Thirty thousand Gazprom employees at Russia-wide cleanup action

October 4, 2013

On August 31, the last Saturday of summer, an environmental cleanup action – ‘Green Russia’ – took place throughout the country from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad and from Nadym to Krasnodar. Gazprom did not stay away from the action and went out to combat garbage with rakes and shovels. All the more so as the year 2013 is declared the Year of Ecology in the Company. Taking part in the event were more than 30 thousand people from Gazprom’s 70 subsidiaries.

The main site for the cleanup in Moscow was Setunsky Stan – a favorite venue of the youth going in for extreme sports.

On the somber Saturday morning several buses brought employees of Gazprom’s Moscow-based subsidiaries (Gazprom UGSGazprom Transgaz MoscowGazprom GazobezopasnostGazprom Gaznadzor and Gazprom VNIIGAZ) to Setunsky Stan.

Most parents came with their children.

First of all, the action participants were given the apparel – a pair of gloves, T-shirts, baseball caps and windbreakers.

Some people put the uniforms on at once, others thoughtfully put them away into bags to take home as souvenirs.

Even the youngest participants of the cleanup received presents.

Afterwards there was a commencement address, division into brigades...

...and distribution of tasks.

Gazprom’s brigade was tasked with cleaning up the Setun River banks and the adjacent area. The gas workers went on the ‘mission’ under the command of Olga Nepryakhina, Head of the Environmental Protection and Energy Saving Division at Gazprom Transgaz Moscow.

Armed with rakes and garbage bags, women started collecting garbage and leaves. Photo: Svetlana Ivashchenko.

Men, of course, were assigned a more difficult task: they had to gather dead branches and get out a tree fallen into the river. The task was aggravated by the tree size, the bank elevation as well as the fact that the tree roots were situated on the opposite bank of Setun.

Nevertheless, the solution was found quickly. At first, several people crossed the river using a bridge prepared beforehand. They had to saw the tree into pieces and float them to the other bank.

On the opposite side the floating logs were received, taken out of the water and lifted to the bank.

It was the most difficult part of the work: steep banks are several meters high in this section of Setun.

Chief Engineer of the Procurement and Supply Center (an affiliate of Gazprom Transgaz Moscow) Sergey Krasikov (center), who had worked on both banks of the river, noted that lifting the logs had turned out to be harder than he expected. The process was hindered by the slush after yesterday’s rain.

Sergey’s colleague Vladimir Marushchenko (center) helped save the river from garbage at the third and concluding stage.

His team pulled the logs out to the high bank.

And then took them to garbage containers.

There were three such containers on the site. Each of them had its own ‘administrator’ who sorted out the garbage: branches and leaves to one side, cracked dishes – to the other.

The administrator’s task is not only to sort out the garbage, but also to stack it in such a way as to fill the container as much as possible.

Children were also active in helping with the cleanup.

This is the first cleanup for the seven-year-old Yulya, though her initial plan was only to watch the concert scheduled to take place in Setunsky Stan after the action. But seeing her Dad’s enthusiasm in cleaning up the riverbed, Yulya decided to get down to gathering leaves.

Local kids, who came to have a regular workout (extreme sports workouts are held in Setunsky Stan for teenagers and youth), couldn’t resist the common desire to clean up. The boys collected old tires from around the territory.

It took about an hour and a half to collect leaves, branches and tires.

It took much more time to clean the riverbed. Female colleagues came to help the men who got tired by that time, and the process of lifting logs to the bank started resembling a tug-of-war competition.

Svetlana Ivashchenko joined her colleagues from Gazprom Transgaz Moscow as soon as she had coped with her work.

Other young women followed her example. Photo: Yulia Gaidai.

Now let us leave Moscow for a while and take a look at what is going on in some other cities.

A cleanup action in Krasnodar was also focused on the banks of a river – Kuban River. A team of environmental combatants was led by Vladimir Grishchenko, Head of the Environmental Protection Division at Gazprom Dobycha Krasnodar.

