On 13 December 2017 the special session "Global Compact and the UN sustainability and environmental protection initiatives: values, opportunities and perspectives" took place during the international exhibition and forum "Ecotech". The session was organized by the Russian National Network of the UN Global Compact and UN-Environment.
The current perception of a sustainability idea assumes business responsibility for any kind of impact on environment and society; progress not harming an interconnected system of economic, ecological and social elements; and process of evolutionary changes, in which scale of resource exploitation, capital investment objectives, technical development orientation and other elements are in line not only with current, but also with future needs of humanity.
The UN Global Compact (UNGC), UN-Environment and a number of other international initiatives are consolidated mechanisms which help to provide business and societal readiness for current challenges in humanitarian, ecological, economical, technological and other crucial areas, allow to mitigate risks connected to them and learn efficiently manage the future. Inclusion of the topic of these initiatives into the Russian agenda enable forming conditions for business intention to provide its ecological and social responsibility, increased efficiency of business-state-society interaction for sustainable development, more active discussion on optimum sustainability models and appearance of new forms and scenarios of international cooperation for all stakeholders.
The section participants focused on the issues related to business participation and role in promoting sustainable development values in the areas of environment, ecology and climate, including the context of the UN SDGs and opportunities opened up to Russian business by largest international sustainability initiatives.
"We can state that in the past the UN itself, including the previously existed Millennium Development Goals, could be characterized by underestimation of private sector as a driver of sustainable development", commented Larisa Ovchinnikova, moderator of the session, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Association ‘National Network of the Global Compact’. "Nevertheless the approach has changed, and new Sustainable development goals appeal directly to entrepreneurship community, offering to approach the sustainability challenged altogether. The universality of search directions stated in the sustainability agenda, enables companies to choose the set of goals that best fit their activities, both globally and at the level of a specific country. The UN perceives Global Compact as a key intersectoral platform for efficient involvement of international business-community to achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Business and global agenda - that's the framework in which all structural elements of the UN Global Compact are included - its 10 principles, activities of Working Groups and Committees on multiple directions, priorities of intersectoral cooperation, etc. Environmental responsibility of business under framework of the initiative acquires more and more detailed form, and it can already be defined as an ecological and climatic one. The has come a new - ecoera for business - and it requires new approaches, consolidated actions and efficient partnerships".