SOCIAL PROJECTSSOCIAL PROJECTS
Decisions related to the allocation of funds for sponsorship and charitable activities are made by the standing Committee for VTB Bank’s Sponsorship and Charitable Activities. The Committee reports to the Bank’s Management Board and to the President and Chairman of the Management Board.
To coordinate and improve charitable activities in various regions of Russia, VTB Bank registered, in April 2020, the VTB-Strana corporate Charitable Foundation for the Support of Social Initiatives and the Provision of Targeted Assistance, which became the main operator of regional charitable projects, including the A World Without Tears programme and aid to medical institutions aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the period when there were restrictions on mass events, it was especially important for us to support our long-term partners in the fields of culture and sports, who, due to the restrictive measures in place, lost their usual influx of visitors and faced a significant decrease in income.
In accordance with the adopted strategy, the total amount of expenditures has remained at approximately the same level in recent years, with a gradual increase in the share of support in the form of sponsorship and partnerships. In addition, the methodology developed in 2019–2020 enables the Bank to evaluate the success of projects and to track its return on investment.
As part of its sponsorship and charitable activities, VTB continues to implement the following six large-scale target programmes:
Financing these programmes enables the Bank to share its core values and social mission with society. The programmes include both sponsorship and charity projects.
In addition, a separate Strategic projects subgroup was set apart that includes long-term, large-scale projects of national importance – for example, cooperation with Dynamo for the purpose of maintaining national sporting traditions and developing popular sports, including educating the younger generation.
A sporting country
VTB Bank’s A Sporting Country programme provides support for both high-performance sports and popular sports that engage a large number of people in healthy lifestyles.
Despite the restrictions on holding mass events, we supported 57 large sporting projects in 2020 that are being carried out over the long term.
The Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation, the VTB United Basketball League, men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams, the Russian Volleyball Federation, the men’s volleyball team, the KAMAZ-master rally team and others all received support.
Due to the partial cancellation of events and the holding of competitions without spectators, the Bank stepped up its work with communities in order to maintain engagement; new forms of interaction were developed, such as online competitions and promotions for spectators with the participation of athletes.
On 11 April 2020, a group on the Vkontakte network hosted the first-ever virtual Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix; in Sochi in September, the Formula-1 VTB Grand Prix Russia 2020 was held in compliance with public health regulations. Over three days, more than 34 million people around the world watched the race.
The Velobike bike-sharing service received a new impetus for development; the geography of the project was expanded, as services were opened in Nizhny Novgorod and Murmansk. The total number of trips for the season exceeded 5.7 million.
Through strategic cooperation with Dynamo, funding was allocated during the reporting year to the Dynamo hockey and football clubs, the Voronin Gymnastics Club, and the Dynamo women’s basketball club and rugby club.
Around 600 children currently train at the Voronin Dynamo Moscow Gymnastics Club. The main objective of the club, which employs more than 20 coaches, is to train members of the Russian national team and to participate in the biggest national and International competitions. Four of the gymnasts training at the club are currently candidates for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
As part of our implementation of social projects, we supported a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for the younger generation.
In 2020, for example, a project was launched to create a network of regional branches of the Yashin Dynamo Football Academy, which is rightfully considered one of the best in the country. In Moscow, 400 boys are already learning the basics of football skills under the guidance of qualified coaches. In February 2020, the club’s first branch in the Republic of Dagestan (Kaspiysk) was opened; some 300 children were training at the club by the end of the year.
In addition, VTB cooperates closely with the Anton Golotsutskov Academy of Artistic Gymnastics, where 1.5 thousand children, including those from large families, are currently training – 100 places are free. The Academy has an ongoing programme for the rehabilitation of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Patriotism and a Country of Traditions
The main goal of this programme is to build a sense of patriotism and pride in the country. The Bank supports unique projects aimed at reviving national and spiritual values, and also provides charitable assistance to public-interest foundations.
In 2020, VTB Bank implemented 125 projects in this area, mainly in the form of charitable assistance.
We consider the preservation of historical heritage sites to be an extremely important social objective. In the reporting year, VTB continued to support the Valaam and New Jerusalem monasteries, and provided assistance to museums, including the Novgorod State United Museum; the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum of History, Architecture and Ethnography; and the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve.
Funds for the implementation of 2020 programmes aimed at patriotic education were allocated to the St. Petersburg Cadets, the Unarmia Russian national children’s and youth military and patriotic social movement and the Russian Union of Free Youth.
In the context of the anniversary of Victory Day in World War II, special attention was paid to supporting the veterans funds that we collaborate with on an ongoing basis.
