Russia’s Arctic Natural Gas and the Definition of Sustainability

Cultural Anthropology website published a new article “Russia’s Arctic Natural Gas and the Definition of Sustainability” by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen.

Sustainability as a corporate governance objective entered the Russian energy sector in the early 2000s. Major state-owned companies began publishing corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports. Instead of examining these documents, though, I want to understand how sustainability is defined in advertisements directed at the broader public at home and abroad. I argue that the narrative of these advertisements better reflects how both companies and viewers understand sustainability. Advertisements, as a central component in branding that can represent how corporations actually think (see Moeran 2005), are a productive site for unmasking how Russian energy, political elites, and beliefs about commerce and responsibility are brought together.

The article is available online.

Russia’s Far North symposium at Hokkaido University

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Daria Gritsenko, and Jussi Huotari from our research team participated in the Russia’s Far North: Contested Energy Frontier symposium at the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center (SRC) at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan on 6th-8th of July. This symposium was organised within the same-titled 3-year cooperation project between Finland and Japan, co-funded by the Academy of Finland and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Jussi Huotari presented his research “Oil and gas corporations in the Russian Arctic: Environment liability vs social responsibility?” at the young researcher’s seminar. Daria Gritsenko gave a talk on the topic of “The Structuration Approach to Arctic Seaport Development: The Case of Sabetta”  and the session “The New Northeast Passage: Nature, Shipping and Trade in North Asia” of the main symposium, Veli-Pekka was one of the discussants at the session. Later he presented the paper “Greening Regional Energy Policies in the Russian Arctic? Encountering State Energopower in Archangelsk and Karelia” at the session “Selling the Arctic: The Uneasy Coexistence of Business Ventures and Environmental Concerns”.

You can find more information about the symposium at the organizers’ webpage.