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

Environmental matters

 

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

As for the direct environmental impact, we believe that the impact of the banking and insurance businesses is not significant. Nevertheless, we undertake a number of measures to reduce electricity, paper, water, and fuel consumption. For example, in 2013 we upgraded our lighting system in the Bank’s headquarters by installing energy-saving bulbs and implemented KNX (EIB) System management, which not only helped us minimise our environmental impact but also reduced our energy costs by GEL 4,000-5,000 per month. We implemented this system in all of the Bank’s branches during 2014. Since 2015 the Bank has worked towards minimising paper waste. “Green Boxes” are placed on every floor of the Bank’s headquarters and are designated to collect paper for recycling purposes. The Group is also in the process of automating its operational processes in order to reduce the volume of printed documents and consequently minimise the overall use of paper. The Bank continues to acquire new printers which offer double-sided printing by default. In 2016 the Bank started replacing 80W and 60W traditional light bulbs with 20W and 12W LED light bulbs in all of its service centres. New lighting systems will continue to be introduced throughout 2017 and save considerable energy resources. Similarly, new air conditioning systems were introduced in the Bank’s headquarters. The VRV/VRF system was installed in air conditioners which enables the chillers to reduce energy consumption from 120KW to 75KW. The Bank installed new charging facilities for electric vehicles in 2016 and once there is a supply of service centres for them, the Bank is keen to start replacing its car fleet, that runs on petrol, with electric vehicles.

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 industryspecific environmental issues and undertakes appropriate measures to manage them.

Focusing on enhancing the resource efficiency of its apartment buildings, m2 Real Estate has two ongoing development projects with financial support from IFC and another two in the pipeline. The company has entered the hospitality market with an exclusive agreement with the Ramada group to develop Ramada Encore hotels in Georgia (also financed by IFC). The company not only follows high environmental standards that IFC imposes on its borrowers but is also a participant of the IFC-Canada Climate Change Programme1 and thus meets all mandatory requirements of the programme regarding green building construction.

Aiming at increasing 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. As a result, it is expected that utility costs for these buildings will be reduced by up to 43% compared to an average residential building in Georgia.

GHG’s direct environmental impact mainly comes from the medical waste generation and combustion of fuels, both for stationary use and for owned vehicles. GHG’s operations also affect the environment by using significant amounts of water in hospitals and purchasing electricity and paper. Although its overall negative impact is relatively low, GHG still aims at becoming more resource efficient and environmentally-friendly. GHG’s waste management procedures are compliant with the relevant Georgian legislation which defines risk categories and appropriate procedures for the treatment of medical waste.

To prevent human and environmental harm, GHG clinics collect and dispose of medical and biological waste through an outsourced service specialising in medical waste disposal. For the collection of waste the company uses plastic bags that have sufficient strength and are secured with staples to safely retain waste. Further, steam sterilisation is used to decontaminate biological and bio hazardous waste. To ensure the reliability of the contractors used, GHG examines their certificates and monthly reporting as well as imposing penalties if necessary.

In order to light up the hospital premises and run the necessary medical equipment, GHG annually consumes thousands of kilowatts of electricity. In fact, electricity usage accounts for about a half of our total greenhouse gas generation. To decrease this negative impact the company has implemented a number of energy saving solutions, such as installation of LED lights and energy efficient equipment. GHG also works towards minimising its carbon footprint by other means. For example, heat insulation is being improved in a number of hospitals.

GGU’s major emission sources are caused by water supply, wastewater treatment and energy generation. GGU is focusing efforts on optimising water extraction, treatment and distribution with minimal energy inputs. GGU strictly follows the standards implemented by the Georgian legislation for its waste water treatment and hydro power plants. In addition, GGU regularly rehabilitates dilapidated sewerage network.

GGU is currently developing an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in accordance with the roadmap schedule presented in the Environmental & Social Policy Framework, adopted by the company in 2016. ESMS will be in compliance with Georgian legislation and the IFC performance standards (Environmental, Health and safety guidelines for Water and Sanitation). The roadmap schedule further develops the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) based on the outcomes of the current ongoing audit. ESMS will allow GGU to gradually implement the ISO14000 standard for environmental management and the ISO26000 standard for social responsibility.

METHODOLOGY

We have reported on all of the emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013 (Scope 1 and 2) and additionally have reported 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 126 to 213. We do not have responsibility for any emission sources that are not included in our consolidated financial statements.



Environmental
aspect
Preventive measures
Dust
  • Introducing speed limits on unmade 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

In preparing our 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 2016. For wastewater treatment and discharge operations we used conversion factors from 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

Our reported data is collected and reported on in respect of five of the Group’s main businesses:
  • Banking (represented by the Bank), which includes all of its offices and retail branches where the Bank has operational control 
  •  Real estate development (represented by m2 Real Estate), which includes its offices and construction sites 
  • Utility and energy business (represented by Georgia Global Utilities) which includes all of its offices and operational sites
  •  P&C insurance (represented by Aldagi), which includes all of its offices and retail branches where the Company has operational control 
  • Georgia Healthcare Group (represented by Evex and Imedi L), which includes its main office and hospitals where the Company has operational control 
Scope 1 (combustion of fuel and operation of facilities) 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:
  • Used electricity at owned and controlled sites; to calculate the emissions, we used the conversion factor for Non-OECD Europe and Eurasia (average) conversion from the UK Government’s Greenhouse Gas Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2014 
  • Used heat and steam (only applies to one site of Imedi L) 
Scope 3 includes emissions from: 
  • Air business travel (short haul and long haul); information on the class of travel is unavailable hence we used an “average passenger” conversion factor 
  • Ground transportation, including taxis, coaches and car hire
Data on emissions resulting from travel is reported for business-related travel only and excludes commuting travel. Data from joint ventures, investments or sub-leased properties have not been included within the reported figures. 

The data is provided by on-site delegates, invoices and metre readings.

The Group has in place a Code of Ethics, as well as policies which relate to environmental matters, employees, social matters, our respect for human rights and anti-corruption and bribery.

Copies of these polices can be found on the Group’s website: http://bgeo.com/page/id/69/ policies

TOTAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS DATA FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING 1 JANUARY 2016 AND ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2016 (TONNES OF CO2E)2


2014 2015 2016
Scope 1 (emissions fuel combustion and facility operations) 7,614 6,679 10,597
Scope 2 (emissions from electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use) 11,034 12,183 30,826
Scope 3 (emissions from air travel and ground transportation) 3,822 4,487 10,266
TOTAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS 22,470 23,349 51,660
FTEs 13,396 15,955 21,278
TOTAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS PER FTE 1.68 1.46 2.43

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  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 cleanenergy projects, through the use of concessional funds to catalyse investments in renewable, low-carbon technologies that would not otherwise happen (www.ifc.org).

  2. Due to the nature of their operations, GHG and GGU contributed to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2016.