The scale and nature of Sistema's social investment are determined by the size and specific features of the Corporation's business. The company is one of the biggest tax payers in Russia and pursues a consistent charity policy with the following main focus areas:
Education. Investing in human capital, identifying and supporting young talented people, developing scientific and innovative potential of the youth, promoting and implementing promising ideas and R&D projects are among the key priorities of Sistema's corporate social responsibility policy.
Culture. Sistema is making a significant contribution into the preservation and promotion of everything that is precious in Russian culture: visual arts, classical music, ballet, theatre; introduction and application of high technologies in museums; restoration of historic monuments and listed buildings.
Social development. Sistema is also committed to providing support for children's and youth sports, healthcare programmes, helping underprivileged families, investing in the development of local communities.
One of the main tools of Sistema's CSR activities is the Sistema Charitable Foundation, which was established in 2003 and is one of the oldest and largest charitable organisations in Russia, a member of the Donors Forum and National Council on Corporate Volunteering. The Foundation is being financed from the profits of Sistema and its subsidiaries, and develops a strategy for social investment, accumulates the necessary funds, builds a portfolio of priority projects, implements corporate charitable and volunteer programmes with the participation of Sistema's subsidiaries.
Sistema aims to consistently strengthen the integration of its CSR projects and to enhance their efficiency by consolidating the efforts and contributions of all the subsidiaries, and by promoting projects aimed at creating shared values across Sistema Group in order to achieve business development goals and resolve social issues at the same time.
Key CSR projects of the Corporation
Lift to the Future
Sistema's flagship social project is Lift to the Future, a nationwide young talent development programme launched in 2011 with the support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), and more than 500 partner organisations, including Sistema's subsidiaries, educational organisations, schools, universities, regional authorities, non-governmental organisations and professional communities.
Being an open and innovative talent development platform Lift to the Future includes the following initiatives:
- running summer schools across Russia;
- organising and supporting theme contests including:
- A System of Priorities, a national contest of regional youth projects for school children and college students;
- Intellect2All, a competition for students, postgraduates and young scientists;
- Industry-related and partner contests (Telecom Idea etc);
- A Step Towards Success, a programme of internships in Sistema Group’s subsidiaries, leaders in their respective industries;
- international science conferences and youth innovation forums;
- regular activities for coordinators and mentors including grants for teachers, support for coaches and researchers running the R&D projects of senior school students in project labs (STEM) in cooperation with leading universities and R&D centres; a national teachers' forum dedicated to running projects for school children and students in the area of natural and hard sciences and high technologies.
Today, the total audience of the Lift to the Future project has exceeded 150,000 people. More than 30 thousand participants from 80 regions of Russia have entered the competition for development of innovative projects in the key areas of social and technological development.
In this way the Corporation is making a considerable contribution to the development of continuing education, innovative youth projects in science and technology, occupational guidance of schoolchildren, acquisition of practical skills by students, employment of recent graduates, bringing to the market promising projects of young scientists and researchers.
The Lomonosov MSU Higher School of Management and Innovation
Sistema has a long history of productive cooperation with the Lomonosov Moscow State University, which is aimed at adjusting classical education standards to the requirements of Russia's innovative development.
In June 2006, the rector of the Moscow State University Victor Sadovnichy and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sistema Vladimir Evtushenkov established a joint faculty – the Higher School of Management and Innovations which trains young specialists to make them prepared to work in a global market of innovative goods and services. The School's graduates now hold senior positions at the faculty's partner companies: Sistema JSFC, Mobile Telesystems (MTS), RTI, MTS Bank, MGTS, Detsky Mir etc.
The curriculum of the Higher School of Management and Innovation combines general university courses with corporate specialisation. All training programmes of the faculty are built on the basis of theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to develop and implement strategic business development programmes.
During the years of its existence the faculty has become an important methodological and resource base used for preparing highly qualified managers not only for Sistema but also for other Russian companies, helping to enhance the human and innovative potential of Sistema and perfom an important social mission aimed at implementing and promoting advanced methodologies in business education in Russia.
Sistema JSFC is actively involved in the development of the leading university of Russia. Sistema's Board Chairman Vladimir Evtushenkov is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Moscow State University and the Institute of Russian Language and Culture of the Moscow State University.
The Russian Museum
Sistema pursues several sizeable initiatives in culture and arts aiming to preserve and promote national cultural and historical legacy.
The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg for many years remains the most significant recipient of Sistema's social investment in culture. The Russian Museum houses a unique collection of Russian visual art, a renowned art conservation centre, an authoritative research centre, one of the major cultural education hubs, a science and methodology centre coordinating the work of 260 art museums in Russia. Sistema's Board Chairman Vladimir Evtushenkov also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Fund for Development of the State Russian Museum “Friends of the Russian Museum”. In 2003-2013 the total amount of Sistema’s investment in the Russian Museum was ca. RUB 200m. A new cooperation agreement signed between Sistema CF and the Russian Museum is valid until 2023 and provides for the allocation of RUB 300m for financing various projects of the museum.
The large-scale long-term cooperation programme that was launched in 2003 provides for financing a unique project aimed at setting up virtual branches of the Russian Museum in Russia and abroad, as well as supporting exhibitions, publishing and restoration projects and raising awareness of the general public about the brilliant masterpieces of Russian artists of various historical periods. The West wing of St Michael's Castle (the Engineers' Castle) in St Petersburg now hosts an "e-museum", a state-of-the-art multi-media centre providing access to the Russian Museum's rich art collection via latest technologies. Sistema helps the museum to constantly upgrade the centre's hard- and software to maintain its high-tech status. In 2011 the Sistema Charitable Foundation launched the Augmented Reality project. The Corporatiopn is a constant partner of the annual international festival The Royal Gardens of Russia. The Russian Museum currently operates 170 "virtual branches" including 128 in Russia, 40 abroad, and 2 in the Antarctica. More than 500, 000 people attend the virtual museum branches annually.
