MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #9

MGIMO Centre for Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation Digest #9

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

Sustainable Finance

Russia’s largest financial institutions systematize the sustainable development agenda when adopting ESG strategies. In October 2022, such strategies were presented by AFK Sistema and VEB.RF. Since the investment portfolio of AFK Sistema is very diverse, it was a priority to come up with a detailed approach to assessing the ESG profile of investments and businesses, develop a system of indicators for monitoring the portfolio and increase the share of «sustainable» revenue. The strategy of VEB.RF is designed until 2030 and includes top-level strategic ESG goals, such as promoting the implementation of the national social and environmental agenda, scaling up green finance mechanisms in Russia and gaining international recognition «for sustainability maturity».

Russian banks also report progress in implementing ESG practices:

  • Gazprombank has decided to finance the construction of three ecotechnoparks for processing and disposal of waste in the Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk and Tomsk regions. The total amount of funds allocated by the bank will amount to 22.1 billion rubles. The projects are aimed at creating a modern infrastructure that ensures safe waste management, and they correspond with the goals of the National Ecology Project.
  • VTB is accepting bids for the purchase of Evolute electric cars under the preferential state car loan program. The discount of 35 per cent can be applied to families with one or more minors, borrowers buying a car for the first time, medical and educational workers.
  • Sber is the winner of the «Green and Healthy Office» campaign, which is aimed at selecting and promoting the best corporate environmental practices. Experts highly appreciate Sber’s environmental and social projects, including the Paperless Office project. Thanks to the implementation of about 800 initiatives in 2022, the bank has saved 227 million A4 sheets.
  • Center-Invest Bank has purchased green electricity from the Staromaryevskaya solar power plant. This has allowed the bank to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 40 per cent in its energy consumption.

Other news on the topic:

10.10.2022 Promsvyazbank Promotes ESG Agenda in Chuvashia
20.10.2022 VSK Insurance Rated among Russia’s Top Green Insurance Companies
20.10.2022 AFK Sistema Has Invested More Than 7.7 Billion Rubles in ESG Projects over 3 Years
26.10.2022 Expert RA Rating Agency Has Assessed Kamaz Bonds by Green Criteria

Climate Policy and Carbon Regulation

President Putin addressed the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club and made a following statement about the future of carbon neutrality in Russia.

The most reliable information on climate change is published in official sources. Roshydromet has published a General Summary of the Third Assessment Report on Climate Change and its Consequences for Russia. The text of the document is an official publication of Roshydromet intended for federal and regional authorities that develop and implement the country’s climate policy in accordance with Russia’s Climate Doctrine. The document will be taken into account when authorities carry out planning and prepare programs for the sustainable development of individual regions. According to the Igor Shumakov, Head of Roshydromet, the territory of Russia is warming 2.5 times faster than the rest of the planet. A particularly dangerous situation is being registered in regions such as Yamal, where people are learning to live in conditions of melting permafrost.

The Institute of Global Climate and Ecology (IGCE) has launched a rating of environmental and climatic efficiency, based on a special questionnaire. Currently, any company can voluntarily fill out the questionnaire and find itself in the rating. In 2022, the rating is assigned free of charge. To take part in the IGCE initiative, companies should obtain the questionnaire, instructions for filling it out and the evaluation methodology on the website of the institute. The deadline for submission of filled-out questionnaires is December 12, 2022. The rating is scheduled to be published in December 2022.

Other news on the topic:

01.10.2022 Russian Experts Take Part in the 57th Session of IPCC in Geneva
05.10.2022 Caspian States Actively Implement Climate Agenda, Mr. Reshetnikov Says
06.10.2022 Climate-Neutral Tourism Is on the Rise in Russia
08.10.2022 Environmentalists at Perm Polytechnic University Have Found a Way to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cement Plants
19.10.2022 Sales of Evolute Electric Cars Have Started in Russia
21.10.2022 EEC Starts Implementing Its Climate Roadmap
25.10.2022 Energy Transition in Russia Remains a Vital Issue, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Says
25.10.2022 Russia and the US Should Cooperate in the Sphere of Climate, Advisor to President Noted
26.10.2022 Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Has Instructed to Finalize the Hydrogen Energy
Development Program

Useful materials:

«Climate Dialogues» Expert Discussion: Broadcast Recordings
Carbonlab Climate Digests
2022 TCFD Status Report

Corporate ESG Strategies

There were plenty of ESG-related events, research publications and rating updates in Russia in October 2022.

The 2nd Congress of Responsible Business ESG—®Evolution, organized by RBC, was held on October 25, 2022. The program of the forum consisted of various sessions, like «ESG: Made in Russia» strategic session and «ESG-Indexes. Transparency, standards and verification issues». There the results of the first ESG index established jointly by RBC and the National Credit Ratings Agency were presented. A total of 115 companies participated in the index. It showed that the ranks for the governance component were higher than for the environmental and social ones. The congress was also attended by a representative of the Bank of Russia, who highlighted the regulator’s plans to harmonize ESG ratings.

