Director of The PricewaterhouseCoopers Center for Corporate Social Responsibility of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University (GSOM SPbU), Prof. Yury Blagov took part in the online conference "Sustainable Development: From Theory to Practice". The event was organized by the VEB Institute and the VEB.RF Economic Club and was timed to coincide with the release of VEB.RF's report for 2019.
Based on the data presented in the Report on Social Investment in Russia — 2019 (available in Russian only), Yury Blagov noted that the aggravation of global problems accelerates the transformation of the corporate sustainability model. “Alarmistic expectations of stakeholders influence goal setting, business model selection and stimulate the development of partnership initiatives. This trend has existed before, and the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has become only a special case, allowing us to analyze whether the new forms of CSR are adequate to meeting possible changes,” he said.
GSOM pays significant attention to sustainable development issues. The Business School sees its mission, in particular, as being the preparation of a national management elite which is socially responsible, and focused on achieving constructive changes in the economy and society. For that purpose, the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility was established at GSOM. It regularly conducts research, teaching and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of CSR. This approach is reflected in the updated business school development strategy: the share of disciplines related to corporate social responsibility will be expanded in the curricula.
The online conference was also attended by Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist of VEB.RF, Sergey Golubev, Head of the Social Entrepreneurship Commission at Opora Rossii, and Svetlana Gerasimova, Head of the School of CSR and Sustainable Development of the Moscow International Higher Business School MIRBIS.
VEB.RF is a state development corporation, a state investment bank that finances economic development projects. In addition to annual reports, the organization publishes an annual non-financial report on sustainable development, which conveys information on the performance of all organizations of the VEB.RF Group.