Sustainable development strategy
Contents

Sustainable development strategy

VKG's complete social responsibility and sustainable development policy began in 2009. VKG is one of the first promoters and advocates of the concept of social responsibility in Estonia and especially in Virumaa.

VKG is the first Estonian company to disclose all its resource use and environmental information in accordance with the Global Reporting Standards for Social Responsibility GRI G3. Although the original purpose of the initiative was to raise awareness, evaluate and manage the group's overall impact on the country's economy, social life and environment, today the responsibility is integrated into the company's business strategy, since in VKG's case, it is impossible to distinguish between responsible activities and the company's main activity.

2009

Marks the beginning of VKG's complete social responsibility and sustainable development policy.

2010

VKG joined the world’s most influential social responsibility initiatives: the GRI and the United Nations Global Compact.

2010

The group's first report of social responsibility and sustainable development is published, reflecting the results of 2008 and 2009 according to global reporting standards for social responsibility GRI G3.

2011 october

The principles of responsible behavior were introduced in the company.

2011 december

The group began to introduce principles of responcibility to everyday life

2011 detsember

we established the Estonian Association of Responsible Entrepreneurship in cooperation with nineteen other Estonian companies. The association aims to popularize and promote the concept in Estonian entrepreneurship and on a national level

2012

VKG is a member of the Responsible Business Forum in Estonia.

2010-2016

The enterprise received the title “Responsible Estonian Enterprise” and Bronze Quality Award.

Strategic Vision of Sustainable Development

The strategy of the Group considers, both in short-term and long-term perspective, the tasks and goals of sustainable development within the period of the introduction of changes at the market of energy sources and social interests, both at the global and regional level. In the course of strategic planning and developing the documents pertaining to this branch of industry, both risks and options related to climate changes and the shift to the power economy with a low amount of carbon emissions are taken into consideration. The Group regards its sustainable development strategy as a contribution into the development of the society, which satisfies current needs, without posing a threat to the opportunities of future generations for satisfying their own needs in their turn.

Being a responsible manufacturer, the Group approaches the use of natural resources and their enrichment in a rational and responsible way and implements the projects aimed at the mining and processing of the oil shale, the renovation of production facilities for the purpose of reducing their environmental effects as well as the projects in the field of modern environmentally-friendly means of production. At the heart of the general strategy of the Group lie very high requirements for production processes in terms of environmental protection, social responsibility, and occupational safety.

Goals in the Context of Sustainable Development

Upon the implementation of its activities, production, and service design and provision, the Group is striving towards consistent and ongoing improvement of its indicators as well as their effect on employees, local residents, and the environment.

ECONOMIC DOMAIN

  • Preservation and creation of workplaces
  • Creating additional value
  • Promoting local economy
  • Innovations
  • Ensuring financial and economic stability of the subsidiaries of the Group

INNOVATIONS

The strategy of the Group is based on innovative principles of development.

Target focus: the technologies required for the purpose of project implementation and dealing with the problems that might prevent the attainment of this objective. The Group is consistently working on and implementing the advanced solutions, many of which are unique in this particular branch of industry. The existence of a strong team of professionals and designers in the Group enables us to integrate production tasks and extensive experience with innovative solutions in all of the fields of activities of the Group.

SOCIAL SPHERE

  • Law abidance
  • Observing human rights
  • Positive feedback from the members of the community
  • Consistent increase in the quality of our products
  • Following the ever-changing market requirements
  • Distributing reliable information about the products
  • Promoting the inclusive dialogue with local community
  • Supporting the development of education, culture, and sport
  • Ensuring the payment of competitive salary and social packages to employees
  • Staff development and training, setting up staff reserve
  • Improving working conditions
  • Developing efficient communication within the company with all of the parties concerned

