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12,000 volunteers take part in the key event of the 360 Minutes eco-marathon organized by En+ Group

As part of the key event of the 360 Minutes eco-marathon organized by En+ Group, on September 10, 12,000 volunteers took part in a clean-up on the shores of Lake Baikal and in environmental improvements in the Khakassky, Stolby and Baikal Nature Reserves. Within one day, they collected and sent to recycling facilities the amount of garbage equivalent to the combined capacity of 114 KAMAZ trucks. In October, the next stage of the marathon will take place in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve; it will involve dealing with the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.

On September 10, a large-scale environmental campaign took place as part of the 360 Minutes National Volunteer Eco-Marathon organized by En+ Group. This is the 20th environmental campaign to be conducted since June of this year. These events have covered five regions of Russia: the Republics of Khakassia and Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk and Primorsky Territories. The 360 Minutes program has been implemented for the sixth year in a row by En+ Group, a leading Russian industrial group comprising companies in the energy, mining and metals sectors. This year, the program is supported by the Volnoe Delo Foundation of Oleg Deripaska and the Strana Zapovednaya National Foundation.

Within one day, 12,000 volunteers collected 27,000 100-liter bags of garbage and transported it to recycling facilities. This amount is equivalent to the combined capacity of 114 KAMAZ trucks. In the process, the volunteers took a total of 360 million steps and covered a distance equal to 4.5 times the circumference of the Earth (as shown by the pedometers handed out to the volunteers who participated in the campaign that day).

On the shores of Lake Baikal, the clean-up was conducted at 117 sites. They had been selected by specialists from SOVZOND following an analysis of satellite photographs of the lake shores. In addition, as part of the campaign on September 10, volunteers removed garbage from the banks of 28 rivers connected with Lake Baikal, including the banks of the Angara River within the boundaries of Irkutsk. Near the village of Tankhoy, construction waste was removed from a waste dump using special equipment and vehicles. Unexpected finds discovered on river banks included a kettle, a tape recorder, gearwheels, a refrigerator, a cooker, porcelain insulators for power transmission lines and a large amount of scrap metal.

In the Stolby Nature Reserve (Krasnoyarsk Territory), volunteers not only removed garbage but also fenced off anthills and removed graffiti written on rocks by vandals. Graffiti was removed from rock surface with an area of over 14 sq. m.

In the Khakassky Nature Reserve (Republic of Khakassia), garbage was removed from the shores of Lakes Itkul and Orlovka and the right bank of the Abakan River in the town of Abaza. The criteria for the selection of the sites to be cleaned up included their popularity and, consequently, a large amount of garbage left by tourists. At one of the clean-up sites, volunteers collected 600 100-liter bags of garbage on an area of several square meters; at another site, an illegal construction waste dump was eliminated.

As a rule, volunteers participating in the 360 Minutes campaigns include primarily residents of the cities, towns and villages near which the environmental campaigns are conducted. But in 2016, participants of the campaign on Lake Baikal also included the best corporate volunteers from nine regions of Russia. 14 major Russian companies, including the Boguchanskaya HPP, Eldorado, Norilsk Nickel, Nestle Russia, MTS, RUSAL, etc., sent their employees participating in corporate volunteer programs to take part in the 360 Minute campaign as a form of reward.

Participants of the campaign also included specialists from Ilim Group, who held a workshop on firefighting and reminded the participants of the campaign about the fire safety rules to be followed outdoors. Employees of RM-Terex also joined the campaign; in addition, the company provided its special equipment and vehicles, which helped the volunteers to cope with the large amounts of garbage.

A contribution to the clean-up campaign was also made by robots specially built for the 360 Minutes program by young engineers from Irkutsk participating in the program titled "Robotics: Engineering and Technical Specialists in Innovative Russia", which is implemented by En+ Group in partnership with the Volnoe Delo Foundation of Oleg Deripaska. The Siberian Beast team from Irkutsk Power Engineering College designed a garbage collection robot with a trailer. The team of the lyceum affiliated with Irkutsk State University built a flying environmental robot. Robotics engineers from the third team, T.REX, representing school No. 80 in Irkutsk designed a system for remote monitoring and removal of both small and large items of garbage. The system comprises a reconnaissance quadcopter and a garbage removal robot on wheels.

