On March 29th 2021, the headquarters of the Association of Russian Banks (ARB) hosted an extended meeting attended by members of the finance and banking subcommittee of the RSPP committee on international cooperation, the ARB committee for international affairs, and the Financial and Business Association of Euro-Asian Cooperation.
The event brought together digital leaders in banking services and industry.
Andrey Bougrov, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nornickel and head of the Russian team under the Integrity and Compliance Taskforce, noted that during the Italian presidency of the B20 the group placed a particular emphasis on responsible business conduct, including assessment of companies for ESG compliance.
ESG is a set of sustainability criteria to be used by socially responsible investors as a guidance for their investment decisions. The taskforce’s recommendations focus heavily on sustainable governance, higher standards of integrity and transparency across the supply chain, and improvement of transparency in beneficial ownership using modern digital technology and development of national digital registers.
In his comment on the Infrastructure and Financing Taskforce, Nornickel’s State Secretary Dmitry Pristanskov called for the generally recognised ESG principles to be linked to the recovery of economic growth fundamentals, as well as to emerging technology and digital innovation. He stressed the need to assess potential risks associated with the global transition to new sustainable finance standards. ESG disclosure and promotion models must fully reflect the diversity of economies at different stages of maturity and all sorts of economic imperfections as a way to avoid unintended side effects. Mr Pristanskov pointed to the lack of standard metrics and a common reporting framework in the realm of socially responsible investments, with the social and economic responsibility of companies not clearly defined on the global level. This makes it difficult to select an investment target based on a comparative analysis, he said. Companies need to analyse and scrutinise their ESG goals as carefully as they do with their business, financial and investment objectives, while also clearly setting them out in their strategies and global disclosures. Without well-defined disclosure standards, the visibility of ESG goals is often at risk, which may lead to the emergence of a new stock market bubble.