Belgrade, November 26, 2021 – The 12th edition of CSR forum, a five-day long conference on sustainability and corporate social responsibility brought together over 50 speakers from the business, civil and public sector. During eleven different sessions the participants discussed the most important sustainability topics for business engagement.
The conference was officially opened by Mr. Dejan Turk, president of the RBF Serbia, Ms. Susan Fitz, USAID Mission Director and Katarina Obradović Jovanović, deputy of the Minister of Economy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
On the first day of the conference, the “Guidelines for Non-financial Reporting” were presented, intended to support domestic business sector in order to meet increasingly demanding requirements for reporting about how the companies perform and deal with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. During this day, participants of the CSR forum had the opportunity to hear the latest trend in this field by the key note speech held by the global sustainability and ESG expert, Jerome Lavigne Delvile. On two sessions during the first conference day members of the Ministry of Finance, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, IFC and various companies who represent the leaders in the ESG policy implementation shared their insights on the topic.
On the second day of the conference, the main topic was business sector engagement in food donations and active participation with citizens, while special recognitions were handed out to 40 companies that supported food donations in 2021, out of which many were distributed through the recently implemented Coalition for Giving’s campaign “Save Food, Save Humanity” aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing resources to provide food donations to the most vulnerable.
The third day of the conference was devoted to the SME and local economic development support programs, during which leading RBF companies presented their initiatives intended to empower SMEs included into their supply chains, support standardization, innovation and entrepreneurship culture. Some of the common fallacies with regard to CSR uptake in the SMEs was presented by Neven Marinović, Executive Director of Smart Kolektiv, based on the conclusions from the “Better business for better society” survey. Marija Pantelić from Bosis Valjevo, one of the RBF’s SMEs Ambassador, has shared her personal experience of how to transform a family business guided by a Corporate Sustainability Model.
The topic of the fourth day was devoted to the green transition and was organized in coordination with Global Compact Network in Serbia, while on the public closing of the conference, representatives of the Coalition for giving had a chance to present the major successes of the Framework for giving project as well as some of the future priorities with regard to improvement of the regulatory framework for giving in Serbia.
While the first four day of the conference were organized in a form of hybrid and online sessions, the final day of the conference was intended for smaller gatherings in person. At the Partnership Fair, social enterprises were invited to promote their products which may serve as great alternative corporate gifts in the forthcoming holiday season.
This year’s CSR Forum is being organized as part of the Framework for Giving Project, funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the Coalition for Giving, led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. Other members of the Coalition are the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropic Forum, the Responsible Business Forum and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. The CSR Forum was supported by Coca-Cola HBC Srbija, Eurobank Srbija, OTP Bank, Vip mobile and Elixir Group.