Overall, 16,000 volunteers took part in 20 events forming part of the eco-marathon organized by En+ Group this year. During this time, they collected 30,000 100-liter bags of garbage and sent it to recycling facilities. In addition, during a trip in June volunteers removed 2 km of nets left behind by poachers from Lake Baikal. As part of the eco-marathon, in the Sikhote-Alin (Primorsky Territory), Stolby (Krasnoyarsk Territory), Khakassky (Republic of Khakassia) and Baikal (Republic of Buryatia) Nature Reserves, tourist infrastructure and several kilometers of nature trails were renovated; graffiti covering dozens of square meters of rock surface was removed; several tons of construction waste was removed, and hundreds of trees were planted.

Campaigns forming part of the eco-marathon were conducted at 126 sites in five regions of Russia: on the shores of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Region and the Republic of Buryatia and in conservation areas in the nature reserves. In the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, the key event was not held on September 10. It was postponed until October due to unfavorable weather conditions. In October, measures will be taken to restore the infrastructure of the nature reserve hit by a natural disaster.

The 360 Minutes National Volunteer Ecological Marathon has evolved from a campaign titled "360 Minutes for Baikal". This series of environmental events held in summer and followed by the key large-scale campaign in early September has been organized by En+ Group for the sixth year in a row.

Last year, the campaign evolved into a full-fledged eco-marathon which includes not only garbage collection but also improvement of tourist infrastructure, educational lectures, guided tours, contests, as well as educational and awareness-raising programs.

The 2016 eco-marathon is held in the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the creation of a system of nature reserves in Russia. Volunteer events forming part of the 360 Minutes program covered not only the shores of Lake Baikal, but also conservation areas: the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve (Primorsky Territory), the Stolby (Krasnoyarsk Territory) and Khakassky (Republic of Khakassia) Nature Reserves.

The eco-marathon is organized in partnership with the Volnoe Delo Foundation of Oleg Deripaska, the Strana Zapovednaya National Foundation and the Great Baikal Trail interregional non-profit group.

Regional partners of the campaign include the Baikal, Khakassky, Stolby and Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserves.

Elena Vishnyakova, Director of Public Relations of En+ Group:

"En+ Group seeks to preserve the unique environment and biodiversity of Eastern Siberia and the Far East. These are the Group's core regions of operation. Six years ago, we held the first environmental campaign, 360 Minutes for Baikal, which has evolved into a nationwide eco-marathon, which comprises more events, covers new territories and attracts a large number of volunteers.

"During the six years, we have never set ourselves a goal of removing all garbage from the shores of Baikal or elsewhere. This is impossible to achieve during several dozens of six-hour events. The path to achieving our goal is somewhat longer, but it is effective: we promote environmental awareness and seek to prevent a negligent attitude to the environment. We aim to instill responsibility through volunteerism. This year's experience has shown that a trip taken as an environmental volunteer can be a reward and an incentive for corporate volunteers. We publish an online map of waste sites to enable the residents of the region and other concerned people to initiate a clean-up campaign on their own. As the number of new sites is increasing, new areas of work have appeared. There is less garbage in nature reserves, but they require assistance of a different kind. We seek to meet their needs and organize the work of volunteers in a form that is relevant to a specific site."

Maria Gracheva, Head of Sustainable Development of En+ Group:

"2017 will be the Year of Conservation Areas and Nature Reserves in Russia. In this connection, we have decided to cooperate with the Strana Zapovednaya and Volnoe Delo Foundations in developing a program that can be included in the official action plan of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. One of its components is the development of the 360 Minutes volunteer movement in conservation areas. This year, we have started with four areas: the Sikhote-Alin, Stolby and Khakassky Nature Reserves and our long-standing partner, the Baikal Nature Reserve. This year, we have mastered the process of covering new areas. In 2017, we aim to conduct a clean-up campaign and improvements in 10 regions of Russia."

Vasily Sutula, Director of the Baikal Nature Reserve:

"Involvement of businesses in tackling social and environmental problems is a good international practice. Our nature reserve has been cooperating with En+ Group on the 360 Minutes eco-marathon for the fifth consecutive year. A special feature of this partnership is active involvement in efforts aimed at preserving Lake Baikal. Volunteers participating in the 360 Minutes campaign are highly motivated people. It is obvious that they genuinely want to make a difference. On a practical level, the impact of the campaign consists not only in volunteers removing garbage from the shores of Baikal but also in the fact that the amount of garbage is decreasing year on year."

Viktor Nepomnyaschikh, Director of the Khakassky Nature Reserve:

"This year, we have joined the 360 Minutes National Eco-Marathon for the first time. We believe that this will promote the development of the volunteer movement in the Republic. Conservation areas are model natural sites, but only a short distance away from them the situation is completely different. The main goal is to remove and recycle household and construction waste. These efforts help not only to clean up a certain site but also to make people aware of the role of each individual in the protection and preservation of the environment."

Vyacheslav Scherbakov, Director of the Stolby Nature Reserve:

"During the summer, we conducted several volunteer campaigns in our nature reserve. Volunteers collected garbage, removed graffiti from rocks, fenced off anthills and signposted trails. About 3,000 people took part in these campaigns. These are not only the residents of Krasnoyarsk, but also visitors, both adults and children. We would like to thank all volunteers who participated in these events. You have contributed greatly to preserving this unique natural site. I believe that the 360 Minutes National Volunteer Eco-Marathon organized by En+ Group is a great way to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the creation of Russia's system of nature reserves, which we will all celebrate next year."

Press service of En+ Group

 

About En+ Group

En+ Group (www.enplus.ru) is a leading Russian industrial group comprising companies in the metals, mining and energy sectors, as well as strategically related industries. En+ Group holds a controlling stake in UC RUSAL, the world's largest aluminum producer; it also owns Russia's largest independent power company, EuroSibEnergo, and SMR, a producer of ferromolybdenum, as well as large coal deposits and logistics business. The core assets and new projects of En+ Group are located in Eastern Siberia.

The company actively cooperates with established Russian and international environmental organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Strana Zapovednaya National Foundation and non-profit partnerships: the Great Baikal Trail and Let's Protect Baikal Together.

About the Volnoe Delo Foundation of Oleg Deripaska

The Volnoe Delo Foundation of Oleg Deripaska (www.volnoe-delo.ru) is one of the largest charitable foundations in Russia. It was established by Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Basic Element, in 1998. The Foundation supports a wide range of initiatives, with a focus on Russian education and science. It supports Russia’s cultural and historic heritage and tackles critical social problems. Since its establishment, the Foundation has implemented over 500 charitable projects in 50 regions of Russia. It has provided support to over 86,000 schoolchildren, 4,000 teachers, 8,000 students, 4,000 academics and 1,100 educational, scientific, cultural, health care, sporting, religious and other institutions.

In 2016, Oleg Deripaska was presented with the government award "For Beneficence"; in 2014, he was awarded the Philanthropist of the Year of Culture prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Every year since 2013, Mr. Deripaska has been ranked among the top Russian philanthropists according to Bloomberg. In 2013, he was included in the ranking of Russian philanthropists compiled by Forbes.

The Volnoe Delo Foundation was ranked among the top 10 Russian charities in 2015 according to Rossiya Segodnya news agency. The foundation was also named one of the eight largest private charity foundations in Russia according to Ogonyok magazine. In 2016, Forbes ranked Volnoe Delo in the top 12 largest charities in Russia.

September 12, 2016
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