The concept of sustainability lies at the heart of our business and reflects our contribution to sustainable development – development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We consider sustainability to be integral to the growth of our business. Our sustainability agenda allows us to be profitable as well as environmentally and socially responsible at the same time. By implementing a sustainability approach in our activities, we foster long-term relationships with our main stakeholders by providing high return on investment for shareholders, satisfying the financial needs of customers, developing employees and contributing to the economic and social welfare of local communities, while taking into account our environmental footprint.
In order to effectively manage the Group’s direct and indirect impact on society and the environment, the Board of Directors adopted an Environmental and Social Policy. This policy describes the Group’s strategy to develop solid management controls to conserve natural resources, minimise health and safety risks, and provide employees with equal development opportunities, fair compensation and benefits. We are pioneering sustainability practices in our operations and are constantly seeking new ways to improve our performance.
The Group continues to be included in the global responsible investment index FTSE4Good. The index is designed to demonstrate strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices measured against international standards.
As part of our sponsorship and charitable activities, the Bank continues to focus on promoting and enhancing access to education, conserving nature, supporting people with disabilities.Learn more
SPONSORSHIP AND CHARITY
As part of our sponsorship and charitable activities, the Bank continues to focus on promoting and enhancing access to education, conserving nature, supporting people with disabilities and special needs, developing social enterprises and facilitating innovative projects that focus on social goods.
Sponsorship and charity funds are channelled through the Bank’s Tree of Life Foundation that, in its turn, distributes funding by means of grant competitions in order to ensure transparent and fair methods of financing. The Group also implements its own social projects.
Tree of Life has allocated around GEL 2.5 million to support education, nature conservation, people with disabilities and special needs, social platforms, and development of social entrepreneurship.
Bank of Georgia together with the Tree of Life Foundation established a charity platform www.donate.ge, which connects the people in need with those who are willing to donate items, clothes, books, etc. The platform offers collection, sorting and delivery of items.
Bank of Georgia recognises the impact it can have on the country’s social-economic development. Therefore, the Bank launched a grant programme to support socially driven enterprises in Georgia. In 2017 and 2016, Bank of Georgia supported five social enterprises with up to GEL 200,000 and GEL 50,000 per project, respectively. At the same time, the Bank provided pro-bono services by helping the businesses in areas such as marketing, public relations, information technology, etc. The Bank partners with various NGOs to maximise its role in the social cause.
PROMOTING AND ENHANCING ACCESS TO EDUCATION
Bank of Georgia University has offered a top quality master’s degree programme since its foundation in 2014. The university welcomed its fourth intake of MBA students in 2017 and simultaneously launched a bachelor’s degree programme. The cost of studies in 2017 were again largely subsidised by the Bank with GEL 350,250. Up to 20 students study at no cost, while 40 students benefit from a 0% loan with grace period until graduation. Bank of Georgia University provides its students with hands-on experience by offering them the possibility to observe various business processes at the Group’s companies.
In 2013, the Bank became the first Georgian company to cooperate with one of the most prestigious scholarship programmes in the world – the Chevening scholarship. This cooperation provides Georgian students with an opportunity to pursue education in the UK.
In 2017, the Group provided GBP 89,532 to finance a master’s degree programme for three students. The partnership with Chevening will continue next year and the Group is looking forward to selecting students who will continue their studies in the UK.
In 2014, the Bank signed a partnership agreement with the prestigious US Fulbright scholarship scheme. Thanks to the Bank of Georgia’s contribution, a selected number of students from Georgia are able to enrol in a two-year master’s degree programme at a US university. In 2017, the funding provided to the students for their two-year degrees amounted to US$ 50,000. Since 2014, the Bank has granted US$ 250,000 to the US Fulbright scholarship programme.
For the last four years the Bank has been supporting a public speaking competition organised by the English Speaking Union Georgia. The competition allows high school senior year or university freshman students to prepare a speech on a pre-selected topic and present it in front of a competent jury. The winner is granted a fully paid trip to London to attend a global public speaking competition. We aim to support this competition in 2018 as well.
The Bank has been supporting every single TEDx Tbilisi conference since they were first organised in 2012. A TEDx conference is a locally organised TED format event, where communities, organisations and individuals join to initiate a conversation and connect with each other on different topics, which are important to society.
SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Since 2014, the Bank has focused its efforts on supporting people with disabilities – one of the most vulnerable social groups in Georgia. In 2017, the Bank donated GEL 78,200 to the Tree of Life Foundation for this cause. The Foundation distributed the funds through grant competitions – one intended for the relevant NGOs that work with people with disabilities and another with the specific aim of promoting social entrepreneurship. In order to qualify for the competition, the proposals had to focus on the creation of a small enterprise with a social component aimed at improving the livelihood of people with disabilities.
The Bank continues to focus on the adaptation of its own infrastructure. In 2017, an additional nine service centres became available for people with disabilities.
Another priority of the Group’s charitable activities is the preservation of wildlife diversity. In 2017, the Bank granted US$ 100,000 to the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) to provide support to the Protected Areas of Georgia. Bank of Georgia allocated GEL 1 million for restoration of the forests destroyed by the wildfires in the summer of 2017.
In 2017, Bank of Georgia launched a car pooling app “Gzad” for its employees. The application enables them to share a ride to and from the Bank, which in turn helps reduce air pollution and ease the traffic in Tbilisi.
To manage our employees in a way that best supports our business strategy, we seek to help them contribute to business performance through personal and professional development.Learn more
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
To manage our employees in a way that best supports our business strategy, we seek to help them contribute to business performance through personal and professional development. Following our aspiration to develop strong leaders, we have developed an extensive leadership development programme.
The Bank’s corporate learning system is comprised of a wide range of internal and external training sessions specifically designed to meet the needs of front and back office employees at the Bank. Middle – and senior-level employees are given the opportunity to receive external training in well-known training institutions outside of Georgia.
In 2014-2015, Bank of Georgia launched a Leadership Development Executive Coaching programme. It provides an individual approach towards developing leadership skills. The programme continued to run successfully throughout 2017 and further expanded to lower leadership levels, having benefited its participants with a personally tailored development experience. Employees involved in the programme gained a greater awareness of their leadership strengths and opportunities for future growth. Based on its previous years’ experience, the Bank has refined its Leadership Development System together with the 360 degree feedback process.
In 2017, the Bank launched an online Learning Management System (LMS), enabling employees to easily and comfortably access corporate learning opportunities. The Bank also started updating the managerial induction and onboarding programmes, which will cover employees at all levels.
Bank of Georgia runs an internal project “Our Fund”, which was initiated by its employees with a goal to assist the Bank’s employees and their families in need of special medical care. As at 1 March 2018, the project counted approximately 2,000 members, while around GEL 90,000 was mobilised for the project’s purposes.