The first guest lecture by Maksim Remchukov, Director of Sustainable Development at Sibur — a GSOM SPbU partner company — took place at the Graduate School of Management of Saint Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) on April 5, 2023. He spoke about how ESG principles are implemented in a Russian gas processing and petrochemical company, what role belongs to the transition to a closed-loop production system, how investors evaluate the ecological risks and whether this agenda is relevant for the Russian market.
Sibur today is the largest vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemical company in Russia. The majority of its assets is situated in Russia, so current solutions on the company's sustainable development and adoption of ESG principles are implemented in close cooperation with the regions the company operates in and with due regard to their priorities.
Maksim Remchukov notes that Sibur, in the framework of ESG agenda, pays special attention to social issues, including those of diversity and inclusion (and implementation of these practices into the company's everyday activities), decrease of ecological and climatic impact, as well as the development of closed-loop economy processes — creation of new products from reusable resources. Maksim Remchukov believes that the development of closed-loop economy processes is one of the most important vectors of the company's ESG strategy.
He specifically mentioned that despite last year's changes, all global trends of the petrochemical industry are reflected in the activities of Sibur. Among these trends there are environmental law enforcement; sustainable development; growing demand for recycling; an important factor of decision making related to investments is absence of ecological risks; the attention of consumers to ecological characteristics of products; transition from linear production to closed-loop economy and a trend towards the development of green industries". Sibur's values also reflect ESG principles: they involve the importance of the team, mutual respect, partnership, search for innovative solutions and technologies, and safety.
According to the speaker, to reach the necessary ESG goals, it is important not to forget about the needs of the customers and quality of the product. Reduction of emissions and environmental impact are also among the key issues on the company's agenda. Sibur develops and implements such production processes that would gradually decrease its environmental impact, allow the company to spend less natural resources and use polymer waste in the cycle. Maksim Remchukov noted that despite Russian petrochemical companies have been excluded from the global investment process, and environmental goals are not so important for the Asian market yet, achieving these goals remains an important objective for Sibur. This allows it to maintain a favorable environment in the regions where the company operates and may become a significant competitive advantage in the market in the medium term.
The lecture was organized in hybrid format. The audience was curious to know about technology import substitution, innovations used by the company, development of Asian markets from the point of view of climate goals and collaborations with ecological companies.