Fostering Environmental Culture

Rostelecom is committed to promoting environmental culture and values and has been very active on this front. The Company provides information support for educational, awareness, and promotional initiatives for environmental protection, sustainable use of natural resources, nature reserve management, and protection of rare plant and animal species. Our employees regularly participate in environmental events held by federal or local authorities, non-profit organisations, and NGOs, as well as in public hearings and discussions of environmental initiatives and draft regulations affecting Rostelecom operations.

We particularly focus on forest fire prevention. Specifically, we install video surveillance systems for automatic forest monitoring and early detection of forest fires in forested areas in various regions of the country. The monitoring system is capable of automatically detecting a white smoke cloud billowing against a green forest background at the early stages of a fire incident and roughly locating the fire site and the forest fire brigades and equipment closest to the source of the fire.

Rostelecom’s video-based fire surveillance system in the Perm Territory

«During the 2018 fire season, the Lesokhranitel system proved its effectiveness and ensured emergency crews’ prompt arrivals to the sites with reported smoke, thus preventing fires from spreading into forested areas from other areas. We handled some 70 system alarms alerting to smoke in locations near forested areas. Rostelecom provides communications lines and the overall system maintenance. The rapid completion of the tasks that were set to our partner has enabled continuous monitoring for fires in the Perm Region forests.»

Grigory Chechushkov, Head of the Regional Emergency Dispatch Service at the Perm Forest Fire Centre

During the 2018 fire season, our optical sensor based automatic forest fire detection system helped prevent around 70 wildfires in the Perm Territory. The innovative system was designed jointly by Rostelecom and the Perm Forest Fire Centre as commissioned by the regional ministry of natural resources, forestry, and environment in 2016 and is part of the Smart Region project.

Lesnoy Dozor launched in Salekhard

In June 2018, another three stations of the innovative automatic, optical sensor based forest fire early warning and detection system developed by Rostelecom and its partners were launched in Salekhard, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. The system was first tested in 2017 and proved to be a reliable fire prevention tool for the region. As at the end of 2018, the Arctic Region had six video surveillance stations to monitor fires, equipped with modern IP video cameras ensuring full coverage of hazard-prone areas in real time and full situational awareness.

«Unlike, say, space and aerial surveillance systems, the Lesnoy Dozor solution we have been deploying in the Yamal Peninsula ensures 24/7 real-time monitoring; it is also much cheaper than using aircraft and faster than satellite-based surveillance. And its principal distinction from the existing forest fire surveillance systems is scalability and use of computer vision technology.»

Viktor Sysov, Business Development Director of Rostelecom’s Yamal-Nenets Branch

Rostelecom deployed the Safe City in Siberia

Gorno-Altaisk is the first Siberian city that has integrated protection of people and infrastructures from natural, manmade and criminal hazards. As instructed by the Government of the Altai Republic and Gorno-Altaisk Administration, Rostelecom has launched the Safe City hardware/software solution in Gorno-Altaisk. The solution integrates Gorno-Altaisk emergency dispatch and response services and municipal utilities into a single information space. The Safe City system quickly processes citizen reports, analyses the monitoring systems, and ensures forecasting, warning and response monitoring for emergencies and incidents. The city now has a water level and weather monitoring station, a seismic station, 15 smart CCTV cameras, and two forest fire surveillance cameras.

«The city’s population today is 64 thousand and continues to grow. Our area is prone to sudden deterioration in weather conditions, earthquakes, forest fires, and rising river levels. In this context, residents expect authorities to respond fast. Together with Rostelecom we worked hard to create such management model. This software solution is unique in that it models and forecasts the likely development of the emergency, and offers the lowest-risk response scenarios.»

Olga Safronova, Mayor of Gorno-Altaisk

In July 2018, Rostelecom joined Clean Ladoga, an environmental project run in northwest Russia. It is a large gathering of volunteers from across Russia coming together to clean up the islands and coasts of Lake Ladoga from household rubbish. In 2018, the volunteers chose the Ladoga skerries off the northwestern coast of Lake Ladoga — a popular place for tourists turned into a national park in 2017. For more efficiency, the volunteers did not only come for one-day cleanups, but also organised a four-week camp in Karelia. Rostelecom employees joined the team of volunteers. The Company also helped the project sponsors to transport tourist equipment, rubbish, and cleanup teams to the islands. During the camp’s four shifts, the volunteers gathered a total of over 35 tonnes of rubbish.

«We are always try to respond to charity or volunteer initiatives, particularly those aiming to preserve the country’s natural resources. We know only too well that many past initiatives would have never been sustained without assistance from large businesses and philanthropists. Looking at the enthusiasm of volunteers who came to the camp caring about the future world their children will live in, we feel even more determined to support these young people.»

Andrey Balatsenko, Director of Rostelecom’s North-West Macroregional Branch

Rostelecom joined a voluntary cleanup to support the March for Parks event in the Kaliningrad Region

In April 2018, Rostelecom’s Kaliningrad Branch joined the March for Parks environmental event as the Company employees took part in a voluntary cleanup in the Curonian Spit National Park. The initiative seeks to support the specially protected natural areas in Russia and the CIS. This year, the Curonian Spit cleanup brought together over 2,000 volunteers from across the region, including employee volunteers from Rostelecom’s western-most branch. Our employees cleaned up the Lesnoye recreation camp and the neighbouring nature reserve areas from dry branches and leaves and household rubbish, gathering a total of about 50 large bags of rubbish. In Russia, the annual March for Parks event was first held in 1995, with the Kaliningrad Branch employee volunteers participating annually.

«This event covers the whole of Russia. We live in a beautiful region with unique nature which I think we should preserve together, helping the National Park’s Administration. It is good to know that we contribute to the preservation of this nature reserve.»

Alexey Semenov, Director of Rostelecom’s Kaliningrad Branch

Rostelecom helped save Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Region

Employees of Rostelecom’s Irkutsk Branch joined En+ Group’s major nationwide volunteering environmental marathon 360 Minutes held on the coasts of Lake Baikal on 7 and 8 September 2018. For the eighth time, the initiative to clean up the famous lake’s coasts from household rubbish brought together people who care from ten Russian cities and 30 companies. The environmental volunteers cleaned up illegal waste sites, set up eco-trails, planted trees, and gave awareness to local communities. This year, 16,500 people gathered over 16,000 bags of rubbish.

«Lake Baikal has topped the rating of the most popular Russian sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, while its coasts are polluted with rubbish left behind by millions of tourists. The 360 Minutes marathon resulted in tonnes of rubbish collected and is an example of business and civil society teaming up to address the environmental issues facing Lake Baikal. It also helps build the environmental culture and responsible attitude to places where people live and rest. This is why our employees contribute much to protecting nature from waste pollution.»

Yuri Timan, Director of Rostelecom’s Kaliningrad Branch says