A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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The Circular Economy: New Opportunities for the Far East
6 September 2022
12:30—14:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The first stage of Russia’s household waste processing reform has been completed, and funding is in place for the circular economy project, with the private sector becoming involved

Some believe that the reform is complete, some believe it never happened, and some believe that it is in progress. I consider the first part to have been implemented, and now we are setting new objectives. Our older objectives primarily had to do with arranging the unconditional provision of high-quality services to the population. We had to ensure sanitary and hygienic safety for our people. This was done – this aspect of the reform was a success. <...> In terms of the circular economy, <...> the funding is in place, and we plan to build eight eco tech parks — Dmitriy Tetenkin, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

We have roughly divided it [the reform – ed.] into three parts. The first part is organizational, administrative, and transitional in nature. We can say that this stage has already been completed. We have put in place a system made up of 181 regional operators. Incidentally, across 45 regions we have set up waste separation, set tariffs, and seen the end of three years of social protests. People see that a service is being provided, and across the country, 22,000 vehicles operate every day, taking away rubbish, collecting it, and transporting it. Waste sorting complexes have been built, and efforts have begun to raise awareness – people have begun to understand what the reform means and why it is needed — Sergey Korolev, Deputy General Director for Regional Development, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company.

Despite the progress made with young people and children, work needs to continue in Russia to raise awareness of environmental issues

We have identified another correlation: the younger the person, the more they know about the environment and the circular economy. Children are the most enlightened people we have — Sergey Korolev, Deputy General Director for Regional Development, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company.

Environmental education is a crucial area for us. We have developed a website dedicated to the climate and environment. Incidentally, we surveyed 10,000 students from a number of higher education institutions across Moscow. We asked them whether they knew what was meant by the circular economy. <...> More than 20% of respondents said they did. The rest either said they didn’t know, they weren’t sure, or gave an answer which was not quite right — Ivan Lobanov, Rector, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

We tried promoting this story to small and medium-sized enterprises, and found out that only around 5% of those we spoke to actually understood what was meant by responsible consumption, ESG, and how to process waste. <...> Education is, in fact, a big issue. Yes, of course, looking at the figures, most people know, <...> but still, a significant layer of work remains to be done — Stanislav Bogdanov, Director for Government Relations, X5 Group.

ISSUES
Not all packaging manufacturers play fairly, and the industry is suffering from a lack of professionals and private funding

Businesses – the maker of the product, the packaging manufacturer, and the importer – all need to show environmental responsibility. A principle was laid down: either the polluter processes their waste, or pays. However, we can see today that not all businesses take a responsible attitude — Dmitriy Tetenkin, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

When we began to look at the scale – 550 billion [the amount of funds needed, according to preliminary estimates, to process 100% of household waste and send 50% of rubbish for recycling by 2030 – ed.], we realized that it would be impossible to do everything with public funds — Sergey Korolev, Deputy General Director for Regional Development, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company.

Without a doubt, we need to train new kinds of specialists. These people should not just have basic knowledge of a specific area or field, but also the kind of knowledge which can help these technologies be employed effectively — Ivan Lobanov, Rector, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

SOLUTIONS
The continued transformation of the household waste processing system through applying economic mechanisms and training personnel to work in the circular economy

We believe that the administration of the EPR system [extended producer responsibility – an economic regulation mechanism – ed.] should be strengthened. If a business has seen no incentive to do this themselves, we need to spur them to do so. <...> We have already done several things as part of the EPR reform. We have put together a new method for calculating rates, we have set out a fundamental approach, and outlined the concept of environmental coefficients. All this work has already been done, and we are looking ahead to EPR reform, and are launching this mechanism. <...> Across the world, this is fixed – USD 100 or EUR 300, and that’s that. There is no calculation, no discussion, and no honest approach. We are ready to adopt different rules, and have already done so. This is a new development. <...> We realize that a number of economic mechanisms need to be combined today in order to deal with waste management. We need to modernize things from the point of view of business. We need to go from waste to revenue — Dmitriy Tetenkin, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

In December last year, we obtained approval to issue company bonds. We notionally call them green bonds – in fact, some of them will definitely be green. They will be issued according to the principle of sustainable development. They will be listed on the Moscow Exchange in the sustainable development sector, and will comply with ESG principles. <...> The government has offered to subsidize our bond coupons to the value of 90% of the key rate. This is an unprecedented measure – there has never been anything like this in the industry before — Sergey Korolev, Deputy General Director for Regional Development, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company.

We have opened the Circular Economy Scientific Centre with assistance from the Russian Environmental Operator. I think this is a good example of working together with a higher professional educational institution. We have also established the Low-Carbon Economy Research Institute. These are essentially the institutions behind the technological and scientific groundwork needed to address the tasks facing higher professional education in the circular economy — Ivan Lobanov, Rector, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS