Training on “First steps towards Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Sustainability" was held within the UNDP project

March 1, 2023

A training on the “First steps towards Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Sustainability " was organized within the framework of the "Financing of the development" project, implemented with the joint support of the UNDP and the National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development. More than 50 representatives from the banking sector, international organizations, private sector and relevant state bodies participated at the training.

Huseyn Huseynov, head of department on Sustainable Development and Social Policy at the  Ministry of Economy and the secretary of National Coordination Council on sustainable development, said that the implementation of commitments on the global Sustainable Development Goals of the UN is an important component of the state policy in Azerbaijan covering social, economic and environmental fields in the country during the past period. More than 30 state programs, strategies and action plans covering social, economic and environmental fields in the country have been integrated into the goals and objectives of the SDGs during the past period. It was noted that according the "Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for socio-economic development", the priority "clean environment and green growth country" was approved as one of the main directions for Azerbaijan until 2030. The "2022‒2026 Socio-Economic Development Strategy" also includes goals related to ensuring sustainable use of natural resources, increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the installed capacity of electricity production (to 24% by 2026).

Osman Khaliyev, chairman of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund and Yunus Abdulov, executive director of the Bank Association, informed about the importance of ESG principles. It was stated that thanks to these principles businesses will be encouraged to take care of the environment and implement "green" and "socially responsible" ideas. Thus, measures can be taken to increase access to financial sources for companies that apply ESG standards in their activities, as well as to use more simplified credit terms, or it can be difficult for companies with a low rating to get loans.

“Many trends are already underway in the global economy that focus on social, environmental and governance impacts, also known by ESG.  We see the rise of sustainability and green policies, regulations and standards that are shaping companies and businesses. With the amplification of these trends, we see a new paradigm that comes with challenges, and at the same time, with opportunities for Azerbaijan,” – noted Nargiz Guliyeva, head of Solutions Mapping at United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Azerbaijan.

Within the framework of the training, expert Deniz Erkus gave a presentation on the application of ESG principles and the methodology of preparing Sustainability Reports for the participants. The training followed by questions and answers session.