WWF Report: Russian Companies in the 21st Century – Towards Competitive Corporate Citizenship

Posted on 04 July 2007    
In a world which has changed almost immeasurably over the past two decades, nowhere have these changes been as profound and controversial as in Russia. From a closed command-and-control economy, to an emerging market that is becoming increasingly integrated into the global community, the modern Russia is almost unrecognisable from the country that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union over 15 years ago.

The evolution which has taken place in Russia is multifaceted and sometimes controversial, generating a complex new set of economic, social, environmental and demographic challenges, which affect not only the country itself, but also exert a significant influence on the international economic and political scene.

Russian companies, particularly those from natural resource sectors and heavy industries, are becoming global players. It is therefore essential for the international community to gain an understanding of these new transnational corporations and the manner in which they do business, particularly in developing countries and especially in the area of environmental responsibility and sustainable development.

This report reflects the results of a survey of 315 of the largest companies in Russia, aimed at establishing their views regarding environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In general, the survey shows that Russian companies can serve as positive role models for their counterparts in other emerging economies, since they have managed to achieve significant progress in the environmental protection sphere, within a far from favorable economic and political situation. Furthermore, members of the BRICS group of emerging economies face many similar economic, political and social problems and challenges, and as a result, creative solutions developed by companies in these countries are often more appropriate for their counterparts, taking into account their history, level of sophistication and corporate culture, than approaches borrowed from the developed world.

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