Moreover, the Sistema Charitable Foundation supports numerous theatre, music, and art projects, as well as leading performance teams and museums. Its charity recipients include over 20 institutions and foundations active in the field of culture, including the Valery Gergiev Foundation and the Moscow Easter Festival, the Foundation for Support of Church Construction in Moscow, the Valaam Convent & Nature Reserve, the Field of Prokhorovka Museum of Armoured Vehicles and many other.
Sistema Group has an established and long-standing tradition of voluntary participation of employees in socially important initiatives: helping children in orphanages, supporting veterans, conducting environmental campaigns etc. In 2014, the Sistema Charitable Foundation set up a Volunteer Centre with the aim of joining the efforts of subsidiaries, enhancing the effectiveness of volunteer activities and promoting best practices across Sistema Group.
The main goal of the Volunteer Centre is uniting the Corporation's employees in order to tackle social issues confronted by the local communities and the Russian society as a whole. Sistema regards its corporate volunteer movement as a crucial tool for enhancing staff motivation and engagement. Every year the company holds corporate clean-up days, its volunteers visit orphanages and other social institutions, the company organises theatre performances for underprivileged children, hosts charity concerts for veterans and other events with the support of the Corporation's volunteers whose numbers keep growing.
The help of volunteers is especially demanded and appreciated when it comes to supporting orphans, war veterans, disabled people, children from underprivileged or large families. Over the year 2014 the Volunteer Centre conducted 50 events involving about 2,000 volunteers from 14 subsidiaries of Sistema that provided aid and performed works worth almost RUB 8m for more than 4,000 recipients. The main recipients of volunteers' aid were:
- orphanages and residential care homes,
- healthcare and educational facilities,
- war veteran organisations and care facilities.
Taking care of veterans
One of the key priorities of Sistema's charity and volunteer work has always been taking care of the older generation, including the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, the home front veterans and the veterans of the Corporation.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War Sistema entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the Moscow Government and the Moscow City Council of the war and home front veterans, veterans of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, to provide social support to veterans and conduct patriotic education programmes for young people. As part of the agreement the company organized a big number of major events with the participation of subsidiaries and volunteers from Sistema Group.
In 2014 the Sistema Charitable Foundation, Medsi Group and the Social Security Department of Moscow launched a large-scale joint Veterans Care Programme providing free-of-charge health care and rehabilitation to veterans and similar categories of citizens at the Medsi Rehabilitation Centre in Otradnoye, and granting targeted medical and social aid on a case-by-case basis.
In the run-up to the Victory Day the volunteers of the Corporation paid visits and presented gifts to more than 100 veterans in Moscow, Khimki, Mytischi, Noginsk, Krasnoarmeysk, Yegorievsk, Tomilino. A great number of festivities, gala concerts and receptions for the war veterans were hosted, and free-of-charge historical & patriotic tours to the Moscow war history museums were organised for more than 1,000 children from orphanages in Moscow, the Moscow, Vladimir and Tver regions. To mark the anniversary of the Victory Day Sistema launched the Volunteer Victory Garden project, as part of which the employees participated in the clean-up and beautification of the premises of four orphanages, as well as war memorials.
Sistema and its subsidiaries are actively involved in environmental efforts in the regions where they operate, working to gradually reduce their environmental impact, improve the ecology and enhance environmental consciousness. The Corporation rigorously abides by environment protection principles and complies with all relevant laws and regulations. The Corporation's environmental efforts are focused on implementation of energy-saving principles, safe waste disposal/reclamation, protection of the atmosphere, protection of water and land resources and environmental education of the younger generation.
Sistema JSFC has been providing support to the Russian Geographical Society, the oldest Russian NGO, since 2010. The Society's main activities are related to studying and solving environmental problems, protecting the environment, tackling climate change, raising public awareness about Russia's natural, ethnic and cultural diversity. Sistema's Board Chairman Vladimir Evtushenkov is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society. The Sistema Charitable Foundation supports scientific expeditions, research, publishing and television projects, conducts festivals and other events.
The Corporation is also involved in the preservation of biological diversity, notably, by supporting the Eurasian Center for Leopard Studies and Preservation and particularly one of its key projects, the Leopard Land national park. In 2014, it sponsored biochemical works in the park and the development of technology infrastructure, fire control, and an electronic database of the Amur leopard population. Sistema also contributed to a leopard-themed education campaign targeting local communities, including school students of the Khasansky municipality.
It has already become a good tradition for Sistema employees to volunteer to clean up public areas by organising spring Saturday clean-ups in Moscow and other regions. In 2015 the company conducted a corporate clean-up event on the premises of the Otradnoye rehabilitation centre of Medsi Group under the slogan "Sistema's Energy". The event dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War was attended by more than 2,000 employees of the Corporation and their family members. On the 20-ha premises of the rehabilitation centre the employees of Sistema and subsidiaries planted more than 1,300 trees, flowers, bushes, beautified more than 17 flower beds, created playgrounds and sports grounds, and built a Memory Alley in commemoration of the Great Patriotic War.