The feature film Lev Yashin: The Dream Goalkeeper and the television series The Terrible were produced with VTB’s support
Fighting the coronavirus pandemic was the biggest issue of the year. As part of its patriotic programme, the Bank supported a unique regional social project in Cherepovets called In the Name of Life, dedicated to telling the story of the volunteers, medical workers and social workers who are helping to keep people alive and healthy.
A Cultural Country
VTB Bank has traditionally supported projects related to key Russian cultural institutions, national heritage sites, national-level troupes and performers, as well as the primary channels for the communication and distribution of cultural values (film production, television).
Some 74 cultural projects were realised in 2020 with VTB’s support. Online activities reached more than 209 million people during the year; 18 digital activities had a total audience of more than 20 million people.
Due to restrictions, cultural institutions, especially museums, were among the most vulnerable. Project support was not suspended; joint efforts undertaken by the Bank and its museum partners were aimed at maximising the impact of moving activities online in order to maintain target audiences. Thanks to VTB’s support, exhibitions were first made available online and then opened up to visitors once restrictions were lifted.
To mark its 125th anniversary, the Russian Museum prepared a large-scale exhibition called Gifts to the Russian Museum from Artists and Collectors Selected Works 1898–2019. An exhibition of the work of Robert Falk and an extensive educational programme timed to coincide with it opened at the Tretyakov Gallery. Two exhibitions of porcelain were held at the Hermitage with VTB’s support. In 2020, VTB Bank – the general sponsor of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts – acted as the exclusive partner of the museum’s educational programmes for young audiences.
In the year of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day in World War II, we acted as the general sponsor of a thematic programme at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centerre, which included a photo exhibition called Unknown Berlin: May 1945 and a whole range of other events, from a video competition to performances.
The Bank’s regular partners include the Bolshoi Theatre, the Valery Gergiev Charitable Foundation and the Boris Eifman Ballet Theatre. With VTB’s support, online portals were launched by MusicAeterna, a music group led by Teodor Currentzis, and the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater.
In its collaboration with the pillars of national culture, the Bank also supports regions outside Moscow and St. Petersburg. For example, the Wild Swans inclusive theatre studio (Yaroslavl region) received funding for the production of a musical – involving 48 children and adolescents with disabilities – based on the fairy tale The Wizard of the Emerald City.
A Healthy Country
Keeping people in good health and constantly improving Russia’s healthcare system are very important tasks for both the state and business – tasks that took on even greater urgency in 2020.
Since public health is unimaginable without a healthy planet, VTB’s A Healthy Country programme is aimed not only at providing charitable support to healthcare institutions and projects related to the development of advanced medical technologies but also at protecting the country’s environment, including through projects related to biodiversity conservation.
In 2020, 71 projects were implemented, including support for healthcare institutions and charitable foundations, as well as projects to increase populations of rare animal species in Russian ecosystems.
To combat COVID-19, the Bank allocated unplanned assistance in the amount of RUB 262.2 million to 40 medical institutions in 21 regions of Russia.
VTB Bank has been operating its nationwide corporate charity programme A World without Tears for 17 years. The programme finances the purchase of expensive medical equipment, medicines and supplies for children’s hospitals throughout the country. The programme sponsored 26 events in 2020 – four in Moscow and 22 in regional cities – with total support for the year amounting to RUB 74.65 million. When children’s celebrations were banned in hospitals due to the pandemic, A World without Tears project ambassadors – the characters from the programme Good Night, Kids – continued to raise the spirits of young patients through the A World without Tears Instagram account (@mirbezslez) and on the Carousel TV channel.
We also support scientific research and infrastructure development. In the reporting year, funding was allocated to the Science for Children Foundation for Support and Development of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Immunology; the International Clinic of Cardioangiology; the Moscow Regional Cooperation and Development Support Foundation; and the Foundation for Assistance in the Design and Construction of the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Saratov. In addition, the Bank sponsored the 17th Healthy Moscow Assembly and took part in the presentation of the Person of the Year in Healthcare award.
As part of the federal project Conservation of Biodiversity and Development of Eco-tourism, cooperation with the Centre for the Study and Conservation of the Amur Tiger Population and with the World Wide Fund for Nature continued under a programme for the conservation of big cats in Russia.
On 29 May 2020, we signed an agreement with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on cooperation on the implementation of the activities as part of the Environment national project. Within this cooperation framework, the Bank will support protected areas – the Kronotsky Nature Reserve (on the shores of Kurile Lake in Kamchatka) and the Russky Sever National Park (Vologda region) – and will continue promoting the restoration of the Persian leopard population in the Caucasus.
