We are a Georgia focused investment platform, aiming to deliver on 4x20 strategy

Environmental matters

 

The Group recognises that its operations have both a direct and indirect impact on the environment, and therefore seeks to establish management approaches which will help it become more environmentally friendly. Being the largest financial institution in Georgia, the Bank has a significant indirect environmental impact via the projects which it finances. In order to manage this impact properly, the Bank has implemented an Environmental and Social Policy and Risk Management Procedures, as described in the Social Matters section.


We do not believe the direct environmental impact of the banking and insurance businesses to be significant. Nevertheless, we have implemented a number of measures to reduce electricity, paper, water, and fuel consumption. For example, in 2013, we upgraded our lighting system at the Bank’s headquarters by installing energy-saving bulbs, and implemented KNX (EIB) System management, which not only helped us to minimise our environmental impact but also reduced our energy costs by GEL 4,000–5,000 per month. We implemented this system at all of the Bank’s branches in 2014.


The Group is also automating its operational processes to reduce the volume of printed documents and consequently minimise its use of paper. The Bank continues to acquire new printers which offer double-sided printing by default.


We are considering replacing part of our car fleet, which runs on petrol, with electric vehicles.


We aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our operations. Refer to the Directors’ Report for more details.


The most significant direct impact on the environment within the Group is created by our real estate development business, m2 Real Estate. The Company addresses industry-specific environmental issues and undertakes appropriate measures to manage them.


Focusing on enhancing the resource efficiency of its apartment buildings, m2 Real Estate started two new development projects with financial support from the IFC. The Company not only follows high environmental standards that the IFC imposes on its borrowers, but has also become a participant of the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program1 and thus meets all mandatory requirements of the programme regarding green building construction. Aiming to increase the efficient use of energy, water, and materials, m2 Real Estate installs energy efficient lighting systems and uses double-glazed windows and other modern insulation materials, thus reducing the U-value of constructed buildings to 0.21W/m2K. Utility costs for these buildings are expected to be reduced by up to 43% compared to an average residential building in Georgia.


1 The IFC-Canada Climate Change Programme, established in 2011, is a partnership between the Government of Canada and IFC to promote private sector financing for clean energy projects through the use of concessional funds to catalyse investment in renewable, low-carbon technologies that would not otherwise be made (www.ifc.org).


To minimise the negative impact on the environment caused by the construction process, m2 Real Estate has adopted an Environmental and Social Management Plan which helps to identify the environmental impacts of its activities and define measures to prevent them, as outlined below.



Environmental
aspect
Preventive
measures
Dust – Introducing speed limits on unpaved roads
– Damping down using water bowsers with spray bars
– Sheeting of construction materials and storage piles

– Using defined moving routes and reductions in vehicle speed limits where
   required

Spills and leaks
during refuelling
– Installing sealed drainage systems at refuelling areas
– Providing suitable tanks (e.g. double skinned), bunds and impermeable liners at
   fuel stores and refuelling points 
– Using drip trays for static plant (e.g. generators and pumps)

– Training staff in refuelling and pump operations

– Shortening the refuelling line as much as possible

– Performing regular maintenance checks of hoses and valves

– Conducting follow up procedures for proper and safe refuelling by operators

Air emissions – Ensuring that new vehicles comply with current EU emissions standards at the
   time of purchase 
– Implementing a regular maintenance programme to ensure all new vehicles
   continue to comply with the relevant EU emissions standards 
– Ensuring that older vehicles are maintained in order to eliminate additional
   emissions as far as is reasonably practicable

– Strictly enforcing speed limits in order to optimise fuel consumption and
   exhaust fumes, and minimise dust generation on unpaved surfaces.

Water contamination – Locating fuel stores and refuelling points further from watercourses and aquifers
Fire – Providing a fire extinguisher adjacent to each item of mobile plant and equipment
Noise – Fitting effective silencers on all plant and machinery and providing ear
   defenders and/or plugs on site 
– No idling or revving of plant or vehicle engines 
– Using controlled venting, silenced equipment and absorbing screens

– Working at preferred times of day (daylight hours Monday to Saturday,
    otherwise communicated to the local community and authorities)

Vibration – Operating equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and
    limiting excess use
Depletion of the stratospheric
ozone layer   
– Ensuring that no ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as 
   chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs),
   or products with known global warming potential, are used

m2 Real Estate is currently working to establish management reporting systems for environmental aspects. We expect environmental data to be available for the 2015 reporting year.

EVEX’s direct environmental impact is mainly in the form of medical waste, which requires special treatment and safe disposal. EVEX’s implemented procedures are in line with Georgian legislation, which defines risk categories for medical waste and establishes appropriate procedures for its treatment, storage, and disposal. EVEX strives to improve its efficiency, and thus outsources medical waste management to a company specialising in medical waste disposal. A total of 159 tonnes of medical waste was generated in 2014, compared with 55 tonnes in 2013, an increase which correlated with the significant expansion of EVEX’s hospital network.
Total greenhouse gas emissions data for 1 January 2014-31 December 2014 (tonnes of CO2e)

2012 2013 2014
SScope 1 (emissions from fuel combustion and facilities operations) 8,023 8,453 7,614
Scope 2 (emissions from electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use) 5,411 5,457 11,034
Scope 3 (emissions from air and land transportation) 2,163 2,165 3,822
Total greenhouse gas emissions 15,597 16,075 22,470
Total greenhouse gas emissions per FTE 1.41 1.37 1.68

Methodology

We have reported on all of the emissions sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013 (Scope 1 and 2) and additionally on those emissions under Scope 3 that are applicable to our business. All reported sources fall within our consolidated financial statements, which can be found on pages 106 to 191 of this Annual Report. We do not take responsibility for any emissions sources that are not included in our consolidated financial statements.

In preparing this emissions data, we have used the World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WRI/WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition) and emissions factors from the UK Government’s Greenhouse Gas Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2014.



The reported data are collected and reported for four  of the Group’s main businesses:
  • Banking (represented by the Bank), which includes all of the offices and retail branches where the Bank has operating control.
  • Real estate development (represented by m2 Real Estate), which includes its offices and construction sites.
  • P&C insurance (represented by Aldagi), which includes all offices and retail branches where the company has operating control.
  • Georgia Healthcare Group (represented by Evex and ImediL), which includes its main office and hospitals where the company has operating control.

Scope 1 (fuel combustion and facilities operation) includes emissions from:
  • Combustion of natural gas, diesel, and petrol in stationary equipment at owned and controlled sites.
  • Combustion of petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel in owned transportation devices (cars and aeroplane).



Scope 2 (electricity, heat, steam, and cooling purchased for own use) includes emissions from:
  • Electricity used at owned and controlled sites; to calculate the emissions, we use the conversion factor for Non-OECD Europe and Eurasia (average) from the UK Government’s Greenhouse Gas Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2014.
  • Used heat and steam (only applies to one of Imedi L’s sites).



Scope 3 includes emissions from:
  • Business air travel (short and long haul); information on the class of travel is unavailable, hence we use an ‘average passenger’ conversion factor.
  • Ground transportation, including taxis, coaches, and hire cars.

Data on emissions from travel is reported for business  travel only, and excludes commuting travel. Data from joint ventures, investments, or sub-leased properties are not included in the reported figures.

The data are provided by on-site delegates, invoices, and meter readings.