Swan Lake.

Despite the wholly non-sterile conditions inside the Novolipetsk Steel Plant, on the outside you’d never know there was a mammoth industrial complex nearby. For the management take the ecology of the surrounding environment veeerrryyy seriously.

The above slide says: ‘More than $1.1 billion invested in ecology in 15 years. Lipetsk – the cleanest metal-producing city in the Russian Federation’. And you can probably guess what those figures in the clouds mean: the level of air pollution, with Lipetsk having the lowest level/number – 3.4.

Indeed, several years ago they decided to take air pollution really seriously here and cut it drastically – and it looks like they’ve done a good job of it. For dotted all around (inside) the complex healthy-looking trees grow. So healthy-looking that one visiting foreign delegation asked of the cedar trees ‘how often do you replace them?!’ Turns out they were never planted and all grew themselves of their own accord.

But the most astonishing ecology-confirming feature here is. Swan Lake! Here’s the entrance:

Close the gate … Birds roaming inside!Close the gate … Birds roaming inside!

And behind the gate is an enormous bird sanctuary!

Around 50 different types of birds live here, including the rare-in-Russia Australian black swan, the Chinese silk chicken, some kinda unique wild geese, and a bunch of others I fail to remember the names of.

And of course, being called Swan Lake… yep – there are swans too! All sorts of different kinds: mute swans, white swans, black swans, chilled-out swans, hyperactive swans… and more!

Who’d have thought it? Right in the middle of a massive steel producing complex!

Btw, the water in Swan Lake is purified in one of the workshops. The birds appreciate its purity, as do the fishes swimming about in it. The water’s purity is carefully controlled, meaning not a drop of post-manufacturing-process water gets into the lake. Quite right too. Top job. Like :).

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