MOSCOW, Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev, who is a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), took part in a round table of the RUIE Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development on the subject of the development and use of Russian ESG indexes.
Representatives of the Moscow Exchange, the ACRA ratings agency, Russian Agricultural Bank, VTB, Sberbank, PhosAgro, PwC and other companies took part in the event, which took place on 23 September in the form of a conference call.
The Chairman of the Committee, and member of the Bureau of the RUIE Board, David Yakobashvili, opened the meeting. He noted that the subject of the independent assessment of business practices from the standpoint of the principles of social responsibility and sustainable development occupied an important place in the Committee's work.
"In this regard, indices and ratings developed by tracking and assessing the ESG-related features – environmental, social and governance-related aspects – of companies' performance have traditionally been a focus of our attention," said Mr Yakobashvili.
Andrey Guryev, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee and a member of the Bureau of the RUIE Board, noted in his statement that there were currently more than 600 ratings and indices used to assess performance in terms of sustainable development but not a single national rating focused directly on assessing a business's contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an action plan adopted by all UN member states aimed at eradicating poverty, protecting the planet's resources and ensuring the well-being of all its inhabitants.
"To track progress towards sustainable development, it is important to see the big picture at the level of the entire business community. In this context, it is necessary to create a rating to assess companies' contribution to achieving the SDGs and the maturity of their system in terms of managing sustainable development issues," stressed Mr Guryev.
According to PhosAgro's CEO, a methodology is currently being developed – with the involvement of experts from PwC – that is expected to be submitted for discussion by a specially created working group that will include recognised experts on ESG issues. In addition, a proposal has been made to create an expert council whose work will cover all RUIE instruments related to sustainable development and will involve leading international experts, including the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PhosAgro, Xavier Rolet, who served as CEO of London Stock Exchange Group from 2009 to 2017.
The creation of guidelines for assessment, as well as research, a review and the presentation of the results of the rating are slated for the period from December 2020 to January 2021.
"The work that has been carried out and the discussions that have been held on strategy and approaches within the RUIE, along with the expressed interest and involvement of colleagues from Skolkovo and other experts, give us reason to be confident in the success of the initiative," concluded Mr Guryev.
Mr Yakobashvili expressed support for the creation of such a rating and working group on instruments for assessing companies' performance in the area of sustainable development.
Sergey Golovanev, Director of Indices and Market Data for the Moscow Exchange, highlighted in his report the role of RUIE and Moscow Exchange ESG indices in the practice of responsible investment in Russian banking structures. Maxim Khudalov, Senior Director at ACRA and Head of the Sustainable Development Risk Assessment Group, spoke about an RUIE–ACRA pilot project to create a corporate sustainability index: an integrated assessment of the performance of companies that would include both financial sustainability indicators and dynamics in terms of ESG indicators.
Elena Feoktistova, Deputy Chairperson of the RUIE Committee, noted that the Committee would continue to expand its range of instruments for assessing companies' progress in sustainable development.
"I am confident that new achievements in this area will strengthen the international reputation of Russian business. Advanced instruments for assessing the sustainability of companies' performance are now a factor that can be used to judge the investment climate in the country. This is a very useful work, which we will support," concluded Ms Feoktistova.
PhosAgro (www.phosagro.com) is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. PhosAgro's environmentally friendly fertilizers stand out for their high efficiency, and they do not lead to the contamination of soils with heavy metals.
The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP).
PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, more than 50 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 102 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia.
PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and global depositary receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes.
More information about PhosAgro can be found on the website: www.phosagro.com.