Kept and E+ Change have published an annual study titled «Barometer of Sustainable Business Transformation». The survey of Russian business experts has shown that 78 per cent of them consider the promotion of ESG initiatives at the state level to be the key driver of the ESG agenda in Russia. Besides, 74 per cent of respondents believe that the main barrier for the development of ESG agenda is the difficult situation in which businesses find themselves at the moment. At the same time, the main change that will take place in the ESG sphere in Russia in the future 3-5 years is the development of Russian ESG ratings and standards. Sber has launched a special project named «Sustainable Development in Practice. How Can Russian Companies Continue Their ESG Transformation in the New Reality?». The project consists of three blocks: ESG agenda, ESG risks and climate strategies. Two materials are available on its website: «Sber Guide on Corporate ESG Risks» and «ESG in Russian Business: Impact of New Environment».

Other news on the topic:

05.10.2022 Russia’s Methodological Recommendations for the Implementation of ESG Principles in the Tourism Sector
06.10.2022 «Zolotaya Osyen» Exhibition: Evaluation of «Green» Products and Eco-Development of Agriculture Have Been Discussed
13.10.2022 The Future of ESG is to Preserve the Universal Language
13.10.2022 RAEX ESG Ranking of Russian Companies for October 2022
14.10.2022 «Russian ESG Ratings: Where We Are and Where We Want to Be». A Strategic Session Held by ESG Alliance
16.10.2022 Green Technologies in the Russian Chemical Industry
17.10.2022 ESG in Russia: the 4 Major Changes of 2022
18.10.2022 Russian Regions Are Implementing Sustainable Development Principles
19.10.2022 How Businesses and NGOs Carry On with Social Projects in Crisis
21.10.2022 Russian Businesses Should Assess Their ESG Maturity When «Turning East»
21.10.2022 How Digitalization Helps ESG Business Transformation
22.10.2022 ESG Principles Are Relevant in the Eastern Market, Too
23.10.2022 «An Overhaul of Tasks»: Is ESG Still a National Priority?
24.10.2022 «By Helping Someone, You Help Yourself»: How Social Business Is Going Through a Crisis
25.10.2022 «Attention Is Important»: What Kind of Help Business Needs for ESG Projects
27.10.2022 Public Chamber and RAEX Assess Sustainable Development Report of MTS Group
27.10.2022 ESG Alliance To Select the Best Methodologies for Assessing Suppliers’ Sustainability
28.10.2022 Moscow Exchange Has Announced the Winners of the Annual Reports Competition
28.10.2022 Expert Council on Sustainable Development Has Been Joined by New Members

Useful materials:

ESG Rethink Forum 2022
ESG in the Digital World: Challenges and Opportunities
ESG Transformation as a Vector of Sustainable Development: Volume 1 and Volume 2 (a series of textbooks by MGIMO)
Trends in the Development of ESG Education in Russia (an expert analytical report by MGIMO at the 2nd Conference on Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation)
Corporate Governance and ESG Transformation of Russian Companies (a Study by Skolkovo and Stanton Chase)
«Brands with Meaning» Forum

Environmental Protection

In October, the 2022 Russian Environmental Forum (REF) was held, which brought together the main processors of municipal solid waste (MSW). The Russian Environmental Operator (REO) held the forum. The main discussion topic at the forum was the transition to a circular economy, which would make it possible to re-use and preserve the value of goods, materials and resources as long as possible. To implement the principles of a closed-loop economy, the Government has allocated 9.4 billion rubles to create eight ecotechnoparks. Ecotechnoparks are being created as part of the Circular Economy Federal Project. It is planned to recycle about 40 per cent of construction waste by 2030, and the program on construction waste has already been adopted by the government and implies recycling of 96 million tons of construction waste each year. The forum also featured topics of eco-volunteering (whether there is a Russian Greta Thunberg), digital solutions in the field of MSW management and recycling electronics as part of producer’s extended responsibility. The materials of the forum can be found on its official website. MGIMO has also joined the REO consortium for the transition to a circular economy. The agreement was signed in October 2022 at the 14th Russian International Studies Association (RISA) Convention.

Other news on the topic:

03.10.2022 Swedish Scientists to Assess Environmental Damage due to Explosions on Nord Stream
06.10.2022 Methane Level in the Nord Stream Leakage Area is 1,000 Times Higher Than Normal
07.10.2022 UN Agencies Can Assess Environmental Damage of Nord Stream Sabotage
11.10.2022 Walking through Russian Landfills Is Now Possible in VR glasses
12.10.2022 5,000 rubles’ Bonus for Those Who Report Unauthorized Littering on Highways Will Be Paid in the Kurgan Region
13.10.2022 Lenta to Label Eco-Friendly Goods
14.10.2022 Petrochemical Companies May Pay Billions of Dollars for Plastic Pollution
15.10.2022 Golden Turtle Festival
17.10.2022 Wild Animals Population Fell by Almost 70 Per Cent in the Last 48 Years, WWF Report Shows
18.10.2022 Karelian Company Has Devised a Fundamentally New Way of Waste Disposal
18.10.2022 Russians Throw Away 500 Kilograms of Gold Each Year
21.10.2022 Measures to Protect the Caspian Sea Were Discussed at the 6th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Tehran Convention
28.10.2022 100 Billion Rubles Will Be Spent on the Waste Management Reform, Deputy Prime Minister Says

Useful materials:

Living Planet Report 2022


SKOLKOVO Autumn School of Sustainable Development

Authors: Andrey Avramenko, Sofia Denisova
Editors-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