Sustainable Development Day at Summer Campus

From 7 to 20 July 2017, Kazan for the 6th time hosted Summer Campus of RANEPA (the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), a unique international educational project for youth, educational programme of which consists of lectures and interactive trainings with Russian and foreign scientists, civil servants and international businessmen.

The topic of 2017 Campus was entrepreneurship, and one day of the event was fully devoted to sustainable development and business participation in achievement of its objectives. Conversation on sustainable development of companies was organized with the help of ‘ACIG’ Group of Companies, an active participant of the UN GC Network in Russia supported by the Association ‘National Global Compact Network’ (UN GC Network in Russia). During the thematic day, experts discussed with participant in what way sustainable development influences commercial strategies, client relation, consumer preferences and business-partnership in general.

For instance, Zafer Unver, Unilever Vice President for Development of Relations with customers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, suggested his approach to solving global problems of humanity. He presented the company’s strategy on sustainability and raising life quality, according to which brand development should be both profitable and responsible. The plan assumes additional growth of enterprises, including social and ecological context; raising brand confidence; minimizing risks due to the switch to renewable energy sources; reducing costs due to an ecological approach. For the period from 2010 to 2016, the company has cut GHG emissions from the fuel combustion by 43%, water use by 37%, and overall waste volume by 96%. Unilever is intended not only to reduce harmful emissions, but also, for example, sugar and calories in its products, promoting healthy nutrition. Also, Unilever fights against discrimination, unemployment, and poverty. Thus, Lipton brand enforces a programme aimed at raising farmers’ quality of life. Pureit campaign provided 55 million people with clean water and sanitation. Dove brand all over the world helps women to understand their uniqueness and raise self-confidence.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and business role in their implementation were reviewed by Mikhail Zubarev, Head of Sustainable Development department of Diageo. Out of the objectives of the organization there are such as elimination of extreme poverty and hunger; provision of universal basic education; encouraging gender equality and women empowerment; reduction of mortality in children; improving motherhood and maternity health; fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; provision of eco-sustainability; formation of a universal partnership for development. Civil society worldwide has reached considerable progress in these areas. For instance, share of people living in extreme poverty, has reduced twice. Also, we managed to achieve equality in access to basic education regardless of gender, and many people all over the world have acquired access to drinking water. Moreover, ‘Plan W’ of Diageo company allows women in developing countries to get access to education. For more than 10 years, the company has provided more than 1.5 million people with water. Diageo developed a campaign, calling for fighting driving under the influence of alcohol - Don’t Drink & Drive, which is functioning in Russia too. Such experience Diageo acquired in connection, among other facts, with the company’s participation in the UN Global Compact.

Campus participants also attended a workshop, during which they were suggested thinking of an opportunity to improve the world and present their ecological projects (under facilitation of Elena Gorokhova, Director of a Green movement ECA, Managing Partner of ‘Veles’ Green agency); they also took part in discussing current understanding by Russian business of its participation in sustainable development processes, trends in responsible companies’ practices, development of competences in that area (from occasional to systematic charity, etc.), which new professions, qualifications and competences have appeared recently and what it stands for (Svetlana Gerasimova, Director Director of Center for Corporate Social Responsibility of Moscow Higher Business School MIRBIS).

The Summer Campus of RANEPA was organized by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the Government of the Russian Federation, government of Tatarstan Republic, and Agency of Innovational Russian regions supported by SC ‘ACIG’. The mission of the Campus is to create conditions for conversation of talented youth and for formation of a new intellectual elite generation. The Campus programme included not only educational, but also extended cultural component. Students participate in sightseeing of Kazan and Republic of Tatarstan, various games and creativity competitions. 

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