Estwatch is an independent non-profit civil society organization that aims to alleviate the adverse social and environmental impacts of Estonian-related companies and governmental agencies.
Estwatch’ first strategic direction is to study if and how banks consider their investments’ impact on the environment and society, and to encourage more responsible investing practices via collaboration and raising awareness.
Estwatch's three key fields of activities:
Study the extent to which Estonian-related companies and governmental agencies consider and take responsibility for their activites’ social and environmental impact.
Contribute to the mitigation of adverse social and environmental impacts and risks through cooperation and competence.
Raise awareness of the adverse social and environmental impacts and risks emerging from companies and governmental agencies, and ways to alleviate these.
Area of focus:
Responsible Financial Sector
Estwatch focuses on topics that have significant impact on social and environmental processes in Estonia and abroad, and that Estwatch or its partners have competence on.
The first strategic direction is to contribute to making Estonian financial institutions more transparent and considerate towards the society and environment.
THE CORE PRINCIPLE
Estwatch adheres to the principle that all companies and governmental agencies, from all sectors and of all sizes, must respect human rights and the environment in Estonia and abroad. This includes the responsibility to:
1. Avoid causing or contributing to human rights violations or environmental degradation and mitigate the adverse impacts if they occur.
2. Avoid or mitigate adverse social and environmental impacts that are related to one’s activities through partnerships, even if one has not contributed to these impacts directly.
Estwatch is an independent non-profit civil society organization that aims to decrease the negative social and environmental impacts of Estonian-related companies and governmental agencies.
Estwatch Pursues a world in which
The coming of Estwatch
Estwatch originates from its founders’ experiences with social and environmental issues across different corners of the world, which were found to be worsened by the practices, partnerships and consumption of organizations and institutions in the western world, including Estonia.
For instance, how the demand for palm oil in the food industry has caused the destruction of tens of millions of hectares of ancient rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia, how the construction of massive projects like the port in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and airport near Istanbul, Turkey, are made in the expense of the local environment and livelihoods, and many others.
The majority of the problems that were witnessed and learned about have arose from the demand for such products and services from both private and public sectors who require the highest quality with the lowest price and therefore often neglect the potential negative impacts that the most cost-effective solutions pose on the society and environment.
Estwatch was thus initiated to contribute to solving the problems from their roots and transform the low cost-prioritizing demand that disregards the broader society and environment to be more considerate to the surroundings. This includes pursuing a world in which Estonian-related companies, organizations, public agencies and institutions avoid adverse impacts in both their own and their partners’ practices, and react and actively contribute to alleviating these impacts, should they occur.
The people behind Estwatch
Kadri has learned about social and environmental issues in different parts of the world via the eyes of the locals and is most troubled by the environmental and healthcare-related problems. She has vast experiences in managing the communication of various NGOs and engaging with the general public, media, state, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. Kadri has also served as a freelancer, reporter and editor-in-chief in different journalistic publications. Kadri has a BA in Journalism and Communication and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication Management.
Uku has obtained business education with a focus on social entrepreneurship and financial management in universities in Estonia and the USA, and is currently pursuing MSc in International Development and Management in Sweden, focusing on sustainable finance. He has worked with various social enterprises and gained experience in the field of sustainable finance in an investment fund in Mauritius. Uku has worked for several years in Tartu University, developing entrepreneurship education through research and the creation and implementation of study materials and modules. Uku dedicated one year to travel around the world and learn about the culture and issues that locals are facing in more than 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Organizations supporting the achievement of the goals and vision of Estwatch