10.06.2010. UNDP and the Global Compact Network in Russia supported the All-Russian ‘Forum Creating Shared Value: the strategy of corporate social responsibility’
The participants of the All-Russian Forum ‘Creating Shared Value’ in Moscow, including representatives of state bodies, business community, civil society and mass media discussed what steps need to be taken to make social programmes in Russia success.
The All-Russian Forum ‘Creating Shared Value: the strategy of corporate social responsibility’ took place in Moscow. The Forum was initiated by Nestle company and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Compact Network in Russia. Participants from large companies, civil society organizations, government structures and mass media shared their experience in responding to social challenges. They presented best practices in CSR and formulated proposals for further development of CSR programmes in Russia.
The speakers included representatives of UNDP, Ministry of Education and Science of RF, GC Network in Russia, Public chamber and charity organisations, and Nestle company. During the discussion session entitled ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: Principles of Partnership between Business, Power and Society’ the attention was focused on the most acute issues related to social programmes implementation. Among other things, the participants spoke about the lack of appropriate coordination among the shareholders in the process, the imperfection of CSR-related legislation, the limited attention to this area on the part of mass media, the role of volunteers in resolution of social problems and other important issues.
Frode Mauring, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Russia said: “We believe that the more progress the country is making in terms of economic growth, institutional and social reforms, the more should business be engaged in resolution of challenges, which appear on the country’s agenda. And it is also in the interests of business to have a well functioning society to operate in.”
According to Alexander Bim, Director of the Sustainable Development Project under the GC Network in Russia, “much has been done in Russia to form a modern and constructive perception of CSR. As an example, these issues are thoroughly examined in the Social Chart of Russian business, adopted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. At the global level, the essence of CSR is reflected in the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) documents. However, both businesses and expert community face a variety of CSR interpretations – from identifying it as charity or viewing it as obligatory ‘state order’, additional financial burden for companies. A universal perception of CSR would increase the potential for the constructive application of this concept. From our point of view, CSR is first of all, about ensuring effective interaction of companies with external business and social environment based on a balanced approach, a synergy between a corporate business strategy and interests of partners, consumers, and other stakeholders.
Niels Christiansen, Nestle Vice-president on Public Affairs, gave a detailed account of his company’s CSR approach: “For a business to be successful in the long term, it has to create value not only for its shareholders but also for society. Nestle calls this approach ‘creating shared value’ and focuses on the three key areas of public life: nutrition, water and rural development.”
During the discussion session Stefan De Locker, General Director of Nestle Russia, presented the most important social project of his company – the educational initiative for children ‘The Good Nutrition Programme’. “Thanks to this programme, over three million children have got acquainted with basics of the balanced nutrition. Together with the authors of this programme, the Institute of Developmental Physiology, and supported by the Ministry of Education of the RF, we invest money, knowledge and experience into the health of Russian children, which means – into Russia’s future. ‘Creating shared value’ concept is not one of our CSR initiatives, but an integral part of our business strategy and mission, which is to be preferred and the most respected Food, Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.”
Evgeny Bounimovitch, the Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights in Moscow, also pointed to the effectiveness and usefulness of working in the interests of children for society as well: “The programmes targeted at children, have a positive effect on the whole society.”
“The problems addressed at the forum are being discussed at the government level in relevant ministries and institutions,” stressed Valentina Berezina, Head of Unit at the Department of State Policies in Upbringing, Extra-Curricular Education and Social Protection of Children of the Ministry of Education of Russia.
The participants of the Forum agreed on the necessity of further development of a public discussion on CSR programmes and underlined the importance of strengthening practical cooperation in this area between three parties – business, state, and society.
The All-Russian Forum ‘Creating Shared Value: the Strategy of Corporate Social Responsibility’ in Moscow was part of Nestle’s global initiative. This May in London, the International Forum ‘Creating Shared Value’ took place, which brought together over 250 experts in water resources management, food security, rural development, and corporate social responsibility.
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