Employees of another Krasnodar-based subsidiary – Gazprom Transgaz Krasnodar – collected garbage in the 30 Years of Victory park.

Gas workers in Krasnodar also sent their best forces to combat the garbage :-)

Gazprom Transgaz Kazan team went out to clean up the riverbed and the riverside of the Morkvashka River, a tributary of Volga.

Gas workers in Yekaterinburg cleaned up the Kharitonovsky Park.

Taking part in the cleanup across Yekaterinburg were both the old and the young as well.

Gas workers in Irkutsk helped remove garbage from the premises of a local orphanage. Gazprom Dobycha Irkutsk Chief Surveyor Vladimir Andrianov takes out up to four bags of garbage at a time.

Even the citizens of the flooded Khabarovsk went out to clean up. Photo: electricians Valery Potapov and Dmitry Korotchenkov, Khabarovsk Line Pipe Operation Center.

Nadym citizens also cleaned the shores of a water reservoir – a small lake located near the town. An environmental brigade was headed by Igor Melnikov, Deputy Director General for Production at Gazprom Dobycha Nadym (center) and Alexey Pereladov, Head of the HR and Labor Relations Division (right).

How did a rusty piece of metal appear on the shore of the Nadym lake? It is not clear. But it goes to the bucket anyway.

Gas workers in Novy Urengoy were joined in a cleanup action by students of oil and gas universities. It was the lakeside as well.

Employees of the Yugorsk-based Yagelnoye Line Pipe Operation Center (Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk) cleaned up near their ‘dominion’ – the area adjacent to their facilities.

Let us return to Moscow now, to Setunsky Stan. While adults were busy cleaning up, children were entertained by the clowns who told them why it was important to preserve nature and, above all, how to do it.

Older children were painting pictures on which they were trying to show what the world could become if people stopped littering. It is really interesting – what could it actually become?

While the river banks were being cleared of quite tangible and perceptible garbage, a part of Gazprom Transgaz Moscow employees were fighting the invisible garbage: a mobile environmental lab arrived to analyze the state of the environment.

This seemingly plain van is actually capable of doing many things: quickly and efficiently determining the composition of air, water and soil, measuring the noise level, recognizing the presence of oil and its derivatives in the soil and water bodies.

Head of the mobile environmental lab Dmitry Yershov told us how special devices made it possible to detect metals, from calcium to uranium, in water or soil samples and how to perform the toxicity analysis.

The air composition analysis was performed right away. On receiving air from two air inlets, this complicated device recorded a small excess of nitrogen dioxide and carbon oxide.

Nevertheless, they told us in the lab that it didn’t pose a threat to health: the excess of these substances was recorded due to a field kitchen located nearby... There ‘soldier’ buckwheat with tinned meat…

…and sweet tea were served to the environmental action participants. While adults and children were cleaning up the forest and river banks, the cooks managed to prepare two cauldrons of buckwheat porridge. It must be enough for 400 people.

Once the cleanup of Setunsky Stan came to an end, people lined up for lunch. Adults and children were patiently waiting for their servings.

Yulya, who got hungry helping her father, refused the camp buckwheat porridge and decided on a sandwich.

As for the daughter of Sergey Krasikov, whom we had mentioned above, she tasted simple soldier food and tried to feed her Dad with that dish right away.

It is traditional in Sergey’s family to spend weekends together, that’s why they all gathered at the cleanup.

As the organizers had promised, there was a concert after lunch. The action participants were thanked with songs and…

…an extreme bike show in which spectators could also participate.

Though it started drizzling after lunch, there were no changes in the concert program.

And here are some cold figures to crown it all: around one million people, including more than 30 thousand Gazprom employees, from Russia’s 66 constituent entities took part in the Green Russia action. The efforts of so many people can’t just go down the drain, and that means our land has become a bit cleaner.

Gazprom website editorial board

You can find large size images in Photos.