Research article
Issue: № 7 (121), 2022


Научная статья

Павлова С.А.1, *, Павлов И.Е.2 , Милюхина Н.В.3

1, 3 Российская академия народного хозяйства и государственной службы, Москва, Россия;

1 Государственный университет управления, Москва, Россия;

2 Крымский федеральный университет имени В.И. Вернадского, Симферополь, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (s_pavlova[at]


Проблема внедрения концепции ESG-критериев в деятельность банковского сектора Российской Федерации обусловлена рядом объективных причин, а именно, накопившимися экологическими проблемами, решение которых должно осуществляться через финансовую деятельность. Технология внедрения ESG-критериев в работу банков еще недостаточно разработана. Не существует методов, учитывающих влияние экономических и социальных факторов при практической реализации процесса. В России концепция ESG-критериев рассматривается как приоритетное направление экологической деятельности и реализуется только крупными банками. Для эффективного внедрения данной концепции необходимо знать основные принципы ESG и возможности банковской системы. В качестве основных материалов исследования использовалась отечественная литература, изданная в 2020-2022 годах, посвященная проблемам в области ESG. При анализе также учитывались данные зарубежных и отечественных рейтинговых агентств (RAEX-Europe, Национальное Рейтинговое Агентство, Эксперт РА).

Ключевые слова: ESG-банкинг, принципы устойчивого развития, банковское дело.


Research article

Pavlova S.A.1, *, Pavlov I.E.2 , Milyukhina N.V.3

1, 3 Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia;

1 State University of Management, Moscow, Russia;

2 V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Simferopol, Russia

* Corresponding author (s_pavlova[at]


The problem of introducing the ESG concept into the activities of the banking sector of the Russian Federation is due to a number of objective reasons, specifically accumulated environmental problems, the solution of which should be carried out through financial activity. The technology for implementing ESG banking has not yet been sufficiently developed. There are no methods that take into account the influence of economic and social factors in its practical implementation. In Russia, the ESG concept is considered as a priority area of environmental activity and is implemented only by large banks. To effectively implement the concept, it is necessary to know the basic ESG principles and capabilities of the banking system. As the main materials for the analysis, the domestic literature published in 2020-2022 devoted to problems in the field of ESG was used. The study also took into account data from foreign and domestic rating agencies (RAEX-Europe, National Rating Agency, Expert RA).

Keywords: ESG-banking, principles of sustainable development, banking.


Over the past decade, the problems of preserving a favorable environment have become more acute in the world community, affecting progressive socio-economic development. The Sustainable Development Goals, which were formulated and adopted by the UN in 2015, marked a new era of not only environmental, but also socio-economic development of the states involved in the implementation of sustainable development tasks. By developing and implementing new economic mechanisms to resolve environmental crisis situations, enterprises gain competitive financial advantages, and business focuses on nature-saving technologies. In the Russian Federation, GOST R 54598.1-2011 "National Standard of the Russian Federation" organization management "Guidelines for Sustainable Development" ACS 03.100.99 (13.020.20) (date of introduction 2012-12-01) (Enterprise management. Guidance for managing sustainable development), which is currently considered inactive [5]. In this standard, sustainable development was supposed to be understood as a way of managing an organization that provides for the long-term economic efficiency of the organization's activities while meeting the requirements of environmental protection and social development of the organization. It paid special attention to the fact that only sustainable development management will contribute to the adoption of highly effective decisions by the organization aimed at continuous successful activity for a long time. At the same time, it was argued that the success of any organization depends on the degree of integration of economic, environmental and social aspects into the organization's activities. In the approved and currently valid document – GOST R 54598.1-2015 "National standard of the Russian Federation. Management of sustainable development" (Management of sustainable development) ACS 03.100.99 (13.020.20) date of introduction 2016-07-01, sustainable development is understood as a long-term balanced approach to social progress, economic activity and responsibility for environmental conservation [6].

In the 2012 standard, recommendations were developed to help organizations develop their approach to sustainable development, it was assumed that the enterprise should constantly adapt to new working conditions. The standard, approved in 2016, approved the guidelines for sustainable development management and justified the methodology that helps organizations to increase productivity. At the same time, special attention is paid to the development of a coordinated approach to the management of social, economic and environmental aspects in the organization's activities.

Thus, at the state level, for a number of years in the Russian Federation not only recognized the need for multidimensional activities in the field of sustainable development, but also argued that the management of sustainable development of an organization should be based on principles that meet its value orientations. In the Russian Federation, the processes of "greening" the economy and the introduction of corporate social responsibility norms have been developing faster and faster in recent years, new nature-saving mechanisms are being actively introduced, measures are being developed to make business attractive in the field of environmental safety. Banks cannot but follow the new emerging rules of ecological and economic sustainable development. ESG transformation is being actively implemented in the banking sector. In the future, this may lead to the fact that banks and economic institutions that do not adhere to sustainable development standards may face reputational risks, with difficulty attracting new customers and employees in a highly competitive environment.

