The organization of this event was initiated by the AmCham ESG Committee and it was carried out in cooperation with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) from Washington, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and financial support from the European Union – Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF).
In organization by the American Chamber of Commerce in North Macedonia (AmCham), a conference dedicated to the importance of “ESG” criteria (environment, social issues and governance) was held in Skopje, highlighting their influence in the long-term sustainability of businesses.
The conference, titled “Embracing ESG,” conveyed the message that the ESG concept is essential in the creation of additional value and business development, access to new capital, and a good reputation, but it is also necessary in risk management and keeping up with new business trends and regulations.
The event was opened by Dragan Davitkov, President of the Board of Directors of AmCham North Macedonia, who emphasized the exceptional importance of ESG criteria in the improvement of business standards of Macedonian companies in his opening address to the present representatives of AmCham member companies, domestic and international institutions, and reaffirmed AmCham North Macedonia’s continuous commitment to promoting the ESG concept among the business community.
The first part of the conference featured presentations by several AmCham member companies on the meaning and importance of the “three pillars” of ESG criteria, as well as the various motives and needs for adaptation. They presented the additional values that ESG criteria create for companies – with particular reference to the importance in overcoming global challenges and complying with the necessary European regulations.
In her speech, Ms. Maria Tsiadi, General Manager of Global Sustain, referred to ESG strategy funding opportunities and how they are developed in companies in Greece. More specifically, Mrs. Tsiadi stated: «As the ESG criteria for investments are becoming mandatory in the EU, an ESG conference can provide valuable information on the processes required to adopt an ESG strategy, the benefits for a company of any size and the roadmap for the successful implementation of a sustainability plan».
At the event, representatives from AmCham member companies shared success stories about how their organizations implemented ESG criteria in their own operations, what challenges they faced during the implementation process, and, most importantly, what visible benefits and additional value they received.
In the last panel, it was discussed why it is crucial for banks, donors, and investors to work with businesses that use ESG criteria, as well as which financial instruments, funding, and other opportunities become available to those enterprises.