Sustainable Development Leaders named 2021

November 30, 2021

On November 30, 2021, the results of the open competition of the best Russian practices and ideas „Leaders of Sustainable Development“ (LUR), organized by Strategy Partners (part of the Sberbank ecosystem) and the New Digital agency with the information support of the UNIDO Center for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation and in partnership with the UN RAS.

The main goal of the Competition is to select and popularize the best Russian projects in the field of sustainable development, as well as to increase their environmental, economic and social efficiency.
The federal research „Readiness for ESG-transformation of companies and industries“, conducted by Strategy Partners, confirms the high assessment, relevance and importance of all ESG — areas for business. Most of the surveyed companies pay special attention to caring for employees and society (Social) — over 74% of companies. Improving the quality of corporate governance (Governance), as a top priority, is noted by more than 66% of companies. Environmental protection as the main focus of the ESG agenda is highlighted by 55% of survey participants.

“Many Russian companies today are implementing successful ESG initiatives, reflecting their increased responsibility for the impact on society and the environment. ESG leaders already today demonstrate global thinking and offer systemic solutions in the environment and social sphere that affect the entire supply chain or even entire industries, ”notes Aleksey Prazdnichnykh, Partner at Strategy Partners, executive director of the Eurasian Institute for Competitiveness of Countries (ECI).

More than 100 applications were received for the Leaders of Sustainable Development competition from companies, corporations, public organizations, representatives of NGOs, scientific and educational institutions, the media, representatives of municipalities, students and young entrepreneurs with implemented or partially implemented projects in the Russian Federation. Anastasia Popova, Founder and Head of the Sustainable Development Services Ecosystem +1, noted that “every such competition and award is, first of all, an industry development institution”.

The selection of the best projects took place in two main categories: PLANET (projects related to resource efficiency and the climate agenda) and SOCIETY (projects aimed at solving social problems). The organizers of the competition specially highlighted a separate category GENERATION OF THE FUTURE, dedicated to the projects of young specialists, which was implemented within the framework of the program „University Leaders of the SDGs of Russia“.

“When analyzing the projects submitted to the Competition, priority was first of all given to largescale initiatives to transform economic sectors with the involvement of all key players, which are being implemented outside the ESG agenda of one company,” Aleksey Prazdnichnykh comments on the jury’s decision.

In turn, Elena Verkhovskaya, General Director of New Digital, noted the diversity of the participants‘ projects: “Today, the global and local ESG agenda forces companies to transform their strategies, introduce environmental innovations and projects in the field of sustainable development, and strengthen responsible management. Big business has a lot of opportunities for this — resources, a strong corporate culture, and a technological base. However, today you don’t have to be a large company to create value for the planet, society and people. Among the projects participating in the competition were not only amazing largescale and scalable stories of large corporations, but also unique small initiatives that are at the same time becoming the leaders of significant change.“

Sustainable development leaders in the Planet nomination are projects aimed at solving environmental problems:

1st place: the X5 Group project „Detailed recommendations for suppliers on sustainable packaging“ and the Digital Ecology project from the Big Three.
The 2nd place was given to projects implementing solutions for the closedcycle economy: „Service for accepting furniture for recycling“ by IKEA and the project „Paperwork“ by OPTICOM.
The 3rd place was taken by the project of the ARSKA Technologies company „Autoclave sorting of MSW with subsequent processing of polymer waste by the method of chemical recycling“.

In the „Society“ nomination, the places were distributed as follows:

1st place: DonorSearch — the largest blood donation project in Russia from the Donor-Search Association.
2nd place: Educational online platform „Lift to the Future“ by AFK Sistema.
3rd place: TSQ consulting project „Kind Hare“ for the chain of stores „Magnit“ and social service „Cashback for the Good“ of Tinkoff company.

In the „Generation of the Future“ nomination, the leaders are:

1st place: the project „Ecosystem CTNFC — Carbotechnological Fuel Neutral Cycle“ from the students of the Moscow State Technical University. N.E. Bauman.
2nd place: the project „Technology for the integrated use of the resource potential of biogas of MSW landfills“ from a postgraduate student of the Institute of Ecology of the RUDN University.
3rd place: the project „Climatic scales“ from the „Week of Sustainable Development of St. Petersburg State University“.

The competition was held in a partner cooperation with the UN RAS and with information support from the UNIDO Center for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation.

Sergey Korotkov, Director of the UNIDO Center for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation, noted: “The Sustainable Development Leaders competition is an important step towards achieving the SDGs, the main result of which is the popularization of socially significant environmental initiatives, educational projects and technological solutions. In the projects presented, many interesting ideas and projects were announced, the implementation of which will undoubtedly bring great benefits to society and the environment in the long term.“

In turn, when summing up the results of the competition, Alexey Borisov, First Deputy Chairman of the UN RAS, Vice-President of the World Federation of UN Associations, Head of the UNESCO Chair at MGIMO of the Russian Foreign Ministry, commented: “Having supported this Competition, we express our readiness to present on international platforms as projects that have global scaling, and local projects, which are now included in the shortlist of the Competition.“

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