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • Environmental protection
  • Using recyclable materials
  • Preserving energy resources
  • Waste treatment
  • Ensuring safe working environment, protecting the health of employees as well as of the people living in the neighbourhood area
  • Reducing the anthropogenic effect on the environment as well as preventing the environmental damage done by commercial activities
  • Rational use of natural reserves
  • Boosting the level of production safety and environmental protection, reducing the number of injuries, accidents, and professional diseases
  • Reducing the anthropogenic load on the environment and human habitat as well as promoting the creation of favourable living environment
  • Fighting against climate changes
  • Implementation of global best practices in the field of environmental safety

VKG’ principles of social responsibility behaviour

  • VKG identifies and studies the industry’s effect on the environment and if possible then eliminates or minimises it. VKG conducts ongoing environmental monitoring.
  • VKG develops resource-conservative and environment friendly fields of technology and implements those into its production processes.
  • VKG provides the public with regular reports about its activities.
  • VKG communicates proactively with the media and the public, doesn’t hide information and provides only accurate and truthful data about itself.
  • VKG has initiated motivational and developmental systems for its employees.
  • VKG ensures safe and comfortable work environment for its employees.
  • VKG supports the trade union in its activities, offers additional benefits for its employees and supports the ongoing dialogue between the management team and the employees.
  • VKG promotes the idea of everyone accepting responsibility for their work: everything depends on everyone.
  • VKG employs internationally recognised principles of social responsibility.
  • VKG pays special attention to regional development, keeping active contact with the local authorities and residents.
  • VKG supports important regional projects, especially cultural and sports event.
  • VKG is a trustworthy partner for the state, for local authorities and for its business partners.
  • VKG promotes the principles of social responsibility and recognises the fact that it cannot be a single actor.

In our activities, we proceed from the following principles:

OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY

Social reporting means total disclosure of data on social, economic and environmental impacts in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

PRINCIPLE OF ACTING RESPONSIBLY

The socially responsible production process management both within the company (safe working environment, motivating employees, additional bonuses, additional payments, ongoing dialogue between employees and the employer) and among employees (every single employee is responsible for everything in the company).

HONESTY AND CORRECTNESS

Public relations standards have been approved by the company that prohibit the submission of incorrect or inaccurate data.

COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Implementation of the principles of social responsibility approved by international organizations (GRI, UN Global Compact) in the company.

Management in the Field of Sustainable Development

We act responsibly, considering the needs and interests of our employees, the local community, customers and interest groups.


The utmost adaptability of the business model to the low-carbon economy in the transfer period

  • Flexible business model
  • Well-balanced investment portfolio
  • Stable results and boosting the value, despite the recurrence of the fuel industry
  • Energy security


Taking care of people and environment

  • Safety culture and safe commercial activities
  • Safe working space
  • Taking care of the environment


Decent and responsible commercial activities

  • Integrity of commercial activities and production activities
  • Transparency and information exchange
  • Respecting human rights
  • Following ethical principles and procedures and fighting against corruption
  • Risk management


Facilitating future economic and social development

  • Direct and indirect facilitation of economic development
  • Developing supplier and contractor chains as well as related branches of industry - enhancing employment rate and the qualifications of employees
  • Industrial and social infrastructure
  • Availability of energy sources, new trends and solutions


Responding to threats related to climate changes

  • Corporate management system in relation to the issues of climate changes
  • Reduction of emissions
  • Level of energy consumption in the course of production activities
  • Conformity of the output


Efficient management of environmental effects

  • Being the leader in the field of environmental protection
  • Resource management


Cooperation with concerned parties

  • Efficient partner relations
  • Respecting human rights
  • Right for working in convenient working conditions, social protection of employees


Integration of the Goals of the UN into Sustainable Development

We regard the integration of tasks and objectives, listed in The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (hereinafter also referred to as the ASD 2030), published by the UN, into the system of analysis of the activities of the company and report data submission as well as the gradual expansion of the borders of reporting as a logical step towards the development of noncommercial reporting.

