On 10 October, a press conference dedicated to announcing the results of the ISO 14001 International Standard Environmental Management System certification was held at the JSC RusHydro branch Zhigulevskaya HPP. Taking part in the conference was Vera Dolgikh, Director of the Zhigulevskaya HPP; Alexander Kurylin, Zhigulevsk Mayor; Yelena Komarovskaya, Chief Auditor of the international company SGS; and members of the Zhigulevskaya HPP staff.
It was recommended that the Zhigulevskaya HPP be awarded the certificate for compliance with the ISO international standard. Experts at SGS, the largest international agency for management systems certification, recognized the hydropower plant as being in compliance with world environmental standards.
A team of auditors from CJSC SGS Vostok Limited, the Russian branch of SGS, worked at the plant from 6 through 10 October 2008. All divisions of the branch and a number of Zhigulevskaya HPP contractor organizations were subjected to the audit. The audit documented the plant's observance of the most up-to-date environmental norms and requirements. The stages of the audit included interviews with personnel, an analysis of environmental protection documentation, random observations, and a visual inspection of the power plant grounds and generating facilities.
"We have a strong partnership with the Zhigulevskaya HPP," said Zhigulevsk Mayor Alexander Kurylin. "We are working together on a number of environmental projects, such as ▒Take Care!' and ▒Rocky Basin.' It is important that the hydroelectric industry is prepared to bring to every worker the significance of how they affect the environment in performing their production duties, and a sense of shared responsibility for the state of the environment. The Zhigulevskaya power plant's readiness to assume additional responsibilities in the area of environmental protection just speaks of the professionalism of the plant's management and workers, and of the confidence they have in their company."
Even before work began on installing an environmental management system that met international standards, a system for environmental management was in place at the Zhigulevskaya HPP. Russian law in the area of environmental protection was followed to the letter; specialists received instruction and training in environmental protection, the reconstruction and upgrading of turbine equipment; and there were regular programs to improve the state of the environment. The existing system was fully developed, and at present meets the demands of the international standard completely.
"For a year and a half now, the staff of the Zhigulevskaya HPP have been doing serious, large-scale work in order to get the international certificate of compliance. With the introduction of ISO 14001, the concept of responsibility for affecting the environment while performing one's work has been instilled in every worker, from the top managers down to the most basic staff. We shall demand that each of our contractors meet the demands of RF law in the area of environmental protection, and the Zhigulevskaya HPP stands ready to encourage them. Although HPPs have always been suppliers of ecologically pure, ▒green' electrical energy, we must think about the environmental consequences of our actions. Therefore, as we receive our ISO 14001 certificate, the level of the highest international environmental standards becomes the norm for us," Director Dolgikh stated at a press conference.
The certificate is valid for three years. Throughout that period, SGS will conduct an annual supervisory audit at the Zhigulevskaya HPP in order to confirm it is complying with the demands of the international standard.