. 273-FZ On Combating Corruption dated 25 December 2008.

Nornickel’s Anti-Corruption Policy is the key internal document that governs the anti-corruption and corruption risk management efforts in the Company. The policy seeks to ensure compliance with anti-corruption laws, as well as to prevent, identify and eliminate causes of corruption. The document applies to both Company employees and third parties, including foreign public officials and officials of public international organisations. The respective anti-corruption responsibilities are stipulated in agreements made with contractors or are expressly provided for by the applicable laws.

Nornickel Group’s Russian business units adopt and implement their own anti-corruption regulations in line with the Company’s anti-corruption policy. We also do our best to ensure our foreign operations comply with the key anti-corruption principles and requirements.

Key anti-corruption regulations

Our principles of business and ethical conduct are articulated in the Business Ethics Code that applies to the employees of all levels performing their job duties.

In 2014, Nornickel joined the Anti-Corruption Charter of the Russian Business. Once every two years, we submit a declaration to prove our compliance with anti-corruption requirements as prescribed by the Anti-Corruption Charter of the Russian Business. Our anti-corruption initiatives are regularly covered in corporate press releases.

Every year, we take part in the Russian Business Anti-Corruption Rating compiled by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Following a comprehensive independent assessment in 2022, the Company received the highest A1 rating class. This is a proof of how much effort the Company’s management invests in improving the anti-corruption system.

Preventing and fighting corruption GRI 205–3, SASB EM-MM-510a.1

The key initiatives designed to develop and improve the anti-corruption compliance system in 2022 included:

  • approving a uniform approach to the adoption of anti-corruption regulations and control mechanisms across the Group;
  • conducting a training campaign on the basics of anti-corruption compliance for the Group’s employees responsible for relevant practices;
  • revising and updating the Company’s anti-corruption regulatory and procedural guidelines.

In addition, the Company runs a wide range of internal initiatives on an annual basis.

Focus areas

As regards the previously identified cases that involved Nornickel Group employees, court judgements were passed in 2022. Nornickel took disciplinary action in the form of dismissal against these employees in strict compliance with the law. Following convictions under these accusations, the Company conducted mandatory preventive talks with the staff on the unacceptability of law violations and zero tolerance for any unlawful acts, including corruption. The topics also cover the Business Ethics Code and the inevitability of penalty for any crimesFor more details, please see Nornickel’s 2021 Sustainability Report..

Prevention efforts enable Nornickel to take adequate and timely action not just in identifying the wrongdoings, but also in avoiding them, which is one of the main goals of the Company’s responsible units.

In addition, to further boost efficiency and improve anti-corruption performance, the employees of the Anti-Corruption Compliance Department at the Head Office are annually assigned individual performance indicators.

Corruption risk management GRI 205–1

The Company performs an annual analysis of existing anti-corruption risks and ensures that business processes are monitored on a quarterly basis. The key risk areas are reviewed and the existing corruption risk map is updated as necessary. The Company identifies a number of key risks associated with the occurrence or possible occurrence of anti-corruption violations in its interactions with contractors, employees and government officials. Other sensitive areas include procurement, business gifts and hospitality expenses, charity projects, as well as the recruitment and hiring processes.

Nornickel aims to exclude any compliance risks, including contractor-related ones. To this end, Nornickel’s Security Service performs a contractor due diligence review to identify corruption incidents or involvement in any corruption incidents, inclusion in the register of fraudulent suppliers and pending administrative proceedings. In case of negative findings, the Corporate Relations Department assesses the risk of relations with the contractor in question and recommends mitigants if applicable.

Regardless of the outcomes, the Company signs a standard master agreement containing an anti-corruption clause with all selected suppliers and contractors.

Anti-corruption monitoring

In 2022, we implemented an anti-corruption monitoring initiative to see how anti-corruption procedures are actually being put into practice across the Group. At the beginning of 2023, 91% of Russian business units of Nornickel Group adopted the key anti-corruption regulations and procedures. The Company continues to integrate anti-corruption procedures across the Group, including the newly created companies.

In 2022, to check compliance with Federal Law On Combating Corruption, we organised a random check across the Group’s branches and Russian business units to look into procedures of entering into employment and contractor agreements with former government officials.

Following a previous internal audit into the efficiency of anti-corruption controls, the Group updated its anti-corruption regulatory and procedural guidelines while also eliminating the flaws in, and tightening control over preventive procedures.

Anti-corruption training GRI 205–2

Nornickel provides regular training to its employees to raise awareness on anti-corruption practices. All new hires receive an induction briefing in this area. When recruited, they also need to familiarise themselves with the corporate Anti-Corruption Policy and sign an addendum to their employment contract that sets out anti-corruption responsibilities.

There is an online anti-corruption course taken by all employees and a dedicated course on compliance with anti-corruption laws for our HR function. The new approach to raising personnel awareness of anti-corruption procedures resulted in stronger employee training indicators in 2022. In addition, there was a major three-day training session for employees responsible for implementing anti-corruption procedures.

Educating and training employees on Nornickel’s anti-corruption policies and practices in 2022, by region
Indicator Norilsk Industrial District Krasnoyarsk Territory (excluding the Norilsk Industrial District) Murmansk Region Moscow and other regions of Russia Trans-Baikal Territory Total
Number of employees made aware of the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices 54,837 3,429 12,375 7,999 2,852 81,492
Share of employees made aware of the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices, % 100 100 100 100 100 100
Number of employees trained on the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices 22,975 821 3,995 3,133 101 31,025
Share of employees trained on the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices, % 42 24 32 39 4 38
Educating and training employees on Nornickel’s anti-corruption policies and practices in 2022, by category
KPI Managers White-collar employees Blue-collar employees Total
Number of employees made aware of the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices 12,868 18,170 50,454 81,492
Share of employees made aware of the Group’s anti-corruption policies and practices, % 100 100 100 100
Number of employees trained on the Group's anti-corruption policies and practices 4,246 6,399 20,380 31,025
Share of employees trained on the Group's anti-corruption policies and practices, % 33 35 40 38

Managing conflicts of interest

The Company pays special attention to timely identification and prevention of conflicts of interest. With the Regulations on the Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest at MMC Norilsk Nickel in place, the Company seeks to prevent and minimise the risk of employees’ personal interests influencing the business decision-making process. In addition, the Company approved the standard declaration form for reporting conflicts of interest, to be filled in by candidates applying for vacant positions and by individuals acting as independent contractors. There are also permanent Conflict of Interest Commissions working to ensure compliance with the principles of legality and improve corporate culture.

In 2022, we established a conflict of interest reporting process for the employees of Russian business units hired before the Regulations on the Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest came into effect.

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing initiatives

For the purposes of anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing / prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (AML/CFT/CPF), the Company has put in place internal controls in strict compliance with Russian laws and its own by-laws:

  • Federal Law No. 115-FZ On Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism dated 7 August 2001;
  • MMC Norilsk Nickel Internal Control Rules on Combating Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

In 2022, the Internal Control Rules were updated to reflect Federal Law amendments.

The key principle of internal control for AML/CFT/CPF purposes is the risk-based approach that covers:

  • customer identification and due diligence;
  • assessing the risk of suspicious transactions made by customers; assigning a risk group;
  • taking measures to mitigate the AML/CFT/CPF risks and their potential effects, among other things, by engaging all employees, within their competences, in identifying risk criteria for suspicious transactions;
  • systematic employee training.

Other AML/CFT/CPF efforts include due diligence of customers prior to entering into contracts, identification of beneficial owners, analysis of customers’ business reputation and other reasonable and available measures depending on the risk exposure.