The responsibility for embracing all vulnerable groups in society lies with stakeholders across all sectors, but the role of companies and the business sector in this domain is invaluable, as highlighted in the CSR & ESG Forum. The event was held on December 12th and was dedicated to corporate sustainability and responsibility, and the integration of environmental, social, and governance criteria into business and investment decisions. It brought together experts in sustainable development and socially responsible business who presented current solutions and trends in these areas, with a focus on the theme of diversity and inclusion.
In the opening segment, Peer Krumrey, Counsellor for Labor and Social Affairs, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Serbia, Richard Kohli, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, Embassy of Switzerland in Serbia, and Todd Andrews, Acting USAID Serbia Mission Director, addressed the attendees.
For the first time, the Responsible Business Forum and Smart kolektiv presented the Award for the Most Inclusive Employer to companies dedicated to creating a work environment where all employees have equal opportunities for advancement and feel included and accepted in all spheres of work. The event also saw the presentation of the “Champions of Sustainability Champions”, aiming to highlight projects that directly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The main panel of the event, dedicated to the theme of diversity and inclusion, deepened the dialogue on the strategic approach to nurturing the principles of inclusion, diversity, and equality, as well as their implementation in business strategies. The panel brought together representatives from different sectors who discussed this topic from various perspectives.
During the conference, 10 parallel roundtable discussions were held, focusing on trends in sustainable development and multi-sector perspectives. Through active dialogue, participants delved into these topics, exchanging valuable experiences and insights.
A novelty in this year’s conference was the participation of young participants in the educational program “Sustainability Starter”, who presented solutions to sustainability challenges they worked on with the support of mentors from leading companies.
At this year’s CSR & ESG forum, awards were also presented for food donations to the most vulnerable, recognizing contributions to the fight against poverty and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in 2023.