Sustainability is one of our core values and the starting point for all activities. Together with our partners in Russia, we apply the highest standards for safety, health and environmental protection and support culture and social projects.
In pursuit of our business goals, we are creative and technologically innovative. We have the courage to implement even unconventional ideas. We are open, appreciate diversity and encourage dialogue. Even before we begin our activities, we examine the possible impact on people and the environment, consider social aspects as well as the protection of cultural heritage. We are constantly working to improve all technical processes in order to use resources even more effectively and minimise negative effects. For us, sustainability means not only the use of advanced technologies, but also long-term planning and responsibility towards the planet and society.
We feel particularly committed to the well-being of our employees, the population and the environment. That is why Wintershall Dea uses modern technologies and sets standards for health protection, safety and environmental protection that often go beyond legal requirements. Together with our partners, we do everything we can to work safely in natural gas and oil production in Russia and to use energy as efficiently as possible. The certifications and audits in energy management are proof of our success in this endeavour. Our producing joint ventures are certified according to the internationally recognized ISO standards. The globally valid standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) supports systematic energy management. This involves recording the energy flows in a company and evaluating the state of energy efficiency. This monitoring provides the basis for implementing technical measures to improve energy efficiency. We also support national and international environmental protection campaigns, such as the “Climate Box” project initiated by the United Nations Development Programme, which was implemented as part of the Year of Ecology in Russia 2017/2018 in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.
Wintershall Dea regards sustainability as the central guiding principle of its own actions. In clearly defined rules, we commit ourselves, among other things, to using resources efficiently and creating long-term value for ourselves and society. Wintershall Dea is making great efforts to minimise its own ecological footprint, i.e. the impact of its activities on the environment and the climate. We completely stopped flaring associated gas in regular operation as early as 2012. Instead, we use innovative processes to use the associated gas to generate electricity, heat and steam. This not only reduces energy consumption, but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions.
Wintershall Dea is committed to the idea of social responsibility as a company towards society. In regions where we ourselves are active, we support a wide range of projects in the fields of education, science, culture and social affairs. One of our main concerns is promoting young talent: Together with Gazprom, we have awarded the international Young Vision Award for efficient technology solutions in the oil and gas production field every year since 2013. The Young Vision Award promotes talented students from the oil and gas sector in various countries and supports the exchange of ideas between Germany and Russia.
Another example of the exchange between young German and Russian talent is the annual Vektor Gaza competition, which is held to strengthen and expand professional and cultural relationships and develop employee potential. Here around 20 young employees from Wintershall Dea and our Russian partner Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy measure their skills for five days in professional, creative and sporting competitions.
Since 2014, we have supported the Circus Upsala project in St. Petersburg, which uses social, circus-based education to open up new perspectives for children and young people from difficult social backgrounds and to help them integrate successfully into society. Around 60 children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18 train daily in the circus, whose shows address problems familiar to them. Circus Upsala tours Europe every summer and has already won several international awards.
As a globally active company, we cross cultural borders on a daily basis, and are therefore more aware than others of the importance of dialogue between nations and cultures. Cultural and social exchange can build bridges and promote understanding of the traditions of other countries. Since 2005, we have been supporting the partnership between the cities of Kassel and Novy Urengoy, where representatives from the business, education and cultural spheres meet regularly. Wintershall Dea also promotes an annual student exchange between the two cities and a scientific exchange programme between the North Hesse Student Research Centre and School No. 17 in Novy Urengoy that is unique in Europe. As part of the exchange, young people from Kassel work on their own projects in the climate research field together with their peers from Russia.
By sponsoring the restoration of the Chinese Palace near St. Petersburg, Wintershall Dea has made a contribution to preserving a symbolic site of German-Russian relations: Commissioned in 1762 by the German-born Grand Duchess and later Empress Catherine the Great, the Chinese Palace is regarded as the epitome of Russian rococo and is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.