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.
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' strategy.
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 long-term partnerships with the government and society with a special role 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.
Sea of Opportunities, a contest of social projects
One of the key events of 2020 under FESCO's corporate social responsibility strategy was the launch of the 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. 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 of Vladivostok, 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 volunteers for a maximum grant of RUB 50,000.
The Contest operator was Razvitiye Autonomous Non-profit 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 50 applications were filed. Thirty applications were filed by non-profit organisations and government and municipal institutions of the Primorye Territory, and another 20 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 32 projects, including 15 volunteer projects.
The grant fund was RUB 4.25 million but to qualify for FESCO's financial support all grant recipients had to raise co-financing either from their own funds or from partners. Eventually, the applicants could additionally raise RUB 4 million, including about RUB 700,000 raised by volunteers.
The contestants' projects totally covered almost 7,500 beneficiaries (5,800 for projects of organisations and about 1,500 for volunteer projects).
All Contest participants, both organisations and FESCO employees, involved volunteers in their projects. As a result, 770 volunteers were involved in the projects, including 270 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, career guidance;
- culture and tourism;
- sports and healthy lifestyle;
- social entrepreneurship.
More than a half of the applications were for category 1 – social protection, assistance to vulnerable groups, promotion of creativity, career guidance.
Out of the 17 projects implemented by organisations, 11 were presented by non-profit-organisations and the rest came from government and municipal institutions.
Volunteer projects were conditionally 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;
- promotion of volunteering.
Assistance to vulnerable groups and protection of cultural and historical heritage were the most popular two categories.
Support for severely ill children of Primorye
Together with Rusfond, one of Russia's largest and oldest charity foundations, FESCO runs the Russian Far East's only programme offering high-tech medical care for dozens of severely ill children.
The programme was launched in January 2020 and is co-financed. FESCO and Rusfond cover the cost of treatment of severely ill children of Primorye: FESCO raises 50% of the required amount, with the rest contributed by Rusfond subscribers and supporters.
According to Stanislav Yushkin, Director of Regional Projects at Rusfond, “thanks to FESCO, Rusfond could enhance the assistance provided to severely ill children in the Primorye Territory. FESCO's donations encouraged common people of Primorye to donate, which helped to triple Rusfond's fundraising.”
In 2020, 13 children from Primorye received high-tech medical care, including six complex spine surgeries performed at the Medical Centre of the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok. We could also raise funds for expensive medications vital for children suffering from oncological diseases and liver or kidney transplant recipients.
Social responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic
FESCO was among the first companies in the industry to move its employees to working from home as early as in March 2020. Within the shortest time, it organised thousands of comfortable remote workplaces for its employees, without compromising on the quality of its services.
FESCO's corporate social responsibility strategy implies the Company's efforts to make maximum use of its strengths for the benefit of the public. To achieve that, in 2020 FESCO for the first time entered into a strategic partnership with the Arifmetika Dobra Foundation. The Foundation opens new opportunities for orphans helping them to find a family and get a quality education. During the pandemic, some of the Foundation's educational programmes were impossible to implement without video conferencing equipment. FESCO provides the Foundation with such equipment.
In 2020, FESCO contributed funds to purchase medical consumables as part of the charity programme Rusfond. Coronavirus. Primorye for Regional Children's Hospital No. 2.
FESCO purchased one million respiratory masks in China and distributed them as follows:
- 590,000 for FESCO employees and their families in the Primorye Territory;
- 200,000 for charity activities by the Primorye Territory Administration;
- 200,000 for FESCO partners;
- 10,000 for Regional Children's Hospital No. 2.
In 2020, FESCO continued to provide targeted assistance to dozens of social institutions in the regions of its operations, primarily the most needy children's institutions in the Primorye Territory. A total of more than RUB 60 million was contributed to support the development of social initiatives in the Primorye Territory.