The first Strategic session of the National ESG Club was held, it was attended by members of the Club, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The strategic session was the first offline event of the Club, the main purpose of which was to develop a Strategy for the development of the ESG Club for the coming year. The event was held in the format of a "master mind" with the participation of members of the National ESG Club and invited companies, in which the participants were divided into 4 groups to discuss the main aspects of the ESG agenda in Kazakhstan - the need for ESG transformation, the necessary support measures to promote ESG principles, the contribution of the National ESG Club to the implementation of the country ESG agenda, and also barriers and opportunities in promoting ESG principles in Kazakhstan.
During the discussion, the participants identified the main factors of importance and necessity of implementing ESG principles in the company's activities and the core values of the team in promoting the principles of sustainable development, including cooperation, motivation, innovation, experience, flexibility, etc. The participants also identified barriers to the implementation of ESG principles in Kazakhstan. Among the main barriers are insufficient information and low level of public awareness about the value of ESG principles, lack of financial incentives for their implementation in companies, discrepancies in the legislative framework and complexity of law enforcement, the presence of financial risks (payment of fines, lack of payback mechanisms), etc.
Another important aspect was the exchange of proposals to promote the activities of the National ESG Club and the Sustainable Development agenda in Kazakhstan.
In addition, within the framework of the Strategic Session, an award ceremony was also held for the winners of the International Award for Office Facilities and Office Premises – Green Office Awards, the purpose of which is to encourage and stimulate the development of "green", sustainable workspaces.
The winners of the nomination "The best green office in Kazakhstan" were two companies - JSC "National Holding "Baiterek" and PARK VIEW OFFICE TOWER.
National ESG Club was created as part of Astana Finance Days 2022 on July 28, 2022 and united 19 companies that are leaders in ESG transformation in their industries. Today the Club includes 30 companies.
Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction that started operations in 2018. In accordance with the Development Strategy until 2025, the key focus of the AIFC is to consolidate as a universal platform connecting the countries of the EAEU, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
AIFC Green Finance Centre is a subsidiary organisation of the AIFC Authority and the Eurasian Development Bank, aimed at introduction and development of sustainable finance instruments and attracting of investments in environmental and social projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
The AIFC Green Finance Centre supported the very first issuance of green bonds and first verified green loan in Kazakhstan. Also, the Centre introduced definitions of green finance and green taxonomy (a classifier of economic activities and projects that meet technical selection criteria) in the national environmental legislation. The new legislation provides incentives for entrepreneurs who use green finance instruments.