Source - the CBSR Quarterly CSR Newsletter, June 2008 http://www.cbsr.ca/cbsrsupport/canada-russia.htm
Canada’s Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) hosted a Canada-Russia Roundtable on CSR and Public-Private Partnership (PPP), held in Moscow on May 12-13, 2008. The gathering provided an opportunity for Canadian and Russian organizations and companies to discuss CSR and PPPs as two of many ways to support the development of Aboriginal and Northern Peoples.
Those in attendance included the Russian CSR Center, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), and the New Eurasia Foundation, Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN), Canadian Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA), Schulich School of Business, Kinross Gold, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR).
The Roundtable also provided an opportunity to learn about the challenges Russia faces in adopting CSR and establishing PPPs. In a post-communist society that continues to adjust to the workings of a market economy, the business case for CSR is not yet fully understood by Russian businesses and government. Moreover, corruption and lack of transparency continue to act as stumbling blocks for companies who wish to conduct business responsibly in Russia.
The very different Russian and Canadian contexts lead one to ask if CSR practice can be easily transposed from one country to another. As often found in the International Development arena - what works at home, may not always work elsewhere. As such, it is first important to identify the enabling conditions for CSR and PPPs in Canada. Then one must ask which are present in Russia and which are not before importing the Canadian model. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest that elements of Canadian best practice in CSR can be incorporated successfully in Russia, as demonstrated by Canadian companies such as Kinross Gold Corporation.
For example, Kinross works to involve local Indigenous Peoples in the decision making process regarding decisions that affect them. In far eastern Russia, Kinross' Kupol Foundation has been working with the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) to identify development priorities for indigenous peoples. RAIPON has a seat on the steering committee of the Kupol Foundation and as such helps the committee determine how a portion of the Foundation's monies can best be distributed to support indigenous causes.
The gathering launched an ongoing Canada-Russia CSR and PPP project that will be carried out within a Memorandum of Understanding between DIAND and the Russian Federation of Regional Development. The project will address some of the key Russian challenges through continued research and discussion, shared resources and networks, cross-training and capacity building, and through the development and implementation of cross-sectoral partnerships and pilot projects. Project teams are currently formulating their action plans for the inclusion in an overall work plan that will be submitted to both Canadian and Russian ministries in June.
Projects - Canada-Russia CSR Project
Organizations - Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR)
Organizations - Canadian Eurasia Russia Business Association