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Corporate Social Responsabilities

 

Erste was established 200 years ago with the concept of letting everyone have a share from prosperity, irrespective of social status, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or age. Protecting and expanding that prosperity is among our ongoing objectives. One of the key statements in our future vision says “Our commitment to our customers and Hungary is evidenced by our social responsibility acts besides our banking and investment services”.

Therefore, in our complex world Erste Bank seeks to be more than simply a business enterprise that provides financial solutions. In fact, the bank offers solutions to life situations. In this context, the bank not only confirms its commitment to Hungary and Hungarian citizens through its banking and investment activities but also through social responsibility functions implemented as a responsible employer.

The bank’s activities in Corporate Social Responsibility rests on two pillars: the Hungarian activities of Erste Stiftung [Erste Foundation], the Good.bee program, and the banks own CSR program dubbed “+1 tett” [+1 Act] as part of which our volunteer program dubbed Közösségi csapatmunka [Community Team Work] was launched in 2015, actively involving our employees.

ERSTE Foundation in Hungary

Established in 2003 from Erste Österreichische Spar-Casse, the first savings cooperative in Austria founded in 1819, ERSTE Foundation (ERSTE Stiftung) is the biggest foundation in the savings cooperatives sector in Austria.

As the majority shareholder in Erste Group, ERSTE Stiftung is dedicated to foster social development in Central and Southeast Europe, realising this commitment through projects initiated or sponsored in the scope of three programs: Social Development, Culture, and Europe.

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Further information: http://www.erstestiftung.org/


+1 tett program
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Our commitment to our customers and Hungary is evidenced by our social responsibility acts besides our banking and investment services”. It was in the spirit of this motto, taken from Erste’s future vision, that our program “1+tett” [“1+Act”] was launched in 2014 with an application designed to identify communities and projects that provide efficient help in resolving matters of social focus, as well as in the topics  of self-care and digitalisation. At the same time, in addition to providing financial support, employees of the Bank actively participated in the projects, supporting the work of the selected organisations with their expertise.

As part of the program the Bank entered into cooperation with three organisations:


Salva Vita Alapítvány – Plus one idea that only you can give

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We at Erste Bank believe that every person should be granted access to financial services.  Finances, however, are often too hard to understand even for average people. Salva Vita Alapítvány [Salva Vita Foundation] has been engaged for years in fostering social integration of persons with disabilities or impaired work ability for whom management of finances or the related administrative tasks and use of banking services present difficulties. Particularly for our fellow human beings with mental impairments who have a hard time finding their way around in the world of often too complex rules, processes, and online interfaces. In its application Salva Vita Alapítvány offered a solution to this problem by creating a “financial guide”, which is comprehensible by all and may even be used as a teaching material. Enthusiastic experts from Erste Bank helped the Foundation compile the publications. The guide, dubbed Pénzügyi 1X1 [Finances 101], has been disbursed in thousands of copies in specialised schools across the country. In addition to the publication, “ERSTE-Salva financial orientation classes” were held at 10 special schools by the Foundation with involvement from volunteering employees of the bank. Erste Bank’s Pénzügyi1X1 Program was granted Most Innovative Sponsorship Program in 2015 by Magyar Adományozói Fórum [Hungarian Donors Forum]

Download Pénzügyi1X1
Homepage of the organisation: http://salvavita.hu/


Együttható Egyesület - +1 reason for online security

Együttható Egyesület [Co-efficient Community Development] was founded in 2011 with the aim of organising nonexistent and gap-filler programs for youth. One of those programs is Surf Safe, focusing on safe Internet use and conscious media consumption. As part of the program, group classes are organised at weekends and preventive school classes are held for youth between 10 and 18 years of age. Enthusiastic experts from Erste Bank joined this initiative, attending a number of classes in the course of the cooperation and sharing their views with youth interested in the topic. The volunteering work was preceded by a through prep training and content generating workshop. The banking experts’ approach on financial security and their first-hand experience were especially valuable.

Homepage of the organisation: http://www.egyutthato.eu/


Szimbiózis Alapítvány - +1 busy hand

Sponsored the bank, alpaca therapy has been introduced by Szimbiózis Alapítvány [Symbiosis Foundation] as a unique concept in the country so far. Using the funds awarded in the application, the Foundation purchased a couple of alpacas and an open-air coral/stable, feeder, fence, gate, and information post were made with help from volunteering employees of the bank. Later on, experience gained in alpaca rearing and therapy will be disseminated in Hungary and internationally, and then alpaca wool processing will start subsequently (the wool will be used in producing felt in the artisan workshop). The “+1 Act” program has contributed to the financial and business sustainability of alpaca rearing as a therapy opportunity in Hungary.

Homepage of the organisation: http://szimbiozis.net/


+1 Act – Community teamwork

Taking the +1 Act program one step further, the Bank—relying on its employees—launched a new volunteering program in 2015, dubbed Közösségi csapatmunka [Community Teamwork]. As part of the program employees of the bank are given a chance to apply for volunteering in implementing programs they have selected themselves. As an important aspect, our colleagues themselves had to organise the program within community teamwork that they have applied for, while Erste Bank provides the time and funding necessary for the program.

Within the framework of the program, diverse cooperation projects were implemented such as repainting the signals of trekking trails, supporting the financial education of children in state custody or living with foster parents, or organising dragon boat events for underprivileged children. In 2015, nearly 300 Erste employees participated in community teamwork projects and their number grew to more than 350 in 2016.

In October 2016, the program was granted the special award for volunteering by Magyar Adományozói Fórum [Hungarian Donors Forum].

