The programmatic motto of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which took place in Saint Petersburg on 24-26 May 2018 has become the one that UN Global Compact Local Network in Russia can call its own slogan - "Building an economy of trust".
This direct connection of values was reflected not only in the concept, but also in the Forum program, which more than ever presented the global agenda for corporate responsibility and sustainable development this year: from global digital security to global responsibility as a key competence of modern young people.
The participants of the national network of the UN DG were the speakers of several thematic sessions. Two of them were attended by L.E. Ovchinnikova, Chairman of the Network Managing Board, Managing Director of the Vnesheconombank Institutional Development Department, and E.N. Feoktistova, Deputy Chairman of the Network Managing Board, Managing Director of RSPP on Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship. They presented the leadership approach of the UNHR network and the experience of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs as the drivers for developing responsible business practices in Russia.
The focus of the panel session “Taking responsibility for the future: a long-term business investment strategy” (May 24) was the concept of sustainable development as a common practice for business, the subject of national and international discussions on economic development. Global changes were considered by the participants of the session not only as strategic factors for the development of companies, but also as a challenge requiring a long-term responsible approach. During the discussion, the speakers sought to present the experience of global and Russian companies, answering a number of important questions. What is sustainable development today - responsible management, fashion trend or competitive strategy? What are the real business benefits of applying a sustainable development approach in Russia and the world? Is it possible to calculate the benefits of long-term investments in sustainable development using the traditional economic approach?
Yevgeny Primakov, General Director of the Russian Humanitarian Mission
Jens Birgersson, President, Chief Executive Officer of Rockwool International A / S
Andrey Varichev, General Director of Metalloinvest Management Company LLC; Board member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)
Alexey Kornya, President of MTS PJSC
Vasil Latsanich, General Director of PJSC "VimpelCom"
Alexander Mashkevich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurasian Resources Group S.a.r.l. (ERG)
Juvencio Maestu Herrera, IKEA Finance Director
Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, PAO Severstal
Larisa Ovchinnikova, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Association “National Network of the Global Compact”
Ashok Rammohan, President of affiliated companies in Russia and Belarus Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI)
Jean-Pierre Thoma, President of Thomas Vendome Investment
Vadim Shvetsov, General Director, Member of the Board of Directors of PJSC “Sollers”
Jan-Willem Scheigrond, Vice President, Global Director for Government and Public Affairs, Royal Philips
David Yakobashvili, President, Orion Heritage LLC
Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)
Anna Yanchevskaya, President of the Sistema Charitable Foundation
Larisa Ovchinnikova stressed that the commitment of companies to the principles of corporate responsibility and their involvement in sustainable development processes is becoming an increasingly serious factor in the growth of a business, its capitalization and reputation.
“It is the international business of the UN that assigns a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and therefore the role of the Global Compact is growing,” L. Ovchinnikova reminded. “Russian companies - participants and partners of the Global Compact are already actively involved in this process.”
Representatives of business commented on their role in the implementation of the global agenda. For example, Ashok Rammohan, president of Philip Morris International Inc. affiliated companies in Russia and Belarus, highlighted the company's priority in the area of sustainable development - SDG 3: “Good health and well-being”, telling how the Goal business and the creation of innovative products.
PJSC Severstal recently entered into the Global Compact, but the concept of responsible business culture and sustainability for the company is not just not new - it has been part of a commercial strategy for many years. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Severstal, Alexei Mordashov, confirmed this: “Sustainable development is a megatrend, and Russia cannot stand aside. We see that consumers in their choice of purchased products increasingly come from environmental protection. Investors when acquiring shares of companies take into account the ESG-factors and ratings. The governments of the countries introduce quite strict environmental regulation. You can often hear the point of view that it is not profitable for a business to deal with issues of sustainable development, that these are only additional costs. This is not true. Moreover, I am confident that with the right approach, sustainable development opens up new sources of value creation and increased profitability. ”
The second panel session with the participation of the leadership of the Russian national network of the UN DG - “Goodwill. When not enough honest words "- took place on 26 May. Speakers and participants discussed the increasing dependence of business on the so-called non-financial factors in an era of rapid communications, when protecting and preserving business reputation is one of the most pressing topics. What factors today affect business reputation? How to support her? How to integrate social responsibility issues and processes of strategic planning and company management? What should be the information space in which trust arises, and what should be done in a difficult situation in which we can all end up in order not to lose money and reputation? The obvious conclusion was the session summary: non-compliance with environmental standards, insufficient investment in the development of human capital, inattention to social programs and charity can lead to serious reputational and, as a result, financial losses.
Sergey Shapiguzov, Managing Partner, FBK President Grant Thornton
Mark Bartolomi, Partner, Head of Corporate Law and Real Estate Practice, Clifford Chance CIS Limited
Marat Biktimirov, General Director of the National Association of Research and Scientific-Educational Electronic Infrastructures "e-ARENA"
Julia Morozova, General Director of Creative Production
Ruslan Novikov, General Director of Arguments and Facts JSC
Ekaterina Trofimova, General Director, Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA)
Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director for Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)
Yuri Yudenkov, Professor, Faculty of Finance and Banking (FSE), Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA)
David Yakobashvili, President, Orion Heritage LLC
SPIEF is a unique event in the world of economics and business. The forum has been held since 1997 (since 2006 - under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation and with his participation) and has become the leading global platform for business representatives to talk and discuss key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world as a whole. More than 17,000 people from 143 countries took part in SPIEF-2018. All members of the recently formed Government of Russia and the heads of 75 regions of the country became the participants of the Forum. More than 550 agreements worth over 2 trillion rubles were signed at the Forum.