The first “Forum of Responsible Business Conduct”

October 13, Kyiv. The Center for CSR Development in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine held a Forum of Responsible Business Conduct to raise awareness of OECD* principles for multinational companies. The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine.

Mykhailo Titarchuk, Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, started the event with a welcoming speech and told about Ukraine’s accession to the OECD Investment Committee and the commitment to observe the OECD Guidelines* for multinational companies on responsible business conduct, and noted the importance of creating the conditions for conducting efficient business by the government. “In their turn, Ukrainian companies should conduct responsible business and create conditions that would allow professionals to stay in Ukraine,” Mykhailo Titarchuk said.

Maryna Saprykina, Chairman of the Center for CSR Development, told that this Forum was focused on openness, engagement and dialogue with the stakeholders, and emphasized that for the first time the participants would listen to the Report which would be presented for the OECD Investment Committee in October this year in Paris.

The Head of the National Contact Point, Andrii Demchuk, told about the current state of investments in Ukraine and the problems that hinder cooperation with foreign investors, and stressed that Ukraine had already created the Investment Attraction & Support Office that would clearly monitor the situation and make recommendations on how to solve the problems of the business.

Catherine Dove, the Coordinator of the National Contact Point for the OECD Responsible Business Conduct Unit, told about OECD Guidelines, responsible business conduct and OECD Recommendations for Multinational Enterprises, and highlighted the importance of the National Contact Point. “All governments that follow the OECD Investment Declaration should create a National Contact Point that will be accessible, transparent and accountable,” Catherine Dove said.

Tetiana Lysytsia, the Deputy Director of the Department of Investment Involvement of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, said what Ukraine should do now with regard to the OECD Guidelines, namely:

  • creation of the information platform of the National Contact Point;
  • formation of a working group and Advisory Board for the NCP;
  • holding of workshops and roundtables in different regions to communicate the Guidelines at all levels

At the session “Business Leadership: Why Responsible Business Conduct Is Important”, the following speakers presented their reports: Viktoria Fokina, SKF; Svitlana Mozgova, Astarta-Kyiv; Aliona Tymofiieva, Carlsberg; Viktoria Braichenko, Naftogaz.

Viktoria Fokina started the Session with the story of creation of the Swedish company SKF, the global leader in bearings manufacture, which brings together more than 45,000 people worldwide, and outlined interesting facts about the company: SKF is the largest enterprise in Western Ukraine (the city of Lutsk); SKF is the largest taxpayer in the Volyn region; the most of the manufactured products are exported to Western European countries; in 2016 the company entered the TOP-100 largest profit taxpayers of Ukraine. In addition, Viktoria Fokina told about the Code of Corporate Ethics of the company, which defines 4 stages of responsibility and is the basis of the company’s operation: responsibility to employees, responsibility to society, responsibility to business partners and responsibility to shareholders.

Svitlana Mozgova, Head of the corporate partnership Astarta-Kyiv, told about the activities of the agro-industrial holding working in the 8 regions and producing 25% of sugar in Ukraine, and outlined the principles of the company’s work: building long-term relationships with the customers, cooperation with the stakeholders, high-quality and transparent reporting, development of the best traditions of the business partnership, assistance to medical, social, cultural and environmental areas.

Aliona Tymofiieva shared the history of the Carlsberg brewery and highlighted the company’s view on business responsibility: labor rights and human rights, quality and safety of the products, environment protection, anti-bribery activities, responsible drinking. She emphasized the commitment of the company to the All-Ukrainian Network of Integrity and Compliance of UNIC, and highlighted that responsible development is the philosophy of Carlsberg Ukraine business.

The Naftogaz representative, Viktoria Braichenko, presented the company’s annual report for 2016 and told about interesting facts: Naftogaz Group is one of the largest employers in Ukraine (74,765 employees), the TOP-1 taxpayer in Ukraine (about 10% of the state budget revenues), ranks 7 in quality management and is the first state company to introduce corporate management reform.

In the end, the speakers answered the questions of the Forum’s participants, shared their thoughts on complaints to companies, and agreed that responsible business conduct includes compliance, success, leadership and fulfillment of commitments.

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Center for CSR Development is an expert organization of Ukraine for responsible business and development of corporate social responsibility in Ukraine. Priorities of the Center for CSR Development include CSR in conflict times, business and universities, social responsibility of state authorities and state-owned companies.

(044) 292 02 48, www.csr-ukraine.org

* OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) is an international organization that brings together 34 developed countries of the world. The OECD is seeking data and making the analysis that helps the governments to formulate policies that will be implemented by the national institutions or through international agreements.

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are the agreed requirements in the area of responsible business related to enterprises that operate beyond the borders of one country, and is the list of principles and standards in various areas – from human rights, labor safety, access to information before taxation and environment protection. The guidelines are a part of the OECD Declaration “On International Investments and Multinational Enterprises” and are applied to business entities that carry out investment activities outside Ukraine; exporters; importers; suppliers and subcontractors; business entities conducting licensed activities or performing activities within a franchise and franchising entities.