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UN Global Compact Russia

Events

CSR BEYOND THE PANDEMIC

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On October 12, the HSE Graduate School of Business hosted a high-level business dialogue "Corporate Social Responsibility beyond COVID-19". Held in the format of the conference it was dedicated to the pandemic’s effects on the changing corporate social responsibility and sustainable development policies and practices of Russian and international companies. The event was organized by the HSE Graduate School of Business and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA,) with the information support of the UN Global Compact Network Russia.

On October 12, the HSE Graduate School of Business hosted a high-level business dialogue "Corporate Social Responsibility beyond COVID-19". Held in the format of the conference it was dedicated to the pandemic’s effects on the changing corporate social responsibility and sustainable development policies and practices of Russian and international companies. The event was organized by the HSE Graduate School of Business and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA,) with the information support of the UN Global Compact Network Russia.

The conference was attended by Valery Katkalo, HSE First Vice Rector and Dean of HSE Graduate School of Business, Ivan Prostakov, HSE Vice-Rector, Alanna Armitage, UNFPA’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Louise Dann, UNFPA’s Partnerships Adviser for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Other participants of the plenary session and thematic round tables were representatives of more than 15 Russian and international companies, including Beeline (Vimpelcom), NLMK, MTS, Kimberly Clark, SAP, Coca-Cola, Volvo, Moldcell Foundation, Accenture, Coface, Microsoft and others.

UNFPA’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Alanna Armitage noted, that UNFPA works with many partners, and that partnership with Russia and representatives of various Russian companies and expert organizations was also very important for the Fund, since a multisectoral approach was the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and that was the way of working together for overcoming the terrible consequences of COVID-19, and using the lessons learned to build a more equal, fair and strong society.

The dialogue was divided into a plenary session and thematic round tables dedicated to initiatives focused on the most vulnerable groups of the population (“CSR to raise awareness and engage older people”, “Developing corporate policies that support women in the workplace”, and “CSR to expand access, opportunities and inclusion of people with disabilities”).

In advance of the thematic round tables, Louise Dann (UNFPA), Evgenia Chistova (Beeline), Tatyana Rozhkova (NLMK), Tatyana Andreeva (Volvo) and Marina Vashukova (UNGC network) discussed current approaches of business leaders to CSR as a competitive advantage for companies and to interpretation of its strategies and goals during the pandemic, as well as views on the future of corporate responsibility.

The modern business approach to corporate social responsibility extends its frontiers to the sustainable development paradigm and focuses business efforts on the 2030 Agenda not as a thematic assortment for choosing projects covering one-time CSR and charity tasks, but as a system of problems and challenges, both global and local, where business is an important or sometimes a key player in solving them.

During the discussion, the mission of the United Nations Population Fund for mobilizing corporate responsibility of business, selected targeted programs and partnership models demonstrating companies’ systematic approach to CSR in the context of the SDGs were presented with the Fund's view on companies' perception of their social mission, which became more flexible and profound in response to the pandemic.

Representatives of the companies, in turn, revealed current priorities of corporate approaches to CSR, which took the experience of resource mobilization during the pandemic and the more appreciated responsible companies’ positive impact on the well-being of society into account.

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