The FINANCIAL — By focusing on more than just profits, Bank of Georgia has already done a great deal to spread the practice of CSR in Georgia. Bank of Georgia carries out significant projects within the framework of Corporate Social Responsibility. Among them is a significant contribution to changing the lives of people with disabilities, as well as contributions to environmental care, education and innovation.
Supporting people with disabilities
The adapting of ATMs is the latest project, giving blind people the ability to fully use the Bank’s ATMs. The adaptation process ensures that the ATM’s programme has a voice programme implemented and the existing system is converted to an HTML format, which in turn means strengthening its technical characteristics. Visually-impaired people were directly involved in the adaptation process of the ATMs, making it possible to optimise the transactions carried out by such ATMs in the future.
In order to increase the availability of the physical and banking services of the Bank in 2017, additionally 10 service centres of Bank of Georgia were adapted in this way. A tactile trail was placed in Bank of Georgia’s Service Centre located at Tbilisi Justice House. More than 50 people with disabilities, mostly children, have been assigned special equipment to fit their needs. Within the framework of the support programme, over 600 disabled persons were given a wheelchair.
In order to facilitate communication and effective banking services for persons with disabilities, 40 employees of Bank of Georgia have learned basic communication phrases in sign language.
Education support to care for the future generation has remained a key and unchanging priority for Bank of Georgia for years. Bank of Georgia shall issue educational grants to ensure access to high quality education for students, as well as students travelling abroad.
The University of Bank of Georgia has been establishing high standards in the country’s educational sphere since 2013 and gives talented young people the opportunity to receive a financial education in modern and international requirements in Georgia.
In 2017, Bank of Georgia awarded 50 of the best students with full education grants, and for 100 – financing – interest-free credit to cover their tuition fees.
Successful students residing in Georgia with support from the Government of Great Britain and Bank of Georgia have the opportunity to further their education in the UK with the Chevening Scholarship programme. From 2014 till now 11 students in total have won a Chevening Scholarship and gone to Great Britain as a result. The project’s financing size is GEL 1,086,834.62.
For talented and intellectual youths who wish to get an education in the US, Bank of Georgia provides the opportunity to participate in the Fulbright Master’s Program. From 2014-2017, 6 winners of the competition received full scholarships and went to the US with Bank of Georgia and the Fulbright Master’s Programme for 2 years. The Fulbright project’s financing capacity is GEL 560,035. From 2014-2017 415 students from Bank of Georgia University received a full grant and financing. In total, GEL 959,500 was financed.
Supporting the environment
The Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) has allocated 1 452,912.50 GEL in 2014-2017 to fund 10 protected areas of Georgia. The funds were allocated for the maintenance and current expenses of 10 protected areas: Borjomi-Kharagauli; Lagodekhi; Tushetia; Vashlovani Mtirala; Javakheti; Kazbegi; Algeti; Kintrishi; and Pshav-Khevsureti.
In August 2017, Bank of Georgia pledged financial support of GEL 1,000,000 for the restoration of scorched territories and the prevention of fires throughout the country.
At the head office of Bank of Georgia, there are green receptacles where waste paper is collected and then sent for processing. Recycling paper results in 75% less damage to the environment and reduces the need to cut down trees. By 2017, with the help of the green boxes, in total 6,820 kg were collected and a total of 116 trees were saved.
Bank of Georgia staff agreed to reduce environmental pollution and try to solve the problem of traffic pollution in Tbilisi caused by car emissions. The application for Carsharing was created for the Bank of Georgia employees to solve the traffic problem in Tbilisi, In this way colleagues will try to take care of the environment, which will be positively reflected in air quality.
Social entrepreneurship projects
Since 2014 Till 2017, Bank of Georgia’s foundation has annually announced a grant competition to select the most sustainable and best result-oriented social projects. Bank of Georgia funded a total of GEL 700,000 grants to implement social projects selected through the competition.
Bank of Georgia Is supporting social enterprises and has financed creating of social enterprises: which serve different purposes: the collection and recycling of waste paper; the creation of an environment adapted for disabled people; ensuring access to pupils’ education, and internet access. Each project were granted with 50 000 GEL grant
With the involvement of persons with disabilities within Bank of Georgia’s social responsibility initiative, specially-adapted environments have been made to create handmade items and furniture from presses.
In Tbilisi’s tourist zone, with the involvement of talented beneficiaries a ceramic workshop was created, and a new shop opened.
In order to support social and educational activity, a space in Tsnori was specially set up and a bakery was created there.
In addition, a Social Hostel was opened in Batumi. On the subject of ecology and inclusive tourism development, an “EcoCamp” was established in the territory of Lagodekhi protected area
To support the development of social and innovative ideas for young people, a social impact gathering to discuss students’ business ideas for solving social problems was held – titled the Social Impact Award. Winning students were awarded a grant of EUR 2,000. And participated in international competition in Europe
Bank of Georgia’s team created an online platform for unlimited donations and charitable funds for easy transfers and without fee . The charity online platform – www.donate.ge – allows people to take care of people in need and easily donate for example : clothes, books, toys
With the financing of Bank of Georgia, Since 2014 till now the amount of money spent on charity and social projects amounted to GEL 1,609,600. In addition, GEL 2,606,369 was allocated for financing education projects. GEL 1,452,912 was spent on ecology. Furthermore, Bank of Georgia actively continues to fund and support important and interesting initiatives.