The Holding, as a financial institution, pays special attention to responsible investment. It seeks to introduce and integrate ESG factors into the process of making investment decisions by presenting them to the Holding's counterparties.
The Holding expects its counterparties to:
• apply an environmental risk management system to identify and assess actual and potential impacts on the environment and society; determine and take appropriate management measures; monitor the level of environmental risks.;
• manage human resources and ensure the health of employees; respect workers' rights, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; ensure fair treatment of employees, create safe and healthy working conditions, prevent adverse effects on human health and safety;
• ensure effective corporate governance based on the principles of fairness, honesty, responsibility, transparency, and professionalism. Effective corporate governance contributes to the company’s successful development (the growth of its market value, maintenance of financial stability, and profitability) and presupposes respect for the rights and interests of all persons associated with the organization.
The ESG rating is a key tool for a company to determine whether the implementation of ESG standards has been successful. This rating measures the sustainability of the company in the long term by identifying its risks and opportunities.
In 2019, the Holding received the ESG international rating for the first time. The experts of the ISS-oekom Rating Agency assigned the Holding a D+ rating, while other organizations operating in the same sector were ranked at the D or C level, with the highest rating being B (Asian Development Bank).
The experts noted the Holding's adherence to the principles of social responsibility, corporate governance and business ethics, as well as the intention to integrate ESG factors into its strategy and business processes. The experts also noted that environmental factors should be taken into account in the implementation of project activities.
The Holding is actively working in this direction. In 2020, it developed Environmental and Social Policy in order to increase the potential environmental and social effect of its projects. The policy defines the principles and approaches to accounting and monitoring of environmental and social factors in the investment activities of the Holding and its subsidiaries. The policy was developed following international initiatives for responsible investing: the UN Principles for Responsible Investing, the Equator Principles, and IFC's Environmental and Social Performance Standards. The policy also defines criteria for green projects based on the green taxonomy developed by the AIFC.
In accordance with the updated Development Strategy of the Holding for 2014-2023, the ESG rating is defined as the main KPI of the Holding in the field of sustainable development. The target value of this KPI provides for an increase in the score by 2 points by 2023 in comparison with the base value (from the level of "D +" to the level "C").