Viru Keemia Grupp has selected six fields of activity of the highest priority, and we are working incessantly in the name of their accomplishment. They are 'Health and well-being', 'Sustainable energy', 'Sustainable production and consumption', 'Employment and economic growth', 'Measures against climate changes', 'Global cooperation'.

On 1 January 2016, 17 goals of sustainable development (SDG) officially came into effect. They were published in The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was approved of by global leaders in 2015 at the historical summit meeting of the United Nations.

Throughout the next 15 years, within the duration of which those globally recognised new goals should be achieved, the countries will use their best endeavours aimed at fighting inequality, poverty in all shapes and forms, and resolving the problems related to climate changes, making sure that no one is forgotten.

At the heart of the SDG lie the achievements of Millennium Development Goals, MDG(s), and the aim of the SDG is to continue exerting maximum effort in order to eliminate poverty in all forms and shapes. The peculiar character of the new goals is that they summon all of the countries, i.e. both poor, rich, and with average income level, to make their contribution into promoting well-being and ensuring the protection of our Planet. They acknowledge that the elimination of poverty must be inherently linked to the implementation of the strategy promoting economic growth and aimed at the satisfaction of several social needs, including in the field of education, health care, social protection and employment, and at the same time they aim at resolving the problems caused by climate changes and ensuring environmental protection.

Even though the SDG do not have a binding legal effect, it is assumed that governments will take up responsibility and create national mechanisms facilitating the achievement of those 17 goals. Countries shall be held responsible for carrying out follow-up assessment and ensuring the progress upon the implementation of those goals. In order to do that, high quality, comprehensive, and timely data should be collected. Regional follow-up assessment and review shall be based on the analysis carried out on the state level and provide support to follow-up assessment and review at the global level.

The Group carries on working on the integration of the principles of sustainable development into its strategic and programme documents. VKG is trying to support the achievement of set goals not only within the frames of its main activities, but also by supporting and taking part in various regional projects and initiatives, aimed at enhancing life quality and promoting science, education, culture, and environmental protection.

Supporting International Initiatives in the Field of Sustainable Development

Since 2010, the Group has been an active disciple of the UN Global Compact, which is the most large-scale international initiative in the field of social responsibility, uniting more than 12,000 companies from over 160 countries.

This global agreement proclaims ten basic human rights in the fields of labour relations, environmental protection, and fighting against corruption, followed by the countries and companies than joined this agreement on a voluntary basis. This global agreement summons the participants to support the SDG set by the UN in the field of sustainable development, the main objective of which is enhancing the well-being of current and future generations.

VKG takes the principles of the UN Global Compact into account both at the strategic and operational management level.

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Human rights

  • 1

    Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.

  • 2

    Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

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Labour relations

  • 3

    Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

  • 4

    Businesses should support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

  • 5

    Businesses should support the effective abolition of child labour.

  • 6

    Businesses should support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

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Environment

  • 7

    Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

  • 8

    Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

  • 9

    Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

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Fighting against corruption

  • 10

    Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Cooperation with Concerned Parties

The main goal of the Group is to establish long-term, productive, trust-based, and mutually beneficial relations with concerned parties, based on partnership. The concerned parties of the Group are shareholders, authorities, employees, general public, suppliers and subcontractors, consumers and business community.

The system of communication based on openness and mutual respect enables the Group to develop its fields of activity. The Group uses different means and methods of communication for interacting with the representatives of concerned parties, depending on the set goal and the most efficient forms of cooperation.

The Group does cooperation with the main interest groups on a number of the most relevant issues. In order to lay down those issues, the social environment inside and outside of the Group is constantly analysed, with due consideration of strategic trends and the preferences of interest groups.

Main Interest Groups of the Group

Viru Keemia Grupp is developing a sustainable development strategy and implementing it in active cooperation with the main interest groups. It enables the Group to boost the efficiency of the social and environmental activities of the company and achieve comprehensive and permanent positive changes.

