LONDON: VTB Group is set to launch a Russia-wide ESG platform. It is an open infrastructure for ESG transformation, which includes a wide scope of financial products and services meeting environmental, social and corporate governance standards.
VTB is making the platform open to its partners and clients ranging from federal and municipal entities to corporate and institutional clients and private individuals.
The ESG platform provides its clients with an access to federal and regional social support measures, easy-term lending, as well as targeted payments, free insurance and fund protection services that VTB provides to families with children and pensioners in a one-stop-shop manner.
Special attention is paid to promoting financial solutions that ensure the growth of well-being and also improve the clients’ financial situation, such as optimising the debt load, refinancing, creating a safety blanket, and switching to regular and effective savings and investments.
Agreements are expected to be signed bringing the Russian regions on to the platform. The agreements will be used to jointly develop areas such as joint promotion of social programmes and VTB products, programmes to support entrepreneurs, financing of social, transport and urban infrastructure, including through the placement of regional ESG bonds, cooperation in the sphere of housing construction and joining VTB’s universal programme for easy-term mortgage lending, VTB’s support of sport, educational, healthcare and cultural projects as part of the Bank’s relevant charity programmes.
The platform opens ESG educational projects for major Russian universities with the support of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University.
In total, the ESG platform’s perimeter includes about 20 areas of VTB Group’s activities. This list will expand.
Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board said: “Business partnership is a part of VTB’s philosophy. Only the collective efforts of all the participants – society, businesses and government – are effective when it comes to environmental sphere, social development and governance. VTB has been consistently integrating ESG elements into its operations for several years now. Up until this moment, this has been our private initiative. However, today, compliance with the ESG agenda is mandatory and is a new significant factor in market regulation and investment appeal, which impacts the cost of capital. Mutually beneficial partnership of the banking system, companies, regions and individuals will make the transition to ESG standards possible. We are launching an ESG platform to support this transition.”
VTB Group started a new business line that will focus on climate finance and carbon market operations both in Russia and internationally.
This business line will build on VTB Group’s ability to finance major projects and expertise in commodity markets with a focus on the following areas:
- Raising financing in Russian and international markets for Russian companies to execute ESG projects aimed at reducing emissions, providing greenhouse gas capture and storage, introducing low-carbon technologies, promoting climate change adaptation, as well as undertaking transactions in the carbon market
- Client operations in international carbon trading markets, emissions trading systems, including risk management
- Providing a full range of financial products to reduce carbon footprint of exports and products made by Russian companies
Previously, VTB and the Moscow Exchange agreed to partner in the development of a carbon unit trading market by establishing the foundation for the regulatory framework and requirements for trading greenhouse gas emissions quotas, as well as green certificates aimed at the reduction of Russia’s carbon footprint.