Overcoming of COVID-19 'Great Reversal' to Achieve the SDGs

The first Global Impact Conference “Energy for Impact” was held on 1-2 December, in an online format.

Overcoming of COVID-19 'Great Reversal' to Achieve the SDGs

International sustainable development leaders discussed new partnerships with a view to develop human capital strategies facilitating steady growth of the global economy. The Global Impact Conference was organized in partnership with ROSATOM, the Higher School of Economics and Forbes. The event brought together over 85 experts from 26 countries, representing international businesses, state institutions, and civil society.

One of the outcomes of the event was the “Human: CorpMission” initiative to study the human-centric approach to corporate strategies launched by ROSATOM and the Higher School of Economics. The leader of the initiative, the international Research Expert Council, had its inaugural meeting and discussed the talent development drivers of sustainable economic growth. The Board’s aim is to carry out extensive research and elaborate an Index in the field of management strategy transformation in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The first study will be published in December 2020.

Global Impact Conference 2020 “Energy for Impact” focused on the contribution of global institutions, corporations and communities to sustainable development. In his keynote speech Paul Polman, former Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, co-founder and chair of IMAGINE, an organization accelerating business leadership to achieve the Global Goals, and co-author of the UN Global Compact, highlighted, that the SDGs’ progress has slowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic: “It is the biggest crisis we have ever seen and many call it the 'Great Reverser', with growth going down 4.0-4.5% this year, putting us back on the SDGs probably by 10-15 years."

Alexey Likhachev, Director General of ROSATOM, reminded that people are at the centre of any transformation. He highlighted that “This year has made it perfectly clear for all of us that the future is human-centric. Building global business organisations to unlock the potential of all people, regardless of gender, age and geography calls for cooperative efforts”. William Magwood, Director General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency noted, that the reliability of nuclear energy is a key driver for achieving the SDGs: “My view is that the Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved if we provide for the expanded use of electric energy around the world”.

The panel “Energy for all” featuring Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Électricité de France, Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for corporate development and international business of ROSATOM, Alexandra Johnson, President of the Global Technology Symposium, and Ira Ehrenpreis, a member of the Tesla Motors’ Board of Directors, discussed the development of impact investments. Ira Ehrenpreis mentioned that clean energy producers demonstrate that environmental protection, social development and corporate governance based on innovation are not only profitable, but they also contribute to sustainable development, transforming people’s lives for the better.

Jean-Bernard Lévy highlighted the responsibility of business for our common future: “We are facing an unprecedented global crisis, and many voices indeed are calling for transformation. These changes will place public utilities and more specifically our own, EDF, at the heart of the social model in the countries where we operate”.

The conference also facilitated impactful events in partnership with NGOs. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation hosted the inaugural session of its Council for Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteering, presided by Tatyana Terentyeva, Deputy Director General of ROSATOM. In partnership with the Eurasian Women’s Forum chaired by Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the conference also hosted mentoring sessions to promote women’s leadership. The Foundation for Support and Development of Women’s initiative “Association of Women in the Nuclear Industry” and “Eurasian Children’s Society” opened an intergenerational dialogue on skills and values for future careers.