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Kazakhstan has risen by 6 lines in the global ranking of countries in achieving SDGs outpacing Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey, and Singapore

In 2015, the UN General Assembly approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 193 countries – both developed and developing – committed themselves to achieving 17 goals to improve the well-being of people, the economy, and the environment according to 169 global targets.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim at eradicating poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and protecting the planet and ensuring peace and prosperity for all people.

Kazakhstan has initiated work on the SDG implementation at the national level. The country has nationalized the global SDG indicators, and today the monitoring system includes 280 indicators — 205 global and 75 national ones.

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In the global ranking of countries for achieving sustainable development goals in 2021, Kazakhstan rose by 6 lines and ranked 59th (a year earlier – 65th). Kazakhstan is ahead of Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

SDG achievement falls on the shoulders of the state, represented by the government, local executive bodies, and central government agencies.

Herewith, quasi-public sector enterprises have a significant impact on SDG achievement in the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a whole, the portfolio companies of the national managing holdings — Samruk-Kazyna and Baiterek — are actively involved in the implementation of measures for achieving sustainable development goals, including the development of individual documents aimed at sustainable development.

For example, the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK, a subsidiary of Baiterek Holding) approved the Sustainability Policy back in 2019. Under this policy, they developed a stakeholder map defining the list of stakeholders and the extent of their influence on the financial institution. In general, DBK mission is to promote the sustainable development of the national economy by investing in the non-commodity sector.

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In carrying out its activity, DBK seeks to integrate the principles of sustainable development. For example, in 2020, the Bank introduced a development index as the tool to prioritize potential investment projects and/or export operations. The development index allows classifying projects according to the level of socio-economic impact. Its components are such indicators as an increase in project output, the increase in output, the increase in export revenue, the impact on the economy and sustainable development of the country and the region, the positive environmental component of the project.

In general, the Bank’s activities directly or indirectly contribute to at least 12 of the 17 SDGs – for example, SDG #9 (industrialization, innovation and infrastructure), SDG #12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG #10 (reducing inequality), etc. In particular, the Bank finances the green industries and resource efficient projects (SDGs #7 and #13). Including 6 renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement projects in DBK loan portfolio that contribute to mitigation of climate change. Today, the Bank’s loan portfolio is represented by projects in all areas of renewable energy: wind farms, small hydro power plants, as well as projects in the solar energy sector. It is worth noting that, according to 2020 data, about 17.5% of the total country volume of RES accounted for projects financed by Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

The Bank finances projects that are socially important for public health (SDG #3) and also directly supported medical institutions in Almaty during the pandemic by purchasing 2,800 FFP2 respirators as part of the charity. Moreover, DBK has 70% of employees work remotely and retained full wages for those affected by COVID-19 during the temporary disability. DBK also adheres to SDG #5 on gender equality: the proportion of women among the Bank’s employees in 2020 was 52.8%, and the proportion of women in management positions was 48.7%.

It developed the Action Plan aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. It is about reducing energy consumption by replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs, installing non-contact water taps and waste sorting containers, as well as reducing paper consumption by switching to electronic document management, which has almost halved the amount of paper used.

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Overall, in Kazakhstan, according to the 2021 Global Sustainability Report, three of the SDGs are showing an improving trend in their achievement. There is a moderate improvement in five of the SDGs. The situation has not deteriorated in any indicator.

Achieving the SDGs requires the concerted efforts of government agencies and the quasi-public sector.

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