MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #18

MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #18

22 September 2023

This special issue of the MCUR Digest focuses on the main developments in the sphere of education for sustainable development which took place in January-August 2023.

MCUR (MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation) Digest is a regular information source accumulating the main Russian and world news related to sustainable development and ESG transformation, responsible finance and climate agenda. The originals of the news are available via active links in the text.

Russia’s national agenda in education for sustainable development and ESG transformation

HSE University and the National ESG Alliance have conducted a joint study of education for sustainable development. The authors have analyzed educational programs, surveyed university officials and identified the key challenges for sustainable development education in Russia. One of the main challenges identified was the gap between the demand for qualified personnel in sustainable development and the number of available ESG education programs. According to the study, the demand for specialists in the field of sustainable development does not always find a timely and appropriate response from the higher or corporate education system. This can be solved by adopting a national framework concept of sustainable development and ESG in the sphere of education.

Moreover, the organizers of VuzEcoFest, a youth sustainable development forum, together with the Russian Environmental Operator and Moscow City Government University, have carried out a survey that revealed that 41% of respondents believe that it is universities that should ensure achievement of sustainable development goals in the higher education environment, and it can be done through teaching, research and embracing the principles of sustainable development in the university activities.

The conclusions of the above-mentioned surveys can be illustrated by the following university initiatives:

  • •The National Institute of Accreditation (NIAR) and the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Federal Accreditation Service, have developed a set of educational programs in the field of low-carbon development. They are based on the new regulatory acts concerning greenhouse gas emissions control, as well as changes in the criteria for accreditation of verifying and validating bodies, which came into force on September 1, 2023.
  • Tyumen State University has launched a joint Russian-Chinese professional training program which focuses on developing and implementing natural and climate projects and working in carbon markets.
  • • The Ural Federal University has prepared two new educational programs aimed at training specialists in the field of sustainable development and ESG transformation of Russian regions.
  • The Financial University has approved its environmental and climate sustainability strategy. It focuses on the rational use of natural resources, the use of resource- and energy-saving technologies, minimizing the negative impact on the environment and reducing the amount of waste by increasing the amount of sorting and processing.

Other news on the topic:

16.02.2023 A Cartoon about Climate Change Made at Nizhny Novgorod University Has Been Shown to Schoolchildren
02.03.2023 «Finance of Sustainable Development: Challenges and Strategies», a Conference
03.03.2023 «Sustainable Development in Russia: Challenges, Threats and Opportunities», an All-Russian conference
31.03.2023 Sustainable Development: Education and Culture
08.04.2023 The Institute of Global Climate and Ecology and Lyceum No. 34 Have Signed an Agreement on Monitoring the Impact of Air Pollution on Ecosystems
14.04.2023 «Eco-culture: What is the Public Benefit?», a Round Table
28.04.2023 The «Green» Professions of the Near Future
18.05.2023 77% of Russians Support the Idea of Introducing Environmental Literacy Classes at Schools
22.05.2023 The Role of Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation in the New Educational Programs of the Advanced Engineering School Has Been Discussed at Novosibirsk State Technical University
24.05.2023 Startcarbon Summed Up

Useful materials:

«Climate Change and its Consequences», a Course on Stepik
«School Climate Passport», Methodological Guidelines
«Climate Change: Science, Law, Practice», a Summer School
The 26th International Environmental Student Conference
«Education and Science for Sustainable Development», the 15th International Scientific Conference
VuzEcoFest 2023

Trends in the development of ESG education in Russia

The MGIMO Center for Sustainable Development has prepared the second issue of the annual expert analytical report titled «Trends in the Development of ESG Education in Russia», which will be published in September 2023. Here are the main conclusions of the report:

  • In 2022-2023, there have been significant changes in the offer of sustainable development education programs in both bachelor’s and master’s degree sectors, mainly, as before, in areas of economics, management, ecology and environmental management. The offer of higher education programs in the field of sustainable development is expanding in geographical terms: the share of regional universities offering such programs has increased significantly — up to 35 per cent.
  • Specialized master’s degree programs are offered mainly by profile universities which train specialists for the petrochemical industry, urban planning and architecture. The new programs launched in 2022 are related to tourism, agriculture and construction, and it meets the employers’ demands in ESG competences. It is forecast that in 2024-2025 an even greater specialization of ESG competences will emerge, giving students industry-specific knowledge, e.g. environmental certification, the impact of climate risks on sustainable development and ESG risks management. Special ESG-related programs will also appear in the study area of State and Municipal Management, prompted by the need for regional sustainable development strategies and the required transition to the closed-loop economy.
  • There has been an increase in the number of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the areas of renewable energy, including hydrogen, and energy- and resource-saving solutions in chemical technology, petrochemistry and biotechnology. It is expected that by 2024 a number of specialized master’s degree programs in closed-loop economy will emerge, giving competencies like solid municipal waste management, best practices for changing production processes, recycling, treatment and reuse of wastewater, legal support for the transition to a closed-loop economy, e.g. increasing the regulatory burden and penalties for violation of the legal requirements.
  • Still, the demand for specialists in sustainable development is being met largely by additional professional training programs. Taking into account the duration of the bachelor’s and master’s degree cycle, most of the demand for professional training in this sphere will be met by such programs in the next 5 years. The most needed training areas will be preparation of corporate non-financial reports, development and implementation of corporate ESG transformation strategies, due diligence and verification in the process of transformation, sustainable finance as well as comprehensive competences of ESG officers.

Education for Sustainable Development and ESG transformation at MGIMO

MGIMO continues the systemic development of education for sustainable development and ESG transformation: in the first half of 2023, a number of important projects and initiatives were implemented, addressed to university students and schoolchildren from all around Russia.

In April, the 2nd International Dictation titled «Achieving sustainable development together!» took place. It included 15 questions (the correct answers can be found on the MGIMO website). Students from 12 Russian cities took part in the Dictation. The results were announced at a press conference on May 31, 2023. This year Kirill Prokhorov, a 3rd year student of HSE University, received the best result, 91 points.

The ESG Solution Cup 2023, which has already become a tradition at MGIMO, ended in April. Sberbank, Kept Taxes and Consulting, T Plus, Rosatom Corporate Academy, St Petersburg Stock Exchange, NP RTS Association, DOM.RF, CarbonLab, Soyuzexpertiza, Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MBS Solution, RazDelny Sbor and Sobirator were partners of the event. At the qualifying stage, there were 420 participants from 32 regions of Russia and eight countries of the world: China, Colombia, France, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. The 30 best teams from Moscow, Astana, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, St Petersburg, Ufa, Tambov, Oryol and Khabarovsk were invited to the final.

MGIMO also held a competition titled «Sustainable development is our future» for schoolchildren of grades 9-11. It is a part of the «Russian International ESG Center» strategic project under the «Priority 2030» program. The objectives of the competition are to identify the most gifted students, support talented youth and promote scientific knowledge through the prism of sustainable development. The winners of the competition received additional points, which are taken into account when applying for the bachelor’s degree program in Ecology and Nature Management at MGIMO. It is planned that the competition will be held regularly in the future.

Other news on the topic:

13.03.2023 «Sustainable Development Mechanisms in Tourism and Hospitality», a Training Program
15.03.2023 «Risks Associated with Climate Change», a Lecture by V.B.Lukin
16.03.2023 «Scientific Support of the Russian Climate Policy», a Seminar
23.03.2023 World Water Day Round Table
28.03.2023 «Environmental Problems of Radioactive Waste Management in Russia», a Round Table
05.04.2023 International Sustainable Development Forum 2023
11.04.2023 «Russia’s Participation in the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration: Terrestrial Ecosystems», a Seminar
12.04.2023 «The Role of Universities in the National Low-Carbon and Climate Agenda», a Round Table
19.04.2023 «Carbon Market and Carbon Regulation in Russia», a Lecture by M.A.Yulkin
21.04.2023 «Sustainable Development and ESG Agenda in the Macroeconomic Context», a Conference
17.05.2023 «Russia’s Role in the Global Carbon Cycle», a Lecture
22.05.2023 EcoFest 2023
03.08.2023 MGIMO in Kamchatka: ESG in the Development of Russian Regions and Education

Useful materials:

«Sustainable Development and the ESG Agenda in the Macroeconomic Context», Materials of the Interuniversity Scientific Conference

Event announcements:

Business Management Based on ESG Principles — Practitioner Expertise
«Carbon Market and Carbon Regulation», a Professional Training Program
International School of Youth Diplomacy

Authors: Andrey Avramenko, Sofia Denisova

Editor-in-chief: Capitolina Tourbina

Translator: Stanislav Shurygin

Designer: Maria Bakhireva

Disclaimer: The point of view of the MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation may differ from the opinions of the authors of the news cited in the analytical publication. All materials are for reference only, and the MCUR is not responsible for their implementation in practice. The links to news sources used in the compilation of the MCUR Digest are indicated in the text and are active only in online format. The Digest does not use external copyrighted materials or reproduce them. If you have any questions, please contact:

The MCUR Digest is being issued as part of the implementation of the strategic academic leadership program “Priority 2030”.

Department of International Complex Problems of Nature Management and Ecology
MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation