Bank of Russia partners GSB to hold the ESG Autumn School, Russia’s first sustainability course for the financial sector
The Graduate School of Business of the HSE University hosted an intensive four-day training course “ESG Transformation of the Financial Sector”. The course was initiated and developed by the Bank of Russia. Speakers included senior executives and specialists from the Bank of Russia, Ministry of Economic Development, VTB, Sber, Sibur, Gazprombank, Rosatom, Norilsk Nickel, VEB.RF and Rusal, as well as GSB’s in-house experts.
During the official launch of the course, the rector of the HSE University Nikita Anisimov welcomed the participants, who had to pass a selection process to join the course, and explained that the training programme offered a unique opportunity not only to learn more about the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) concept but also to communicate directly with representatives of the Bank of Russia and the national financial and industrial leaders. He also stressed that the ESG agenda is becoming ever more relevant, and this new knowledge would help students become leaders of strategic transformations.
The 1st Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia and a professor of the GSB’s Joint Department with Bank of Russia Ksenia Yudayeva reminded the participants about the UN Sustainable Development Goals until 2030, and also told about the risks associated with each of the Environmental, Social and Governance components. She also noted that the global strive towards carbon neutrality remained everybody’s focus even in the midst of the covid pandemic. The participants of the programme then had a joint discussion with the speaker about new opportunities and challenges for the financial sector, and about the Bank of Russia’s sustainability agenda.
In his address, the Director of GSB Valery Katkalo emphasised the key role that universities and business school play in creating an interdisciplinary sustainability ecosystem in Russia. ‘GSB became a hub of scientific expertise, leading business practices and educational solutions in ESG’, he said. ‘It is a meeting point for change leaders who look not only at economic efficiency of management but who also understand its role in addressing social and environmental issues’. Valery also noted that the ESG Autumn School programme became a unique platform allowing an exchange of experience and knowledge and communication between talented students, leading experts and senior management from the Bank of Russia and leading Russian companies.
In addition to lectures, the course also included business games, open discussions with experts and interactive surveys. Experts and participants discussed a wide range of ESG matters, from Russia’s transition to low carbon economy and ESG ratings to greenwashing, disclosure of sustainability data, correlation of climate and credit risks, and the role of universities in training sustainability specialists.