The CEO of the Lake Baikal Foundation for Environmental Applications and Research Anastasia Tsvetkova held a session «Environmental volunteering: interaction of state, business and NPOs». The roundtable was aimed at these actors’ cooperation on environmental programs.
Dmitry Burenko, WWF development director; Dmitry Ioffe, the founder and manager of the «Clean Games» project; Alexey Kuznetsov, Efes Rus manager on regional programs and sustainable development projects; Liliana Proskuryakova, leading researcher in Laboratory for Science and Technological Studies in National Research Institute Higher School of Economics (HSE); Evgenia Chistova, social projects manager in VympleKom company; Alexey Shapovalov, senior reporter on economic issues and content editor of «+1» project in Kommersant publishing house, took part in the discussion.
According to the statistics provided by HSE, business companies plan their corporate volunteering activities in different ways and infrequently keep complete record on them. The poll held among the companies on their charity activities showed their priorities in this sphere: the first ranks family, maternity and children support (86%); after that comes environment (54%); wellness programs (41%); support for education and science (38%), etc. Companies choose a project according to its social impact, the number of recipients, its compatibility with company’s objects and financial outlays. Remarkably, executive management in half the companies give ear to the employees’ initiatives on volunteering. The projects presented at the session demonstrated increasing interest in environmental issues.
At the same time the participants agreed that there are still few people from other spheres who can give a broader definition of eco-volunteering than just garbage collection on a certain territory. Bird ringing, creating eco-trails, tree planting are several examples of other voluntary nature protection activities.
The speakers emphasized the importance of systematic environmental education in the first place, as well as of strategic planning of any voluntary activity, defining its final impact and what tasks apart from PR issues the program being implemented can really complete. For example, if it is about supporting for conservation areas, one should start with negotiating priorities and targets directly with the management of conservation area.
Following the results of the session, the participants additionally pointed to the need for separating the terms «corporate social responsibility» and «volunteering within company». If it is referred to environmental volunteering, it is worth concentrating on eco-education, drawing the employees’ attention to responsible consumption as to ecotourism and cooperation with designated companies which work for protection of the environment.
The 5th International Forum «Corporate Volunteering: Society and Business» took place on 8, Dec 2016 at the office of International News Agency «Russia Today». It was organized by Managers Association and National Council on Corporate Volunteering. More than 500 professionals from 23 regions of Russia and 7 foreign countries participated in the Forum. Within the framework of the event they summarized results of the contest called «Good Deeds Champions» in which Anastasia Tsvetkova spoke as an expert in sector «Environment».