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Sustainable Development Policy in Russian State-owned Corporations

Student: Elizaveta Bagaeva

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The world-wide institutional structures in a process of globalization and a shifting political landscape together with the current outbreak of the COVID-19 have experienced the beginning of a new era – the era of responsibility for significant changes in populations, urbanization, resource utilization, climate change, and employee and consumer attitudes. Following the recent discussions in the field of sustainable development, many companies have acknowledged the importance to focus on the environmental and social aspects of sustainable development goals, which were proposed by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987. With the rapid rise and influence of NGOs on corporate accountability, companies now operate in a more transparent environment than ever. Hence, the importance of detailed studying of adopting sustainable goals into the Russian state-owned enterprises by comparing how ESG performance can affect companies with the state share and private sector. Such issues as ESG factors have become a point for a growing number of the research for investors, shareholders, and governments as a risk management concern, while for firms it has become an emerging part of competitive strategy. Thus, the aim of the presented thesis is dedicated to analyzing and covering the untested and unresearched aspect of the paradigm of ESG factors on stated-owned enterprises, which can directly affect the current international relations. By analyzing the example of 38 Russian state-owned companies with different shares of state participation, the influence of ESG factors on financial performance was revealed. Environmental factors have the greatest impact on financial efficiency: the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and wastewater disposal. In other words, investors are responding and monitoring the availability of information on environmental pollution. The second most influential factor among the ESG factors is determinants of CSR: investors respond positively to an increase in the size of wages and its indexation for employees of state-owned companies. This indicates that the reflection of the social function of Russian state-owned companies is to a greater extent manifested through the remuneration of employees. Finally, there was little impact on financial performance from the number of women on the board of directors. Thus, the results obtained indicate the predominance of the environmental component for Russian state-owned companies.

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