UniCredit Bulbank's CSR Supports Projects Which Show Good Practices
In its CSR Strategy, UniCredit Bulbank supports projects which show good practices
Throughout 2011 UniCredit Bulbank continued to be among the companies in Bulgaria with the strongest social commitment. Pursuing its mission to support the development of local communities, the Bank aligned itself with a number of initiatives.
When selecting which causes to support UniCredit Bulbank follows the principle that the projects and initiatives fulfilled should lay the foundations for long-term and sustainable practices.
During the year the bank remained committed to the continuous main focus of its social policy, namely health and social services, sports, arts and its traditional Gift Matching programme. An important aspect of UniCredit Bulbank's sustainable development strategy that also remained was its National Green Campaign in which for the first time employees of the Bank and their families also took part with voluntary work.
Health and Social Services
2011 marked the start of a new significant project in the field of social services implemented through the joint actions of UniCredit Foundation, Tulip Foundation and UniCredit Bulbank. The Trust in the Family Project, as it name suggests, aims at preserving the integrity of families at risk and preventing the abandoning of children in institutions.
The project will be rolled out in 15 villages in the municipalities Haskovo, Svilengrad and Lyubimets, with the necessary funding of about 190,000 Bulgarian leva being provided entirely by UniCredit Foundation. The project was selected after an online voting by the employees of UniCredit Bulbank among three projects.
Although to a smaller extent, UniCredit Foundation finances also the other two organizations which did not win the vote, namely the Bulgarian Red Cross (which proposed a project for creation of a hotline for psychological and social support) and the Priorities Social Integration Support Center (which proposed a project for creation of a Labour Bureau for people with disabilities).
Throughout 2011, the already established Home Care Centers in Dobrich and Smolyan continued to operate, providing care to elderly people left by themselves due to the migration of their close people.
The Bank expressed its involvement in the cause of I CAN TOO Foundation, which is the opening of a center for autistic children in Plovdiv, by organizing a fund-raiser for its clients. The fund-raiser in Plovdiv was attended by selected clients of the Bank as well as by many popular singers and actors who have undertaken to be faces of the foundation. UniCredit Bulbank's CEO, Mr. Levon Hampartzoumian, has also become a face of the I CAN TOO campaign.
In March 2011, when it launched its new product line for ladies - Donna, UniCredit Bulbank committed to donating a percentage of its revenues from these products to the campaigns posted on the website www.save-darina.org for treatment of children with diseases.
2011 marked the end of the first three-year period of partnership with UEFA Champions League, which was continued by UniCredit with another three-year contract for three more seasons (2012-2015) because of the exceptional results yielded by this partnership.
In the course of the year UniCredit fulfilled a large-scale charity initiative, which not only promoted the partnership between the leading European bank and the strongest European football championship, but also pleased the fans and involved them in the donation initiative. UniCredit Foundation donated 10 euro for each participant in the Make a Kid Smile initiative. Thanks to the local development of the initiative by UniCredit Bulbank, the Open Fun Football Schools took place in Bulgaria, in partnership with the Bulgarian Football Union, for the first time.
Again with a view to encouraging youth sports and innovative ideas, UniCredit Bulbank organized the first National Freestyle Football Championship, which took place in front of the Head Office of UniCredit Bulbank on Sveta Nedelya Square in Sofia.
Further to football, in 2011 UniCredit Bulbank tied its name closely with one more sport - golf. In September the Bank organized the UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe under the auspices of the Bulgarian Prime Minister - a championship of great significance to professional golf in Europe, with the participation of 60 top golfers from over 30 European countries, members of PGA (the Professional Golf Association).
During the year the project for the theme children's playground focusing on sound and music perception was also completed in Sofia. The playground was developed jointly by Sofia Municipality and UniCredit Bulbank, with the necessary funding being ensured entirely by the bank. The new place for fun and games for the children is in the city park near the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. There is a music harp, a telephone, a flying table, a rotating roller, which can all be used both for games and for educational purposes.