The Group believes that sustainable economic growth and the well-being of a society, being the conditions, under which the Group is operating, are interrelated inseparably. While striving for its strategic goals, Viru Keemia Grupp is trying to create value for interest groups at each stage of its activities and make a contribution to the social and economic development of the state.


Shareholders

Cooperation mechanisms:
  • general meeting of shareholders;
  • monthly meetings of shareholders with the management of the Group;
  • accountancy and reporting of the company.
Key issues:
  • strategy implementation;
  • financial sustainability;
  • company and risk management;
  • increasing the efficiency of production and manufacturing safety;
  • quality of the products;
  • environmental safety of activities.

Cooperation with state and local governments

Cooperation mechanisms:
  • social and economic partnership;
  • common workshops, roundtable discussions, meetings;
  • accountancy and reporting of the company;
  • participation in committees and conferences.
Key issues:
  • legislation development and facilitation of the development of the oil shale sector;
  • strategic development of the Group;
  • the compliance of the activities of the Group with legal standards;
  • the role the Group is playing in the development of the area;
  • production safety;
  • the effect the production activities of the Group have on the environment;
  • the quality of the products, manufacturing of the products with better environmental properties.

The cooperation with state institutions and local governments in the field of resolution of tasks related to sustainable development is based on the direct and inclusive dialogue and partnership. The specialists of the Group are involved in different discussions and workshops in the field of development of legal framework and its improvement.

The Group is actively encouraging the representatives of state institutions and local governments to implement social projects and take part in nature protection and educative events organised by the company.


Cooperation with the employees of the Group

Cooperation mechanisms:
  • the communication system within the company;
  • regular information days for key staff;
  • regular information exchange between the management and the employees;
  • meetings with employees and the management;
  • events organised by the company; forums; conferences;
  • cultural and sports events.
Key issues:
  • recognition and social support of the employees;
  • labour relations;
  • work safety;
  • training and development of employees;
  • the participation of the Group in the development of local communities.

The relations of the Group with employees are regulated by personnel policy, internal rules of conduct, and collective labour agreement. Proceeding from the principle of social partnership, the Group is actively cooperating with the trade union that represents the interests of employees.

To attract new potential employees (highly qualified and motivated specialists), Viru Keemia Grupp as an employer is developing a value proposition and cooperation with universities and secondary schools.


Local Community

Cooperation mechanisms:
  • social projects;
  • public hearings, roundtable discussions, exchange of ideas;
  • media channels inside and outside of the company;
  • accountancy and reporting of the Group.
Key issues:
  • the contribution of the Group into the social and economic development of the area as well as into the improvement of the quality of life of local people;
  • manufacturing and environmental safety of the activities of the Group, the measures of environmental protection;
  • transparency of the activities of the Group and its decisions;
  • financial sustainability of the Group.

The Group is developing constructive cooperation with local communities, which is aimed at the social and economic development of the area and environmental protection.

In order to boost the efficiency of social programmes, we communicate with the representatives of interest groups, involving them into the implementation of projects. We hold regular meetings with the representatives of state institutions, opinion leaders, non-profit organisations, initiative groups, active members of the society, etc. While implementing projects, the Group is doing active cooperation with local mass media, providing them with the entire scope of necessary information.


Civil groups

Cooperation mechanisms:
  • conferences, exhibitions;
  • roundtable discussions;
  • joint implementation of social projects;
  • reporting.
Key issues:
  • production safety in the Group, measures of environmental protection;
  • participation of the Group in the development of the area;
  • availability and transparency of the information pertaining to the activities of the Group.

The activities are aimed at the sustainable development of the area and the facilitation of the development of the sector. In addition to that, VKG involves the experts from civil groups into the development and implementation of social and environmental projects as well as into the discussions pertaining to the activities of the Group in the form of roundtables and conferences.


