Special edition «TOP-20 CSR-oriented companies», «Focus» magazine, July 2018
The social responsibility of the banking sector differs from other areas of business in its specificity. The structural approach and creation of complex multi-vector CSR projects aimed at external and internal audiences are observed in this segment. The pool of tasks is also expanding: it includes not only maintaining the bank’s stability, but also increasing the level of confidence in the banking system and raising the level of social involvement.
In this regard, the case of Credit Agricole Bank is systemic: the CSR program “We care!” covers the maximum range of social initiatives. It was launched back in 2016 and is developing in directions of charity and volunteering, care for the employees, environmental projects, and sponsorship.
Focus on a good cause
Since the launch of the "We Care!" program, Credit Agricole Bank has paid special attention to social and charity initiatives: the budget for this direction has been doubled two years in a row. In 2017, the bank implemented 5 "kind" projects. For example, the bank launched the "Facilities pro bono" program: 17 non-profit organizations all around Ukraine received 176 units of devices for their needs. Credit Agricole Bank covered all costs associated with delivery of the equipment to each organization.
Charitable directions of Credit Agricole Bank include support of orphanages and medical institutions. In 2017, six children's homes under wardship of the bank were provided with modern appliances or a heating system. The bank purchased three complete set monitors for the Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.
This year, Credit Agricole fostered its efforts to reconstruct the children's sports swimming pool in the “Sportium” complex in the Mykolaiv region. Opening of the pool took place in early June.
Bank’s employees are also involved in volunteer projects. For example, each month, a team of the bank’s employees visits Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery to donate blood. On June 1st this year, the 10th "Donor’s Day" was held. On top of that, as part of the annual corporate cycle race, employees raised funds to purchase medical equipment for the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery.
Care for the employees
This is a multi-vector block of the bank’s CSR strategy "We Care!". It relates to the investments and projects in different spheres: from welfare, comfort, safety, health and active lifestyle of the employees to motivation, professional development and climbing the career ladder.
In Credit Agricole, investment in knowledge is considered an important component of care for the future of employees. Therefore, with a view to develop personal competences and professional skills, employees have access to a whole pool of educational programs: internal seminars, trainings and conferences, e-learning, external training, including at the Credit Agricole Group level, as well as foreign language courses. The statistics of this CSR block demonstrates that on average, every year, each employee passes 7-8 courses. Moreover, the bank's budget for staff training and development is 1.4% of total personnel costs.
Internal motivation and loyalty
An effective employee is a motivated employee. It is an axiom of the modern world, the only thing that differs is the components of the motivational package. In the corporate segment, remuneration has long ceased to be the key factor. Credit Agricole Bank is effectively working on the loyalty of its employees. In addition to the standard set of perks and bonuses, a block of motivational programs that cover all segments of employees is worth highlighting. For example, in the framework of the SMILE program for employees of the Head Office, each year, 10 winners are selected and awarded with a motivational trip to France. In general, more than 30 bank employees travel every year at the expense of the bank as a motivation.
Caring for its employees, the bank offers a health insurance program covering 100% of the cost of comprehensive medical care. The program of medical life insurance and accident insurance was developed in accordance with the European standards and rules of Credit Agricole Group. Today more than 2300 people have a full insurance package.
Credit Agricole Bank provides preferential loan programs, for example, within the framework of the "My First Flat" program.
The bank promotes an active lifestyle and engages employees in different sporting events, such as an annual large-scale cycle race and mini-football tournaments. In addition to that, the bank ensures staff participation in national marathons.
Care for environment
One of the important parts of the "We Care!" program is the support of environmental projects. In 2017, Credit Agricole Bank launched a number of "green initiatives" that contribute to the environmental preservation: the use of office paper from recycled materials, recycling of mercury lamps, cutting down on phosphate detergents use, and the application of the modern control systems for heating equipment.
An important initiative of 2018 was the lending program within the IQ Energy project in cooperation with the EBRD. It promotes improvement in the sphere of energy efficiency in the housing sector of Ukraine.
Every autumn since 2016, Credit Agricole has held a traditional “Trees for car loans” campaign. Within its framework, the employees plant trees in Kyiv parks. This spring, the bank expanded this project and donated 12,000 pine seedlings to the "Holosiivskyi" National Wildlife Park.
In the sponsorship portfolio of Credit Agricole Bank, there are many diverse projects for different target audiences. Perhaps the most beautiful sponsorship project is the "French Spring in Ukraine". For the third consecutive year, the bank has been the general partner of the festival taking place in many cities in April. Each "French Spring" opens with an unusual show: a street performance. During the whole festival, Credit Agricole Bank together with the event organizers demonstrate the French culture in its best manifestations.
"A socially-oriented business is becoming a trend. More often, companies think not only about themselves, but increasingly try to be useful to society by expanding their social activity. Promoting the consciousness of business is a very important stimulus for a conscious society, for the country as a whole. You need to start with yourself. Strive to change something, help, create a culture within the company, and increase the involvement of the team in social projects. It is essential to try to be an example for others and spread the idea of CSR beyond the company. "We Care!" is the basic principle for all our good deeds. We are increasingly asking ourselves the question: what value can we, as a business and a team, bring to society? Over the two years of its existence, Credit Agricole’s CSR program has significantly expanded. The scale and success of "We Care!" were achieved primarily due to the understanding of the importance and active support of the top managers of the bank taking part in most projects, thereby motivating the whole team. The openness of employees and their willingness to get involved in good deeds is the second important factor for the development of CSR. The Credit Agricole Group also serves an example for us, as the principles of socially-oriented business are at the core of its activity," – Viktoriia Torianyk, Head of PR and corporate communications of Credit Agricole Bank, comments.
About Credit Agricole:
PJSC «Credit Agricole Bank» is a modern universal bank owned by the leading financial group in Europe – Credit Agricole Group (France). The Group is a major partner of the French economy and one of the largest banking groups in Europe. It is a leading retail bank in Europe, having the largest portfolio of assets under management, being first in the field of ban insurance and third - in project financing in Europe. Credit Agricole has been operating in the financial market of Ukraine since 1993 and renders the entire range of banking services to private individuals, including premium-clients, and business. The Bank pays special attention to cooperation with agricultural enterprises. Reliability and business reputation of Credit Agricole in Ukraine is confirmed by the highest possible FITCH ratings, leading positions in bank sustainability, bank deposit reliability and bank profitability rankings, as well as by 300 000 active private and 18 000 corporate customers, including international corporations, large Ukrainian companies and representatives of small and medium business. Credit Agricole Bank is a socially responsible bank that confirms its status by the large number of projects implemented under the Corporate Social Responsibility program "We Care!".