Culture and Art
In 2011 UniCredit Bulbank continued building up its identity of a member of a leading European banking financial group by supporting significant cultural projects. The bank continued its work on further developing the established long-term partnerships in the field of art.
By supporting innovative and valuable projects the bank gave a push to the career development of young artists and presented the best art examples.
In 2011 the bank provided one more time its traditional support to the Theatre Festival in Bansko. Young violinists got their chance to make an appearance thanks to the First International Violin Competition Vasco Abadjiev organized again with the cooperation of UniCredit Bulbank by Club UNESCO Leonardo da Vinci Sofia and the National Music Academy Prof. Pancho Vladigerov under the honorable patronage of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Deserving our attention is also the international exhibition Europe in Pictures, organized by the Embassy of Italy in Bulgaria under the patronage of the mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova. The exhibition presented more than 150 unique photos, property of the Italian Alinari Foundation, in the archeological museum in Sofia.
Gift Matching Program
A program that started back in 2003, the Gift Matching Program of UniCredit Bulbank already has its own reserved place amongst the most significant initiatives of the bank. In 2011 the Gift Matching Program included six causes proposed by three partner organizations – the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation and the Association of Patients with Oncological Diseases (APOZ).
The bank employees donated more than 10,000 Bulgarian leva for charitable causes and after that amount was coupled with the aid from UniCredit Foundation and UniCredit Bulbank the beneficiaries of the program – elderly people, disabled people, children with cancer, children from needy families, students and schoolchildren without parents and children that were in road accidents – in reality received more than 30,000 Bulgarian leva.
National Green Program of UniCredit
In 2011 UniCredit Bulbank continued pursuing its environmentally responsible line of behavior. The bank completed several significant initiatives within the scope of its National Green Program. The "green" ideas found supporters in all the bank structures, which made the result at the end of the year measurable and significant.
For the first time the bank employees joined the eco initiatives of the bank through voluntary work. At the end of October, nearly 300 employees of UniCredit Bulbank and their families planted 1,300 willow trees and around 1,800 herbal shrubs of the species Frangula alnus in Vitosha Park, in the vicinity of the village of Bosnek. With the help of their families, the bank employees demonstrated their professionalism in planting activities, too, and their voluntary work will help for the restoration of two plant species that are typical for Vitosha – white willow and Frangula alnus.
Along with that the bank started a large-scale campaign to discourage the use of paper statements and replace them with electronic ones instead. About one month ago the bank took yet another step towards a greener environment by announcing that it will be using only recycled paper for its printed advertising materials.
As a proof of the commitment of UniCredit Bulbank in combating climate change there comes also its joining in the Earth Hour campaign for a second year running. The bank turned off the lights in nine of its buildings located in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse and Stara Zagora.
The corporate socially responsible behavior of UniCredit Bulbank brought to it several awards for achievements in this field.
In February the bank got recognition with the special award in the annual poll of Pari newspaper for CSR Company of the Year. The bank was honored amongst the companies that have contributed the most, according to the competition criteria, for the implementation of the concept and the principles of the corporate social responsibility.
In October, UniCredit Bulbank and UniCredit Foundation received the award for Charity Project of the Year at the ceremony of the 6th Annual Awards of the Bulgarian Donors Forum. The jury acknowledged the joint project of UniCredit Foundation, UniCredit Bulbank and the Bulgarian Red Cross for building home care centers for elderly people in Dobrich and Smolyan.
In December the bank received a few more awards starting with the award for supporting socially significant causes in Bulgaria of The Society of Loyalty. The initiative for planting willow trees in Vitosha was honored as Voluntary Initiative of the Year.
UniCredit Bulbank was the only financial institution to be awarded for voluntary work done by its employees in the national poll organized by the Ministry of Culture, Tulip Foundation, the National Alliance for Work with Volunteers and the EC Representation in Bulgaria. At the end of the year UniCredit Bulbank received an Honorary Sign for Charity from the Bulgarian Red Cross in the category Corporate Partner Donor.