ECo-I in Russia

The Environmental and Community Initiative Strategy (ECo-I) ensures that we build the pipeline responsibly, achieving a net gain for the project area in Russia. Because the pipeline route passes through the Kurgalsky Reserve, which is protected at both a national and international level, Nord Stream 2 developed this special strategy to promote environmental sustainability, social infrastructure improvement and community safety in the region. Key focus areas were defined through consultations with experts, Leningrad regional authorities, community elders and locals.

Beyond the requirements of Russian legislation, Nord Stream 2 has adopted the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Management. While the IFC sets extra requirements for projects in protected areas such as the landfall area’s Kurgalsky Reserve, our commitments go even deeper at the local level with the ECo-I strategy to benefit not just the immediate construction corridor, but the Kurgalsky Reserve overall. The strategy has four pillars:

  • Statutory compensation measures required by Russian legislation;
  • Biodiversity enhancement initiatives to achieve an overall improvement (or “net gain”) for the Kurgalsky nature reserve;
  • Community initiatives to improve social infrastructure and benefit communities in the project’s vicinity;
  • And sponsorship initiatives to raise awareness of both the project and its developer.

The pipeline is being built in the safest possible way, with great sensitivity to local ecological conditions. We apply strict processes to identify all environmental and social risks and avoid negative impacts. Where this is not possible, advanced mitigation, compensation and offset measures are being used. Thanks to comprehensive surveys and an innovative construction solution developed specifically for the shoreline crossing there, we can do this in an environmentally friendly way. By adding this construction approach to the additional initiatives under the ECo-I strategy, we are confident that the result will improve the biodiversity value of the area.

Nord Stream 2 and the Environment: Experts’ Opinion

Nord Stream 2 is committed to an open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders to ensure that decisions surrounding the project are based on proven expert opinion and clear scientific facts. Nord Stream 2 makes a point of communicating with the relevant parties: authorities, NGOs, the local community, scientific and research experts, institutes and other organisations. The objective is to disclose information about the project while also giving stakeholders the opportunity to provide their opinions about it. This video focuses on environmental experts’ opinion of the permitting process in Russia.

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A Walk Along the Route in Kurgalsky with Simon Bonnell

Based on extensive survey data we have been collecting since 2012, the overall conclusion is that Kurgalsky will offer the least environmental impact for landfall in Russia. Simon Bonnell, Head of Permitting for Nord Stream 2, talks us through the process.

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Telemetry Studies of Baltic Ringed Seals in the Gulf of Finland

Nord Stream 2 is supporting a program of telemetry studies of the Baltic ringed seal in the Gulf of Finland. The studies use GPS tags deployed on seals to collect information on their behaviour and movement patterns. Expanding scientific knowledge is vital for developing an effective strategy to preserve the population of this protected species. This documentary film explains the methodology and fieldwork conducted by an expert group for this project, which began in the summer of 2017.

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Valentina Bubyreva (St Petersburg State University) on Flora in the Gulf of Finland

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Boris Gannibal (Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) on Plant Communities in the Gulf of Finland

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Andrey Pedchenko (GosNIORKh) on Biological Resources in the Gulf of Finland

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Mart Jüssi, International Expert on the Baltic Ringed Seal, on Cooperation with Baltic Region Environmentalists

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Mikhail Verevkin (Russian Academy of Sciences) on Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Finland

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