Canva defends business operations in Russia; Stora Enso comes out

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Australian online design giant Canva has dismissed criticism of its ongoing operations in Russia, saying it strongly opposes the war in Ukraine and has a responsibility to promote “anti-war content” to people. its users in Russia.

“The Australian Ukrainian diaspora is understandably appalled by Canva’s unprincipled stance and inaction,” said Ukrainian expat Uvi Levitski. Guardian Australiaadding that members of the Ukrainian community were planning to protest outside Canva’s offices in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.

“A Russian engagement tracker run by the Chief Executive Leadership Institute at Yale University School of Management includes six Australian companies – Canva, Atlassian, Viva Energy, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Qantas and Rio Tinto,” the Guardian said. “Canva is the only one of the six to get a ‘dig in’ rating because it ‘still provides services to Russia.’ the moment, or have completely withdrawn”.

Screenshot 2022 05 18 at 1.56.58 pmIn response, Canva co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht (pictured right) said; “Like billions of people around the world, we strongly oppose the ongoing war in Ukraine and strongly condemn Russia’s continued and unlawful acts of aggression. We wanted to provide an update on the steps we have taken over the past 2 months to continue supporting our Ukrainian community:

“We have blocked all payments in Russia: On March 1, we stopped processing all payments in the region to ensure that we do not make any financial contribution to the Russian economy. This means that our paid product is unavailable and we have suspended royalty payments to our creators and contributors.

“Promote messages of peace and opposition to war: We continue to keep Canva available to our Russian community to create pro-peace and anti-war content, as well as to use Canva for educational and non-profit purposes. nonprofit. Our pro-peace templates have been used over 275,000 times since the war began. Our hope is that we can provide the Russian community with a platform to advocate for important causes, communicate their opposition to the war and join resounding global calls for peace.

“Content Reporting: We have seen no evidence that Canva is being used for the wrong reasons and we continue to monitor the situation closely through a number of mechanisms we have in place. Anyone can easily report any misuse of Canva websites, templates and assets, including when used to spread misinformation or propaganda.

“Financial support to Ukraine: We have deployed $1,000,000 in donations through the Canva Foundation to our Ukrainian contributors and a number of non-profit organizations including UNHCR, Save The Children Ukraine, Tabletochki, l UNICEF and World Vision, to support people affected and displaced by war.

“Like millions around the world, we are heartbroken and appalled by the ongoing crisis unfolding in Ukraine, a sovereign nation where millions of innocent people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, lives and of their families,” Obrecht said. His full statement is available here.

big logoMeanwhile, the global paper giant Stora Enso announced the sale of its three packaging plants in Russia.

“Stora Enso’s assessment is that due to the uncertainties in the Russian market, local ownership and operation will provide a more sustainable long-term solution for these companies and their respective employees.

The divested sites are located in Lukhovitsy, Arzamas and Balabanovo, employ around 620 people and have a total annual capacity of 395 million m² of corrugated cardboard packaging. The sites mainly produce corrugated packaging for the grocery, home improvement, confectionery and pet food segments in the Russian domestic market.

Stora Enso announced in March that it would halt all production and sales in Russia until further notice. In April, Stora Enso announced the sale of its two sawmills and forestry operations in Russia to local management.

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