Social projects

Our approach

FESCO’s definition of “corporate social responsibility” is based on ISO 26000 Guidance on social responsibility: “Responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through transparent and ethical behaviour that:

  • contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society;
  • takes into account the expectations of stakeholders;
  • is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour;
  • is integrated throughout the organisation and practised in its relationships.”

FESCO also shares the position on corporate social responsibility set out in the Social Charter of the Russian Business. The document expands the concept of corporate social responsibility to include responsible business practices, respect for human rights, responsible labour practices, responsibility for sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection, and responsibility to consumers and local communities.

FESCO pursues its corporate social responsibility strategy relying on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the Resolution of the UN General Assembly adopted on 25 September 2015, as well as national development goals provided for by Russian President’s Order No. 474 On National Development Goals of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2030 dated 21 July 2020.

Social responsibility as a part of FESCO’s everyday life

The social responsibility principle is embedded into FESCO’s development strategy and day-to-day operations. Commitment to the principle manifests itself at all levels of the Company. The social responsibility principle also underpins the internal and external communication; the Company’s employees develop competencies and motivations required to use it in the decision-making process and operations.

FESCO seeks to continuously improve its social responsibility practices, keeps monitoring its impact on social, economic and environmental systems, and analyses the effects of its social, cultural and environmental initiatives.

The Company analyses the potential social and environmental impacts of its decisions and integrates the social responsibility principle into its procurement, sales and investment practices.

Implementation of initiatives contributing to sustainable development in the regions of operations is one of the key priorities of FESCO’s strategy.

Management of corporate social responsibility strategy

The Board of Directors and the Executive Board of FESCO are the main governing bodies in charge of corporate social responsibility. Their duties include approving the Company’s strategy in this area, monitoring its progress, and assessing the performance. On an annual basis, the Board of Directors approves an annual report that contains exhaustive information about progress against programmes and projects run as part of the corporate social responsibility strategy.

Execution and coverage of social responsibility programmes and projects fall within the remit of the corporate communications team, including regional experts and volunteers from among the Company’s employees.

Partner selection principle

FESCO’s values include a focus on the overall result, professionalism and responsibility. Committed to these values, the Company strives to maximise the efficiency of its external social and charity programmes by building longterm partnerships with the government and society.

A special role is played by professionals: social entrepreneurs, community-focused non-profit organisations, and charity experts.

The Company supports the following forms of external social programmes:

  • sponsorship: contribution to the activities of another legal entity or individual in exchange for promoting the Company’s brand;
  • charity: voluntary and gratuitous transfer of funds and/or property by the Company to a legal entity or individual, or performance of work, provision of services, and other support or assistance;
  • social partnership: equal cooperation between the Company and the government and/or society on the basis of special agreements with regional authorities to address pressing social problems and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals across its footprint;
  • awareness raising.

In addition, the mandatory selection criteria for external social and charity programmes and projects include:

  • needs of stakeholders and the regions of operations;
  • systematic approach to achieving specific sustainable development goals, focus on a measurable result;
  • potential of long-term partnership with a minimum risk of creating dependence of the target audience on charity support;
  • proportionality of costs and expected effect.

FESCO takes consistent efforts to improve the quality of external social and charity projects in which it participates. The efforts include engagement of internal and external experts in programmes and projects, evaluation of results, and promotion of ideas, principles and best practices of corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and charity.

Exceptional role of the Primorye Territory and Vladivostok

Since the history of FESCO establishment and evolution is closely linked to the exploration and development of the Russian Far East, the region as a whole and Vladivostok as its capital play an exceptional role in the Company’s corporate social responsibility strategy. FESCO prioritises external social and charity projects and programmes implemented in the Primorye Territory.

In running external social and charity projects and programmes in the Russian Far East, FESCO keeps in mind the region’s special geopolitical position, historical development, social and economic aspects.

Since a substantial part of FESCO’s assets are located in the Russian Far East, the welfare of Vladivostok and other communities of the region has always been of top importance for the Company.

The Company’s corporate social responsibility efforts in the Russian Far East are focused on developing the human capital, improving the quality of life, and creating new opportunities for self-actualisation of local people.

The youth policy is a top priority for FESCO seeking to create an inviting environment for young talents, develop infrastructure to support the potential and aspirations of young people, and encourage the younger generation to preserve and study the region’s cultural and historical heritage.

Social, cultural and sports initiatives by FESCO in 2021

In 2021, FESCO carried on with its corporate social responsibility strategy, with total social investments exceeding RUB 630 million and more than 30 thousand people benefitting from a variety of the Company’s social and cultural initiatives.

Sea of Opportunities, a contest of social projects

One of the key events of 2021 under FESCO’s corporate social responsibility strategy was the second Sea of Opportunities, a contest of social projects. Grant contests as a tool of interaction with local communities are used throughout Russia, however, the Primorye Territory had not seen any such initiative until 2020. In 2020, FESCO was the first business to launch its own contest in the Primorye Territory.

The Sea of Opportunities strives to strengthen social partnership between FESCO, the public, government and local authorities of the Primorye Territory. The social partnership helps to:

  • jointly introduce innovative sustainable development technologies across the Company’s footprint;
  • run projects seeking to improve the quality of life in the regions of operations and create new opportunities for self-actualisation;
  • develop local communities, volunteering and social entrepreneurship.

Non-profit organisations and government and municipal institutions, as well as volunteers, including FESCO employees, were encouraged to participate in the Contest. Organisations could apply for a maximum grant of RUB 250,000, and volunteer groups for a maximum grant of RUB 50,000.