VTB Bank continued to act as Russia’s implementing agency for the Arctic Council Project Support Instrument (PSI), a fund whose purpose is to finance projects aimed at reducing pollution and improving practices for managing the environmental impact in the Arctic. In 2020, representatives of VTB Environment played an active role in the work of the PSI Committee, discussed new applications for funding for environmental projects in the Arctic zone and also served as members of the project review committees.
In November 2020, we supported the implementation of an environmental dictation exercise. Alexander Gogolev, VTB Bank Senior Vice President, served on the organising committee for the dictation, and interested Bank employees took part in writing it.
An Educated Country
The Bank supports educational institutions through sponsorship and charity within the framework of its An Educated Country global social programme in accordance with its strategy to support the regions where it operates.
Quality education is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that VTB promotes as a priority in the course of its core activities. In 2020, 177 education projects received financial support. VTB has invested more than RUB 5 billion in education since 2018.
Among the Bank’s initiatives aimed at achieving its priorities in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the area of education, the following should be highlighted:
- cooperation with universities in the regions where the Bank operates;
- cooperation with the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University, including management of the business school, updating and implementing a development strategy, as well as joint development of a number of educational projects;
- VTB Bank’s specialised department at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation;
- implementation of charitable projects aimed at supporting education in the regions where the Bank operates;
- improvement of financial literacy among the population.
In 2020, the Bank supported 10 leading universities: MGIMO, Moscow State University, the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University, the National Research University Higher School of Economics, the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, the Far Eastern Federal University, the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts, the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. Funds were earmarked to update their IT capacity, among other things. This work was completed in a timely manner, which was essential in helping the universities make a quick transition to remote operations in the context of the pandemic.
We collaborate with educational institutions in every region where we operate. Over the course of 2020, 250 educational institutions in more than 120 Russian cities received funds to update their facilities and equipment; to repair classrooms, auditoriums and gymnasiums; and to carry out campus projects.
VTB Group considers it necessary to improve the financial literacy of the population. To this end, we co-founded, together with other leading Russian banks, the Association for the Development of Financial Literacy. Support for gaming areas in the format of mini-banks at Kidburg vocational centres for children help shape a positive attitude to finance among children of preschool and primary school age.
A Country for Business
VTB has made a tradition of sponsoring and organising business events at the national and international levels. The largest industry events related to strategically important areas of VTB Bank’s activities are held with the support of Group companies.
In challenging economic situations, events that offer an opportunity to carry on a dialogue between business, the state, investors and the market, where it is possible, search for answers together about growth and development opportunities, take on a greater importance. In an effort to find solutions to pressing issues facing the business community, the Bank supported 36 major business events in 2020, including forums with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which were held online and in a hybrid format due to the pandemic.
The VTB Capital Investment Russia Calling! forum remains a leading platform for communication between investors from all over the world and representatives of the Russian authorities and business. In 2020, the forum brought together participants from 103 countries around the world to discuss global challenges stemming from the pandemic, as well as possible growth points and investment scenarios.
The Bank acted as the general sponsor of the Powerful Ideas for a New Time forum, which took place in Moscow in November 2020. The best initiatives in seven areas, selected at the end of the forum, are aimed at rebooting the economy and social sphere, and ensuring Russia’s sustainable development under new economic conditions. The Bank participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, the 13th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona, the CIS + World International Economic Forum of the Commonwealth Member States, Russian Business Week (the annual forum of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs), the Moscow Financial Forum and the 12th Ural Financial Information Security Forum and a number of industry conferences.
In partnership with the Skolkovo Forum, an online conference for beginning entrepreneurs and investors called Startup Village 2020 and the annual international startup conference Open Innovation Startup Tour 2020 were held in Arkhangelsk.
One of the most topical issues in 2020 was sustainable development. VTB Bank signed on to the sustainability agenda by sponsoring Visionaries 2020: Change Management and partnering with the Effie Russia programme in support of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Sponsorship and charity activities of other VTB Group companies
VTB companies and subsidiaries conduct sponsorship activities on the basis of their own annual sponsorship plans. Group members make their own independent decisions on charitable activities in line with their forecast limit for the year and in accordance with a decision by their management or their own charity committees.
Despite the difficult economic situation in 2020, VTB Group companies continued to conduct regular activities related to social projects. The following companies contributed to the social development of the regions where they operate:
- VTB Bank (Azerbaijan);
- VTB Bank (Armenia);
- VTB Bank (Belarus);
- VTB Bank (Georgia);
- VTB Bank (Kazakhstan);
- VTB Bank Europe;
- Vozrozhdenie Bank;
- West Siberian Commercial Bank;
- VTB Capital Holding.
VTB Bank subsidiaries support projects and programmes that are in line with the areas of social investments that VTB has identified as corporate priorities. During the reporting year, the most important topics were the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II and the honouring of veterans, as well as assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.