Research results

Having conducted research in the field of the formation of an environmentally oriented banking environment based on the analysis of the development of scientific theoretical methods of functioning of the banking system and having studied the survey data of Russian banking organizations, we came to the conclusion that the current state of ESG banking in Russia is currently at the initial stage of its formation. Comparing the results of the system analysis of large banking organizations based on ESG criteria, it is possible to determine the degree of implementation of ESG principles in the activities of large banks. To date, interest in the transition to ESG banking is growing among scientists and society as a whole, but there is no universally recognized definition of ESG banking in world practice. This indicates the incompleteness of the process of its conceptualization. Thus, Deloitte researchers believe that "ESG banking is a banking concept based on the principles of environmental, social and corporate responsibility in the interests of current and future generations, as well as on the practical implementation of initiatives to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and other socially significant values" [1].

It is accepted that ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) is a business concept that determines the direction of the company's activities in the field of implementing the principles of sustainable development. The concept is based on the observance of three key principles:

  1. Environmental or environmental protection shows how the organization participates in the preservation of an environmentally sound situation and how it tries to reduce the damage caused to nature. This principle includes the tasks of: combating climate change; preserving natural resources; reducing pollution and emissions; creating new technologies to preserve the environment.
  2. Social or protection of the interests of society – determines the attitude of the company to its employees, customers, partners. The social component of the concept includes responsibility for the preservation of human capital, maintaining favorable relations with stakeholders, determines the need for social accessibility of medical services and balanced nutrition for employees.
  3. Governance or the quality of corporate governance implies transparency of reporting, establishment of a decent salary, a healthy environment in offices, anti-corruption measures, control over corporate behavior and business ethics.

Highlighting the main advantages of this concept, we can list the following types of corporate activities:

  1. Focus on long-term profit, which ensures the reproduction of all types of capital: production; financial; intellectual; informational; human; natural, etc.
  2. Consideration of a broader list of risks: environmental (climate change, natural disasters); social (gender inequality, income differentiation); managerial (transparency of reporting and efficiency of activities).
  3. The use of creative action tools, as well as a wide range of alternatives for more successful adaptation to the challenges arising in conditions of continuous crises.
  4. Avoiding reputational risks associated with environmental, social and managerial responsibility, thereby increasing the loyalty of new investors, customers and increasing competitiveness.

The ESG financing market in Russia is at the initial stages of development. According to a survey conducted by the Expert RA agency among more than 100 banking organizations in Russia, by the end of 2021, only 15% of banks will implement a sustainable development strategy (Fig. 1) [2].

Fig. 1 – Availability of a sustainable development strategy [2]: Grey – It is planned to be implemented in 2022 or later;
Red – No; Brown – Yes; Pink – It is planned to be implemented in 2021

Based on the chart data for mid-2021, only 7.3% of Russian banks have implemented a sustainable development strategy in their activities, but in the future (later than 2022) this figure should increase to 76.8%. This means that the ESG transformation in Russia is just beginning to take place, and most banks now understand the motivation for the need to implement ESG principles.

In order to assess the degree of implementation of ESG banking in Russia, it is necessary to determine what initiatives have been taken in our country during the transition to sustainable economic, environmental and social development. Thus, in 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement came into force, which focuses enterprises on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, Russia ratified this agreement along with the other 188 participating countries [9]. Also in 2019, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, together with the Moscow Stock Exchange, announced the start of calculating two new daily indices: "The MOSBIRZHI Index – RSPP. Responsibility and openness" and "Mosbirzhi Index – RSPP. Vector of sustainable development". The calculation was planned to be made based on the analysis of the largest Russian organizations in the field of ESG. In the same year, PJSC CB "Center-invest" placed the first exchange-traded bank "green" bonds in the Russian Federation.

In August 2019, the Moscow Stock Exchange created a special platform designed to finance projects on environmental protection, ecology and social development projects – this is the "sustainable development sector". In 2020, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Bank of Russia proposed to appoint the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia as the body coordinating investment activities and attracting extra-budgetary funds to finance sustainable development projects. This proposal was later approved [11].

In 2020, the Association of Banks of Russia organized the Project Group "ESG-banking", aimed at developing proposals for the formation of a legal framework that allows promoting the business model of ESG-banking. And already in 2021, the Project Team presented "Practical recommendations of the banking community on the introduction of ESG banking in Russia", which helps banks solve problems related to the taxonomy, structure, strategy, risk management and reporting of ESG banking[10].