In 2021, the contest for the first time ever expanded its geography, welcoming organisations from across the Primorye Territory and volunteers from Moscow and the Moscow Region. The contest’s positioning was also revised, with a heavier focus now put on networking, horizontal links between participants and other stakeholders, and training for applicants and winners to enable them to be successful in other grant contests going forward.

The contest operator was still Razvitiye Autonomous Nonprofit Organisation, a provider of advanced professional training and consulting services, acting as a resource centre for non-profit organisations in the Primorye Territory.

A total of 67 applications were filed. 55 applications were filed by non-profit organisations and government and municipal institutions of the Primorye Territory (compared to 30 applications last year), and another 12 applications by FESCO employees willing to become volunteers. After an independent assessment, the Contest commission, which consisted of representatives of FESCO, the Primorye Territory Government, and the Contest operator decided to support 31 projects, including 11 volunteer projects.

The grant fund was RUB 5 million but to qualify for FESCO’s financial support all grant recipients had to raise cofinancing either from their own funds or from partners. Eventually, the applicants managed to additionally raise almost RUB 4 million, including about RUB 500,000 raised by volunteers.

The contestants’ projects totally covered almost 8 thousand beneficiaries (6 thousand for projects of organisations and about 2 thousand for volunteer projects).

All contest participants, both organisations and FESCO employees, involved volunteers in their projects. As a result, 900 volunteers were involved in the projects, including 300 people as part of the volunteer groups

The organisations which participated in the contest could choose from projects in the five areas:

  • social protection, assistance to vulnerable groups, promotion of creativity, and career guidance;
  • culture and tourism;
  • sports and healthy lifestyle;
  • environmental protection;
  • social entrepreneurship.

More than a half of the applications were for category 1 — social protection, assistance to vulnerable groups, promotion of creativity, and career guidance.

Out of the 20 projects implemented by organisations, 18 were run by government institutions and the rest came from non-profit organisations.

Volunteer projects were divided into seven categories, including:

  • help for the needy;
  • assistance to vulnerable groups;
  • promotion of sports and healthy lifestyle;
  • environmental protection;
  • protection of cultural and historical heritage;
  • fundraising;
  • promotion of volunteering.

Assistance to vulnerable groups was the most popular category.

Partnership with State Tretyakov Gallery

In 2021, FESCO and the State Tretyakov Gallery signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation. The parties agreed to promote robust development of national culture, science, awareness raising and education, unlock the potential of the Russian tourism industry, create new recreation and career opportunities for people in Russia, and preserve, study, and showcase the nation’s history and cultural heritage.

The memorandum was signed as part of the official opening of the Tretyakov Gallery in Motion, an interactive exhibition held at a designated temporary pavilion at the Sports Harbour Embankment in downtown Vladivostok. The exhibition remained open for over 30 days, welcoming more than 15 thousand visitors.

Also, as part of this strategic partnership, FESCO financed the launch of a master’s programme in museum studies at the Far Eastern Federal University to help train talents for the region’s cultural, museum, and tourist sectors.

In addition, the Group acted as the sponsor of a onemasterpiece-exhibition, demonstrating the “1918 in Petrograd” picture (more widely known as “The Petrograd Madonna”) by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin at the Primorye Picture Gallery.

FESCO for the Kids programme

In 2021, the Company started integrating all its childrentargeting initiatives into an umbrella programme called FESCO for the Kids. Its ambition is to create a children’s support system in the Primorye Territory to make sure each and every kid in the region is able to fully unlock his or her potential.

FESCO for the Kids includes a number of initiatives.

Project to support children’s and family reading

Run since autumn 2021, the project helps to publish new editions of pre-Revolutionary and Soviet books for children, hand them over to children’s facilities in the Primorye Territory, and hold awareness raising sessions involving kids to solidify their love of learning, strengthen family ties and create new forms of leisure that are good for the kids. The project’s target audience is pre-school and school age kids and their parents. As at the report’s date, 78 children’s facilities in Vladivostok received more than 70 thousand copies of books, and dozens of sessions with kids were held.

Partnership with the Teacher for Russia programme

The programme has been run by the New Teacher Foundation since 2015. With financial and administrative support from FESCO, it was launched in the Primorye Territory in 2021. The programme is designed to fight inequalities in educational opportunities for kids by developing school education in Russian regions. With this programme, professionals from different areas and sectors spend two years working as teachers in ordinary schools across Russia. This will help to create a community of talented professionals capable of giving an impetus to the Russian system of school education for it to upgrade and evolve.

Project to address behaviour concerns in teenagers

The initiative is run in partnership with the Shalash Charitable Foundation. The aim is to train school teachers and counsellors in early detection and prevention of troubled behaviour in children and teenagers. The project was launched as a response to the mass shooting tragedy that took place in Kazan in spring 2021.

Support for severely ill children of Primorye

The programme is run for the second consecutive year together with Rusfond, Russia’s largest charity foundation. The goal is to create a system of swift and effective targeted assistance to severely ill children that for various reasons are unable to get treatment for their conditions under mandatory health insurance. In 2021, high-tech medical care under the programme was provided to 13 children.

Support for sports and other initiatives

In 2021, FESCO continued its support for a number of Primorye-based sports organisations, most notably the Hockey Club Admiral. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, targeted support was made available to dozens of social care facilities in FESCO’s regions of operation, with priority help provided to the most vulnerable children’s facilities and healthcare providers in Primorye. A total of almost RUB 80 million was contributed to support the development of social initiatives in the Primorye Territory.