Nordgold CEO Nikolai Zelenski participates in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021
London, United Kingdom, 3 June 2021 — Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nord Gold plc (“Nordgold” or the “Company”), the internationally diversified gold producer, today participated as a panellist in a roundtable event at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPEIF ’21) entitled “Responsible Finance as a Point of Synergy for Issuers and Investors when tapping International Capital Markets”.
The panel, moderated by Jean-Claude Knebeler, Head of Sustainable Development Department at the International and Comparative Law Research Center (ICLRC), explored the extent to which ESG principles are forming a key component of investments projects, in the context of the transformation of the global economy to a low carbon model, a process that will require substantial funding estimated at US$ 120 trillion.
With regards the obstacles facing the resources sector when considering entering the international capital markets, Mr Zelenski noted that as a responsible forward-thinking miner, he welcomed the increased scrutiny from investors on ESG performance as it is vital both Nordgold and the wider industry, to operate in a way that limits their impact on the environment, while ensuring they leave a positive legacy for all stakeholders in their host countries. He stressed that Nordgold has a strong record in ESG and developing a detailed programme of achieving ambitious ESG targets in the future.
However, he noted that a lack of standardisation and agreed KPIs with regards to specific ESG metrics, including methodology of their calculation, is a challenge for businesses who want to meet best practice but are not clear which metrics they should be measured against. Standardisation of metrics is important if, as Mr Zelenski believes, ESG performance forms a core element of Directors’ remuneration, as it will improve transparency.
Mr Zelenski also noted that though the challenge of addressing climate change is absolutely key, and Nordgold has itself committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement, it is important that social factors and governance are given equal prominence when measuring a company’s overall ESG performance.
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Nordgold is an internationally diversified one million ounce gold producer with about 7,800 people operating a portfolio of nine mines (in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia and Kazakhstan) and a number of development and exploration projects in West Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. Since its foundation in 2007, Nordgold has established a global reputation as a leading developer of tier one gold mining assets with a proven commitment to community engagement, sustainability, efficiency and operating in an environmentally responsible manner.