Today, corporate social responsibility of business is becoming more and more popular around the world, including in Russia. At the ‘Russia – EU: Dialogue on Social Partnership and CSR’ conference, the participants discussed why profit-oriented companies should help people and preserve ecology. Elena Topoleva, Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), shared her opinion concerning this issue.

According to Elena Topoleva, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a rapidly developing trend in Russia.

“In the West, it has become something which was introduced. In Russia, CSR traditionally comes from the Soviet era. Large companies supported most of the social sphere and the infrastructure of those regions they operated in”, she said.


Modern organisations started developing systematically in the CSR field, and this is very good. They implement long-term social projects in various fields. For example, they organise grant competitions, support programs for the development of territories, and encourage corporate volunteering. Responsible supply-chain is a promising direction of corporate social responsibility. Its main idea is that all those organisations cooperating with one another must meet high CSR standards. Not all companies are ready for this.

“World trends indicate that the policy in the field of corporate social responsibility is based on the dialogue of stakeholders. In my opinion, our companies aren’t that good in this dialogue yet”, commented Elena Topoleva.


The observance of human rights in all aspects is another trend of CSR. Companies promote small indigenous minorities and put an end to discrimination in the workplace. Now, according to Elena Topoleva, the support of social entrepreneurship is the mainstream.

“Our business, including small and large enterprises, with a few exceptions has started chasing after big money. The companies want sustainable development, which is impossible without a serious and thoughtful attitude of companies to their role in society”, she said.

Companies should cooperate with media, be active in social networks and use other communication means in order community could know about its activity in social field. Unfortunately, not all companies do that. In fact, open reporting and cooperation with the press are the most important parts of the CSR business strategy.

Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov