MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #4

MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #4

20 May 2022

The English version of the MCUR Digest (MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation) is a regular information source accumulating the main Russian news in the sphere of sustainable development and ESG transformation, responsible finance and climate agenda.

The forth issue is focused on the latest news in the above-mentioned areas that were in the spotlight in Russia in April 2022. The originals of the news are available via active links in the text. The English version is published monthly.

Sustainable Finance

Against the backdrop of a turbulent geopolitical and economic environment, discussions continue on the future of the ESG agenda and responsible financing in Russia. Despite the fact that Russian regions have suspended the issuance of green bonds, the main drivers of ESG transformation remain valid and come from the state and the largest Russian banks. In particular, the Government of the Russian Federation was instructed to consider the issue of state support in ESG investment projects, and Sberbank of Russia is launching a pilot ESG scoring program.

Other news on the topic:

15.04.2022 ESG Transformation in the Asset Management Market: Paths of Development
15.04.2022 Bank of Russia Emphasized Promotion of Sustainable Development in Its 2021 Report
25.04.2022 Novikombank Proposes to Further Develop the Regulatory Framework of ESG Projects
26.04.2022 Sberbank to Compensate for up to 300 Million Rubles’ Worth of Environmental Damage Caused by Large Businesses as Part of Its Eco-Insurance Program
29.04.2022 Ingosstrakh Set to Implement ESG Principles

Climate Policy and Carbon Regulation

Russia will continue to implement its climate policy despite the sanctions. This was stated by Ruslan Edelgeriev, presidential Advisor and Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues.

The first achievements in the Russian climate agenda are quite visible. In Kaliningrad, for instance, the first measurements of greenhouse gas emission were carried out at the carbon test site. At the same time, the Russian Government’s climate plans are expanding: Victoria Abramchenko, Deputy Prime Minister, has announced the creation of a national climate risk management system, which will minimize damage to agriculture, industry and housing and communal services.

Other news on the topic:

08.04.2022 «E-drive» Electric Transport Exhibition
11.04.2022 Europe Quickly Forgot about «Unshakable Values» in Terms of Ecology for the Sake of Fighting Russia, Medvedev Said
15.04.2022 Russian and Global Energy Sector: Challenges and Prospects
25.04.2022 Consortium for Hydrogen Energy Created at Moscow Energy Institute

Corporate ESG Strategies

Leading experts in ESG area express the opinion that the implementation of sustainable development principles will help Russian companies to cope with the crisis. However, it is possible to note the reduction of interest to the ESG agenda on the part of Russian companies associated with the need for timely solutions to other acute challenges. Some areas for development of the largest companies (ESG leaders) remain, they are highlighted in the report «ESG: Three Letters that Change the World» published by Higher School of Economics.

At the meeting of the founders of the ESG Alliance, they discussed areas of action to stimulate systemic transformation of the ESG agenda in Russia. Here are the main priorities:

  • to develop further and strengthen the national ESG infrastructure related to reporting, standards, ratings and certification;
  • to carry out research within Russia and in the so-called «new» foreign markets;
  • to promote the improvement of national ESG regulation, including the climate and carbon agenda;
  • to establish a systematic dialogue with cross-country associations in the «new» markets, including the BRICS countries, the EAEU and in part of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to interact with ESG expert community in these regions;
  • to carry out educational activities in the field of sustainable development, designed for a wide audience within the country.

Other news on the topic:

07.04.2022 HSE Researchers Believe ESG Practices to Increase the Competitiveness of Agriculture sector
08.04.2022 20 Regional Management Teams to Be Taught ESG Principles
13.04.2022 ESG for Internal Use. Do Businesses Need ESG Agenda under Sanctions?
14.04.2022 New RAEX-Europe ESG Ranking, April 2022
14.04.2022 DOM.RF Created a Department for Sustainable Development
19.04.2022 Soglasie Insurance Company Received an A2.esg Sustainable Development Rating
19.04.2022 National Credit Rating Agency Assigned an ESG Rating of ESG-III to Ak Bars Bank
19.04.2022 Communication between Business and Society Is Underestimated in Terms of ESG Agenda, Expert Says
04.05.2022 More Than One Third of Enterprises around the World Have No ESG Standards and Relevant Specialists, a Survey by Kaspersky Lab Says

Education for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation

The Faculty of Applied Economics and Commerce of MGIMO has launched a new Master’s program named «Climate and Carbon Regulation». It is designed to fill a significant shortage of specialists in the field of carbon regulation, capable of developing and implementing climate strategies and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.

On May 20, 2022, MGIMO Business School is launching a professional development program «Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management: from Calculation to Compensation». The aim of the program is to provide knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to account for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as to develop decarbonization measures. The curriculum includes subjects on legislative and methodological regulations, calculations of GHG emissions in all Scopes (Scope 1, 2 and 3), development of climate strategies and implementation of compensation projects.

The course on the basics of climate policy, quantification of greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related reporting, conducted by the Center for Complex Problems of Environmental Management and the Environment, has been completed at MGIMO. The course was organized within the framework of the training program of the Center for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation of MGIMO and lasted from January 29 to April 23. 24 students completed the course.

On April 25-29, MGIMO hosted the 8th ESG Solution Cup Case Championship. The championship has been held annually since 2014. It is organized by «MGIMO Goes Green» Environmental Club with the support of MGIMO Department of International Complex Problems of Environmental Management and Ecology and MGIMO Endowment. In 2022, participants could compete in one of six cases. 59 teams and 130 individual participants from 28 regions of Russia had registered to participate in the qualifying stage. Twenty-seven teams made it to the final. Among the partners and experts there were representatives of INK-Capital, RUSAL, Sberbank of Russia, KPMG, NLMK, AFK Sistema, Mospriroda, CarbonLab, CCI of the Russian Federation, «Nash Fond» and Baltic Nature Fund.

The winner teams were:

  • in the case «CBAM: consequences of the introduction of a cross-border carbon regulation mechanism» — «Zelenaya Milia» (MSU);
  • in the case «Sustainable schools and universities» —"Ecoscience" (MSU);
  • in the case «Ghost Networks» — «Poisson» (MGIMO, RANEPA);
  • in the case «Ecosystem services of urban reservoirs» — «UrbanUp» (Financial University, St. Petersburg State University, Moscow State Social University);
  • in the case «Development of ESG banking products» — «Volchitsy from Wall Street» (MGIMO) and «Green Transition Team» (Kazan Federal University);
  • in the case «Green» oil: the use of technologies that provide a negative carbon footprint of hydrocarbon raw materials" — «Molodye/Zelenye» (Irkutsk National Research Technical University).

Several publications on the topic of sustainable development and ESG transformation were published in spring.

  • «Introduction to the profession of international ecologist», edited by R.A.Aliyev, authored by R.A. Aliyev, Head of the Department of International Complex Problems of Nature Management and Ecology, A.A.Avramenko, Associate Professor of the department, and S.D. Denisova, graduate of the same department. The textbook is designed for undergraduate students studying Ecology and Environmental Management at MGIMO. It covers various aspects of environmental-oriented activities carried out by MGIMO and other Russian and foreign universities. It also contains practical tasks and cases that provide insight into the professional skills needed by the future ecologist, including information on climate change and ESG transformation.
  • The first volume of the series of publications «ESG transformation as a vector of sustainable development» by MGIMO ESG Resource Center «Priority 2030», under the general editorship of Prof. C.E.Tourbina and Prof. I.Y.Yurgens ( project manager). The first volume includes the book «Renewable Energy in the world Energy supply system» (V.V. Bessel, V.G. Kucherov, A.S. Lopatin, R.D. Mingaleeva); «International standards of non-financial reporting» (I.S. Barsola, E.A. Tereshchenko, S.D. Denisova, V.I. Ruzakova); «Global management of sustainable development: the main participants, institutions and processes» (A.M. Vartanyan); «Sustainable development and capital markets» (I.N. Makhalin, M.A. Kanzerova, D.O. Gayeva); «Damage caused to the environment: types and assessment» (N.A. Chernykh, Yu.I. Baeva).

In March, the expert-analytical platform «Infrastructure and Finance of Sustainable Development» (INFRAGREEN; published the report «ESG and Green Finance of Russia 2018-2022», which summarizes the results of the development of the ESG sector and the responsible finance market in Russia from 2018 to early 2022. The initiator and the main author of the Report is Svetlana Bik, Head of INFRAGREEN, an expert-analytical platform. S.D. Denisova, leader of the «Сareer and Сommunity» line of the Center for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation of MGIMO, also contributed greatly to the report, editing the section devoted to ESG education.

On May 19, MGIMO will host a student conference titled «Risk Management of Sustainable Economic Development». The main goal of the conference is to attract young specialists to the study of sustainable development and climate risks.

Other news on the topic:

07.04.2022 Experts from Federal Universities Discuss the Issue of Carbon Neutrality of Russia
15.04.2022 Digitalization and the Green Agenda: a Clash of Global Trends?

Environmental Protection

Due to the foreign sanctions, the implementation of environmental projects may be delayed, as businesses and the state need to organize import substitution of environmental protection equipment and systems. Despite the postponement of some government programs and business reliefs in 2022, Head of the Ministry of Natural Resources says that sanctions will not affect the quality of environmental control.

Victoria Abramchenko, Deputy Prime Minister, also instructed the Russian Ecological Operator to ensure construction of municipal solid waste (MSW) processing facilities in accordance with the plan and achievement of targets, including sorting 100 percent of MSW by 2030. To achieve the goal, it is planned to subsidize the interest rate on the construction of MSW processing facilities, and to support investors in the field of waste management. According to Denis Butsaev, Head of the Russian Ecological Operator, import substitution of equipment for waste sorting plants is growing, and a full transition to domestic equipment may take about two years.

The issues of import substitution of environmental technologies and the formation of Russia’s ecological sovereignty, as well as green diplomacy to build a constructive international dialogue on climate and ecology are the topics at the XIII International Ecological Forum, which will be held in Moscow on May 23-24 at the Center for International Trade. More than 36 sections is planned, and more than a thousand participants are expected.

Other news on the topic:

01.04.2022 100% of MSW to Be Processed in Crimea by 2024
06.04.2022 New Competition of Environmental Projects Started in Kuzbass
07.04.2022 Cluster for Garbage Recycling to Be Built in the Sverdlovsk Region
11.04.2022 Eco-Due to Be Spend Only for Waste Recycling and Sorting
18.04.2022 Retailers Start Giving Customers Electronic Receipts
20.04.2022 Anti-Crisis Acceleration: New Amendments to Change the Time Frames for the Creation of Large Facilities and Infrastructure
21.04.2022 Best Way to Deal with Waste not to Produce It
21.04.2022 Ban on the Sale of Plastic Bags and Disposable Tableware in the Territories Adjacent to Lake Baikal Planned
21.04.2022 Import Substitution: a Search of an Effective Model of Environmental Policy under Sanctions
22.04.2022 Researchers from HSE Identified the Main Factors of Russians’ Eco-Friendly Behavior

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