Despite the measures that the Government of the Russian Federation is taking to create a sustainable economic system that includes the activities of banks based on the principles of sustainable development, there are a number of limiting factors that slow down the spread of this concept in Russia. These include:

1. The lack of a single definition of ESG banking and a common understanding of ESG risks at the international level.

2. The lack of a specialized platform that allows the exchange of experience and knowledge in the field of ESG.

3. Large differences in the assessment of the level of implementation of ESG principles in the activities of financial organizations.

4. Little awareness of the benefits of integrating the ESG concept.

5. The lack of a holistic and systematic approach in the state regulation of banking ESG transformation, etc.

Credit institutions play an important role in the ESG transformation of the economy. Based on their activities, requirements are created according to which ESG risks will be assessed. It is easier to integrate ESG principles through banks, since they are accountable to the Central Bank. The ESG trend in the economy has led to the need to create ratings of companies showing how effectively the implementation of ESG principles is proceeding. At the same time, it can be determined whether they take into account ESG risks in their activities. Integration of the ESG concept is considered on the example of large Russian banks, existing ESG ratings are used.

According to the results of a study by the Rating Agency RAEX-Europe, as of 04/14/2022, the leading positions were taken in the ESG rating of Russian companies among large Russian banks: Credit Bank of Moscow, Sber, VTB Group, Gazprombank, Sovcombank. Based on the data of the RAEX-Europe Rating Agency (excluding banks with foreign participation), as well as the analytical review of the National Rating Agency, the analysis of large Russian banks in the field of implementation of ESG principles for the period 2021-2022 was carried out (Table. 1) [3], [12], [14]. The criteria were studied: the place of a banking organization in the ESG rating; the presence of a sustainable development strategy; the level of disclosure of non-financial information; the presence of an ESG transformation management body in the organization.

Table 1 – Analysis of large Russian banks in the implementation of ESG principles for 2021-2022


Place in ESG-ranking of public financial companies (NRA)

Place in the ESG rating of Russian companies (RAEX-Europe)

Sustainable Development Strategy

The level of disclosure of non-financial information

The presence of a specialized body in the ESG management structure

Credit Bank of Moscow


3 (1)

There are


Committee on Strategy and Sustainable Development

Public Joint Stock Sberbank of Russia


31 (2)

There are


Strategic Planning and Sustainable Development Committee

Public Joint Stock VTB Bank


42 (3)

There are


The Bank's Supervisory Board Committee on Strategy and Sustainable Development

Gazprombank Joint Stock Company


55 (4)

There are


Council for the Implementation of the Principles of Sustainable Development in the Bank's activities

Sovcombank Public Joint Stock Company


64 (5)

There are


ESG-Committee under the Supervisory Board

Based on the data in the table, it can be determined that the largest banking organizations show a high degree of involvement in the current problems of environmental, economic and social sustainable development. They have already implemented a sustainable development strategy in their activities, as a separate document or as part of an overall strategy. According to the National Rating Agency, "the driving force behind the integration of the ESG agenda in Russian financial companies was a public request from foreign investors, the state, and customers" [3].

The increasing trend towards the transition to sustainable development encourages more and more organizations to introduce environmental, social and managerial aspects into business processes. Due to the fact that at the moment there are still a number of problems in Russia that limit the possibilities of integrating ESG into the banking sector, the following recommendations can be put forward:

1. Introduction of large-scale state support that allows banks to compensate for part of the losses associated with the introduction of ESG technology (benefits for reserving, reducing risk weights on loans issued for ESG purposes, state subsidies for lending to ESG projects).

2. Adoption and expansion of the regulatory framework in the field of ESG.

3. Development of a comprehensive methodological guide aimed at regulating the processes of introducing ESG factors into the corporate activities of banking organizations.

4. Strengthening international cooperation in the field of "green" financing, in particular: exchange of practice and knowledge in the field of ESG; joining international initiatives on sustainable development.

5. Use of digitalization opportunities in the implementation of ESG banking (creation of a single digital platform containing public information about the activities of companies in the field of ESG).

6. Creation of unified state standards of non-financial reporting for banking organizations.

The development of ESG-banking methodology requires the efforts of specialists in various fields. Russia has all the necessary resources for this. And the state policy is aimed at the practical implementation of the principles of sustainable development in all sectors of the national economy.


Thus, despite the fact that ESG banking in Russia is currently only in its infancy, large Russian banks with foreign investors and clients have made significant progress in ESG transformation.

Multinational companies face the need to revise their business strategies in accordance with the new requirements of sustainable development. They try to be actively involved in the development of ESG banking methods, rightly assuming to gain competitive advantages both financial and reputational. The Russian Federation is part of the global economic system, actively participates in solving sustainable development problems, and contributes to the development of ESG banking. It can be a leader in solving problems related to the ESG transformation of the banking sector.

Attention to social, environmental and management issues will increase over time, and therefore the transition to sustainable development in all spheres of life seems to be an inevitable stage in the development of society.

Конфликт интересов 

Не указан. 

Conflict of Interest 

None declared.