The Most Important Principles in Terms of Cooperation with Concerned Parties

Safety

Protection of the health of employees and consumers and their safety means the production and issue of such products that are safe and do not pose an unexpected risk or threat, doing any kind of harm while using them. The Group conducts strict check-ups of the compliance with all the requirements regulating the quality of the products. The Group carries out the assessment of the effect of the products being scheduled for production at all the stages of their life cycle in terms of their effect on people's health and safety, in order to find out the ways for improving their quality. In 2018, no violations of the compliance of products and services with requirements related to heath or safety were registered.

Obtaining information

The Group provides access for consumers to the complete, accurate, and comprehensive information that enables them to make informed decisions in accordance with their individual preferences. The contracts entered for the supply of the goods are always drawn up in a clear, accurate, and comprehensive language and do not contain any unfair contractual obligations. They always provide accurate and sufficient information about the price, features of the product, and the terms and conditions of the contract.

In 2018, no violations of the requirements dealing with the notification of consumers about the specific features of goods or services were registered.

Data protection

The Group ensures the protection of personal data, using reliable and protected systems in the course of protection and collection of the data of clients and partners. Information is only collected by legal means. The collection of personal data is limited by the information that is required for offering products or services or has been provided on a voluntary basis at the consent of a client and/or a partner. The protection of personal data collected from consumers is ensured by means of efficient safety provision.

Generating Value for Interest Groups

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Society
  • Responsible production - preserving the environment
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Shareholders
  • Long-term growth of the value of the group
  • High dividend yield
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Partners
  • Good availability of oil shale products with very good production
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Employees
  • Sustainable workplaces
  • Valuable bonus package
  • Social support
  • Various opportunities for professional development
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State
  • Provision of energy safety and independence
  • Contribution into economic development
  • Taxes
  • Development of technologies in the field of oil shale
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Local communities
  • Contribution into social and economic stability of Ida-Viru county
  • Development of local suppliers and manufacturers
  • Taxes
  • Creating workplaces, environmental protection programmes
  • Improving the quality of life of the local community
  • Facilitating the growth of social activity of local population, especially children and youth

Conducting Public Discussions on the Basis of the Results of Assessment of the Environmental Effect of Intended Activities

In 2018, the following public discussions took place:

The public discussion of Viru report concerning the assessment of environmental effects (the assessment of the environmental effect of the application for making changes and extending mineral resource extraction permits KMIN-053, KMIN-066 and KMIN-199AS, filed by Enefit Kaevandused and OÜ VKG Kaevandused) took place on 17 April 2018 in Jõhvi office of the Northern region of the Estonian Environmental Board, where the environmental expert from the company OÜ Hendrikson & Ko provided an overview of the results of the assessment of environmental effects, written suggestions sent by the parties concerned, and answered the questions of the people present at the discussion. Both the developers, the representatives of the Estonian Environmental Board and of the local governments took part in the discussion.

The public discussion of the report concerning the assessment of environmental effects of the landfill (the unification of the new VKG hazardous waste landfill with the state landfill and the assessment of the environmental effect of commissioning of the new closing solution) took place on 4 October 2018 in Jõhvi office of the Northern region of the Estonian Environmental Board. The intended measure was introduced by the representative of VKG, and the results of the assessment of environmental effects were introduced by the lead expert. The written suggestions concerning the report were also discussed. Within the frames of this discussion, the suggestions from local inhabitants and other parties were also expected as to which issues should be taken into consideration in the process of assessment of environmental effects of the new measure.

On the Environmental Day held at VKG in November the possibilities for the development of large-scale projects in contemporary Estonia were discussed within the context of assessment of their environmental effects. All of the parties agreed that in terms of new projects, in addition to environmental effects, the common interests with communities should also be assessed.

Discussions Concerning the Issue of the Quality of Ambient Air in Kohtla-Järve


In the beginning of March, the representatives of VKG and other industrial companies of Kohtla-Järve met with town dwellers in order to discuss the quality of the ambient air in the town. Follow-up meetings took place in autumn, both on the local and the state level.


A complex approach should be developed in order to solve the problem of unpleasant odour in the town. The peculiarity of the town of Kontla-Järve consists in the fact that there are almost twenty production companies operating in the town or in its vicinity. It means that environmental footprints should be considered as a whole, with due consideration of the effect exerted by companies, transport, and the surrounding agricultural facilities, jointly and separately, since quite often the main reason for odour nuisance results from the aggregate of different sources. In addition to that, there is residual pollution.

The active town dwellers who really care about the future and the well-being of Kohtla-Järve collected over 1,000 signatures on the petition 'Let Us Breathe', which brought the problem of odour nuisance to the national level. The people that had prepared the petition, first of all, talked about stink generated in the process of composting residual waste sludge from purification equipment. The petition also mentions unpleasant odours coming from other industrial companies, including oil shale processing companies. The collective petition concerning the quality of ambient air in Kohtla-Järve was discussed at the sitting of the Environmental Committee of Riigikogu on 23 October. After that, the meeting of the authors of the petition with the representatives of the four production companies located on the industrial territory of Kohtla-Järve, i.e. VKG, Järve Biopuhastus, Eastman Specialties, and Novotrade Invest, as well as with the representatives of the Environmental Board and the Environmental Inspectorate was arranged. At the meeting, the companies introduced to the members of the committee and to the authors of the petition their odour elimination action plans and the measures aimed at the reduction of the amount of air emissions. Our thorough, responsible, and long-term activities in the field of ambient air received positive feedback from the authors of the petition, who stressed our openness in handling this topic both at the meeting and outside of it as well as our willingness for conducting a dialogue and the fact that we can talk about complex matters in simple language. Commissioned by the Environmental Inspectorate, the study of the quality of the ambient air, odour nuisance, and the amount of emitted pollutants was carried out in the area of Kohtla-Järve, in the result of which the industrial companies prepared relevant action plans aimed at reducing the amount of emissions. In October, the Environmental Board and the town of Kohtla-Järve confirmed the action plan aimed at reducing the amount of aromatic substances, prepared by the Group, according to which we made an investment in the amount of 1.1 mln euros into the improvement of the quality of ambient air. In the result of investments that were made in 2018, according to the plan, the amount of emissions of aromatic substances arising from the production territory of VKG will be reduced by 12%. For VKG, it was not the first action plan aimed at eliminating the unpleasant odour. Specifically, on the production territory of Kohtla-Järve VKG started dealing with mapping and modelling odour phenomena eight years ago. In 2011, our first official action plan aimed at the elimination of unpleasant odour was developed, based on which the company implemented over 20 projects aimed at improving the quality of the ambient air.

This topic has been researched in detail for decades. A couple of years ago the study 'Quality of the Ambient Air, Assessment of Odour Nuisance and the Amount of Emitted Pollutants in the Town of Kohtla-Järve, Järve District' was carried out by the Estonian Environmental Research Centre, commissioned by the Environmental Inspectorate. Within the frames of that study, large-scale measurements were made as well as the modelling of pollutants and aromatic substances was carried out. Based on the study, a conclusion was made that the joint effect of different sources of pollution is important. Besides, since numerous investments were made into the renovation of production technologies, their significance has decreased, and the effect exerted by the heated spots at the landfill are of primary importance now, which originate from history and can be attributed to former storage technologies. In our opinion, it is a good thing that such an important people's initiative has reached the Environmental Committee of Riigikogu. The petition filed by town dwellers is the natural wish of the local people to live in better conditions, as compared with the historical industrial town, enjoying the clean air, which is easy to understand. The situation can always be changed for the better. In order to do that, in addition to what has already been done as well as to environmental investments accounting for 100 million since 1997, we are also planning to continue dealing with the reduction of unpleasant odour in the future. At the same time, it would be relevant to point out a positive trend towards the improvement of the quality of ambient air in the town. It is important to understand that people sense odour nuisance at a much lower concentration as compared to the dangerous maximum limit of the pollutant, which means that, regardless of the fact that the quality of air has improved significantly, people keep on complaining about it. For VKG, the improvement of the quality of life of the area and its inhabitants is of the highest priority, which is why we have already made numerous investments into the reduction of odour nuisance.


Meelis Eldermann

Tehnikadirektor, juhatuse
aseesimees

Main directions of VKG's supporting actions

Our priority is to support Virumaa and the socially beneficial activities of organisations, people and societies that operate here. The group pays attention to the development of the region, maintaining close liaison with local authorities and residents. VKG supports athletic, cultural and educational initiatives and contributes to the promotion of local life through the voluntary work of its employees.

We are interested in making our own contribution into long-term projects carried out within the community (including in cooperation with other organisations), the goal of which is to develop and promote the local living environment. We are focused on scientific and development projects and researches in the field of the oil shale sector and carried out by scientific and research institutions (events, scientific conferences, etc.), which are intended for looking for innovative solutions and their implementation in production. We also support the implementation of bright ideas.

In 2018, over 30 projects and ideas were supported by us, and the amount of subsidy exceeded 160,000 EUR.

The assistance and support of the Group can be provided to any non-profit association and/or organisation operating in Estonia, which is interested in improving the life in Ida-Virumaa or in Estonia as a whole. Most of all, we focus our attention on local dance groups, sports clubs, and education institutions. The provision of a direct subsidy to individuals is only considered in exceptional cases if we are dealing with humanitarian needs.

Our most important initiatives

The Competition of the Five Schools

The initiative of VKG which motivates and promotes engineering education among the youth. The chemical company needs good engineers in different fields, and the Group is interested in providing future specialists with thorough knowledge in sciences at school already. We are very pleased with the fact that, owing to our subsidies, diligent pupils from Ida-Viru County can take an active part in the most reputable competition in sciences in Estonia - the Competition of the Five Schools.

The Competition of the Five Schools
Chemists’ Day

As usual, VKG organised a celebration for local people, in cooperation with the largest chemical industry companies in the area Eastman Specialties and Novotrade Invest. The tradition of holding the Chemists' Day originates form 2000.

In 2018, the Chemists' Day once again took place in the town park of Kohtla-Järve, and several thousands of people visited it. Among town dwellers, the most interest is attracted by the possibility to visit out production territory and the oil shale plant Petroter. By a good tradition, the sports area was offering many exciting and engrossing activities, where a spectacular football tournament, tug-of-war, and a competition of strongmen took place. Almost 200 performers were cheering up our guests. The people were singing along with the brilliant vocal band 'Bliss' from Kohtla-Järve and the ringing voice of Uku Suviste in all languages, both Russian, Estonian, and English. The main performer was a popular Estonian band 2 Quick Start, whose vigorous beats and familiar tunes put the audience to a happy dance.

Chemists’ Day
The Miner´s Day

A long-time tradition we restored in 2011. This annual large-scale public event takes place on the last Sunday in August. This event enables the Group to make a deep bow of respect both to the miners and to all the other people living in the area. The last three events have taken place at Estonian Mining Museum's territory and starting from 2016, the event is organized in cooperation with Eesti Energia.

The Miner´s Day
Jõhvi Ballet Festival

Jõhvi Ballet Festival can be referred to as the main cultural event in the area. But, in addition to that, it has so far been the only ballet festival in Estonia, which has built up a fantastic reputation abroad as well. The fact that this festival is held in Ida-Viru County provides us, the inhabitants of Ida-Virumaa, with the chance to enjoy unique and world-known ballet performances close to our homes Virumaa has been referred to as the land of the 'brown gold' for a very long time already, while the term the 'land of ballet' has been coined after the launching of the Ballet Festival in Jõhvi. We are pleased to be a partner in this event. Successful cooperation between the Group and Jõhvi Concert Hall, which is the organiser of the festival, has been going on for many years.

Jõhvi Ballet Festival