ProCredit Bank on CSR: ProCredit Bank Installs Free EV Chargers Nationwide to Travel by EV Throughout the Country

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Corporate-social responsibility and implementation of projects in this direction has been one of the most important goals of ProCredit Bank for many years. 

For us, CSR and environmental care are not on the ‘to-do list’, but rather an integral part of our daily activities. We are proud of the fact that 16% of the bank’s loan portfolio is the so-called “green portfolio”, which combines investments in environmentally friendly and energy efficient solutions as well as renewable energy.”

ProCredit Bank is a development-oriented commercial bank, which offers excellent customer service to small and medium enterprises and to private individuals who have the capacity to save and who prefer to do their banking through electronic channels.

Marita Sheshaberidze, director of ProCredit bank, talked about the interesting projects, visions for the future, and plans of the ProCredit bank in terms of CSR.

Q: CSR and environmental care has become one of the most important topics worldwide. What does ProCredit Bank do in this regard?

A: “Promoting sustainable economic development in the country is reflected in the strong focus of the company on the development of small and medium-sized businesses for ProCredit Bank, which leads to the sustainable development of these businesses. We believe that corporate social responsibility and environmental protection should be an essential component of the operation of any business, for us, business ethics itself is the goal. Business ethics is the value shared by ProCredit Group and ProCredit Bank Georgia, which has been operating in the country for 23 years.”

Q: ProCredit Bank has been actively involved in CSR campaigns in the recent past. What are the specific projects the ProCredit Bank is involved in?

A: “For ProCredit Bank, CSR and Environmental Care is not on the ‘to-do list’, they are an integral part of our day-to-day operations, as any business, with its activities, has an impact on the environment. We, as a bank, value both our direct and indirect influences. This approach incorporates the group’s environmental system, through which we measure, evaluate, and take appropriate direct and indirect impacts on the environment to reduce our carbon footprint:

For many years we have been not only measuring the consumption of resources such as water and electricity, but also trying to use them efficiently and replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives. Here are some examples: At the head office, we collect rainwater in a reservoir, which we consume after recycling in the building. In 2020, the bank installed a solar power plant of its own consumption on the roof, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions using renewable resources. 99% of our transactions are electronic, which has reduced paper usage to a minimum. 100% of the company’s vehicles are electric. Our head office building is the first in Georgia to have its energy and resource efficiency certified by an EDGE International Certificate.

Q: What activities can you name as an example of supporting business activities in Georgia in 2020-2022?

A: “Naturally, a financial institution, in addition to having a direct impact, also has an indirect impact on the environment. Given the size of ProCredit Bank’s small and medium-sized business client portfolio, the indirect impact is much greater when we are financing this or that investment.

In the assessment, in addition to analyzing the solvency of the business and the return on investment, compliance with the environmental standards of the enterprise and the assessment of the safety of their employees is given special importance. ProCredit Bank has a very principled approach in this regard – we refuse to finance activities that have a negative impact on the environment, despite their high profitability. For example, the bank last year refused to finance the production of disposable plastics. In the year 2021, we introduced additional criteria to ensure that customers’ business activities are not adversely affected in protected areas.

A very important direction for the bank is “green financing”. We are proud of the fact that 16% of the bank’s loan portfolio is the so-called “green portfolio”, which combines investments in environmentally friendly and energy efficient actions as well as renewable energy. 

Last year, the bank financed the construction of 6 solar power plants. Energy independence, as well as reducing costs and, most importantly, reducing carbon emissions remain this year’s priority. 

In 2022, the Bank established a network of free general-purpose chargers, nationwide. By the end of the year, 30 chargers from ProCredit Bank will be installed in the country, which will make it possible to travel by electric vehicle throughout the country. At the same time, we finance individuals and business clients with special incentives to buy an electric car.”

Q: Do you have a business system which ensures the professional development of your employees (career-development plans)?

A: “Corporate responsibility is created by individuals and in ProCredit Bank, the most important part of the activity is the staff. We believe that proper employee development and satisfaction, is directly related to sustainable development.

Employee development at ProCredit Bank is of paramount importance from the outset – any employee here participates in a 6-month international program where he or she will undergo theoretical and practical training. Employee development care does not end here, the bank allocates 100 hours of training to each employee throughout the year. ProCredit Bank continues to develop staff in the group academies, studying in 1-year and 3-year programs, with future managers continuing their training in Germany. 

Environmental courses are an important part of the same curriculum. Over the past 2 years, due to the Covid pandemic, we have adapted academies and moved them into the virtual space easily and successfully.

The bank has introduced a feedback system, which allows each employee to hear a systematic assessment from the immediate supervisor, as well as once a year from the top management representative, and correctly define expectations, evaluate his place and role and get answers to important questions, express his opinion and take initiative. 

Caring for the career development of each employee is one of our main goals.”

Q: Why does ProCredit Bank consider it so important to support business and involve itself in CSR activities?

A: “Over the last few years, the world has become more and more aware of global warming and its dangers. We know that the steps taken in this direction need to be redoubled and we are glad that we were not intimidated by skepticism and we have made a worthy contribution to raising the environmental culture in the country through our activities over the last decade. One of the fundamental values ​​of the organization, which is shared by every employee of ProCredit Bank, is the following: if the business only serves to maximize quick profits, it cannot be sustainable. This value shapes our organizational culture and our corporate social responsibility, which we carry out in our relationships with each other, as well as with our partners and the environment.”

Q: What are some of the projects ProCredit Bank is planning for the future?

A: “We believe that transparency is one of the main principles of ethical business. Ecological direction is our main priority, in which we try to involve more individuals and businesses every year.

This year, by combining these two goals, ProCredit Bank is creating a “green account” – through which we offer our clients the chance to become part of our green, sustainable development. With this initiative, we want to show those who are interested in financing environmentally friendly investments and knowing that the money in their account serves just that purpose, an easy and flexible way to do so.

ProCredit Bank will continue to support the green direction in the future.”

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