News of volunteering programs initiated as part of our Community Teamwork have been posted continually on Erste Bank Hungary’s Facebook page.


Additional cooperation projects

Virtuózok

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“Winning a contest is merely the first step toward success. Afterwards, you have to manage your talent as skilfully as you manage your financial resources”. Erste Bank was not only the main sponsor of the televised talent show Virtuózok [Virtuoso] but also participated as financial mentor to the young talents.

Cellist Tamás Kökény won the main prize of the programme, HUF 12 million provided by Erste Bank, which was accompanied by a concert opportunity in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The other two age group winners were granted HUF 500,000 each, also provided by the Bank.


Kékszalag Erste World Nagydíj

In 2016, Erste Bank’s new service Erste World debuted as naming sponsor to the 48th Kékszalag Nagydíj [Blue Ribbon Grand Prix]. Erste World’s universe is similar to the world of sailing: the Blue Ribbon Grand Prix attracts those who appreciate real performance and real values. This is exactly what Erste World promises in the scope of financial services: we help customers find real values, create real wealth from their assets, because property turns into value when you use it to lay down the foundations of your family’s future and happiness and yours as well.

At the location of the sailing race, Erste World offered special programs, including a lounge that featured the values of the Lake Balaton region and a VIP section designed for priority guests. Involving local partners, Erste World Club debuted at the venue, offering value-creating partnership to VIP customers and partners alike.


Mosoly Alapítvány

Since 2014 Erste Bank has sponsored the initiative Mosoly Váltó [Smile Relay], launched by Mosoly Alapítvány [Smile Foundation], in which some of our enthusiastic employees were running in a 4-kilometre stretch alongside kids who had recovered from serious illnesses.
Further information: http://mosolyalapitvany.hu/hu/


Szimplakert Közös Lábos Program

Erste Bank joined Közös Lábos Program [Common Pot Program] in 2014, an initiative organised by Szimplakert [Simple Garden] which has become something of a tradition by now. With help from volunteering Erste employees, donations are collected every time in the course of the program: the meals prepared by our staff are sold on the basis of honour system and the amounts thus realised are offered to select organisations. Most recently, in March 2015, the donations offered in the open-air cooking in Szimplakert were transferred to 90 Decibel Alapítvány [90 Decibels Foundation]. The Foundation spends the amounts realised on providing ease of access—primarily in theatres and museums—for those living with hearing or visual impairment.
Further information: http://szimpla.hu/hirek/kozoslabos


United Way book donation to develop reading skills of underprivileged children

In the spring of 2015, a book donation campaign dubbed KÖNYVFORGATÓ (Book Turner) was organised at Erste Bank’s headquarters in cooperation with United Way with the aim to draw the attention to the importance of reading, at the same time helping underprivileged children’s comprehensive reading. Within the book donation program hundreds of books were collected in May 2015 and November 2016. In 2015, Erste Bank emerged the company with the highest number of books ever donated.
Further information: http://www.unitedway.hu/


Donut sale for Nemzetközi Cseperedő Alapítvány

Charity donut sales have been organised in cooperation with Nemzetközi Cseperedő Alapítvány [International Growing-up Foundation] at Erste’s Headquarters since 2014 twice a year with involvement from donut shop Fánki Donut. In the sponsorship project the Bank purchases the donuts being sold by the Foundation’s staff at Erste Headquarters on a specific day. When the donut sale project was launched, 300 donuts were made, but in February 2016 over a thousand donuts were sold in just 90 minutes! The entire proceeds from the donut sale went to the Foundation, supporting kids living with communication and social skill disorders, in particular autism, and their environment. In recent years, a total of nearly HUF 2 million has been donated this way.


Let’s crowdfund it – Collaboration with NIOK

One of Erste Bank’s events organised for its employees featured a special charity program in 2016: donations were collected in collaboration with Nonprofit Információs és Oktató Központ [Non-profit Information and Training Centre; NIOK]. A special feature of the donation collection was the interface: it was managed through a website (http://www.adjukossze.hu/) based on crowdfunding model and operated by NIOK. The beneficiaries of the donation collection were foundations and organisations that were familiar to Erste employees from previous campaigns, including Nemzetközi Cseperedő Alapítvány [International Growing-up Foundation] (sponsoring youth living with autism); Dévai Szent Ferenc Alapítvány [Saint Francis of Déva Foundation] (representing the interests of underprivileged children, fostering their mental and social development; ensuring social protection; promoting and supporting their upbringing); and Tappancs Állatvédő Alapítvány [Paws Animal Protection Foundation] (protection of animals and operating an animal shelter). The targets were defined jointly: each foundation requested a donation of HUF 300,000. The collection was a success.

The donated sums were spent on:

  • Dévai Szent Ferenc Alapítvány can now renovate one of the wings of Castle Stubenberg in Székelyhíd, creating a home for another 20 kids that live in extreme poverty
  • Tappancs in Szeged can now install 10 chew-resistant, insulated doghouses at the animal shelter, protecting cats and dogs from the elements
  • Cseperedő Alapítvány can now enlarge further the first library in the country that focuses on autism and provides fresh knowledge and insight into autism at a single location to all stakeholders.

Further information: http://www.adjukossze.hu/

erstegreen


Erste Green

Erste Group is committed to environment protection, taking responsibility for the environment and society in which we live and work. In addition to complying with the requirements defined by its parent company (such as reduction in CO2 emission, paper usage, electric energy consumption), Erste Bank Hungary takes additional steps to make our organisational culture and operation greener and more environment-conscious, hence expanding our commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Erste Green, a voluntary initiate of our employees for the purpose of implementing environment protection objectives, was launched early 2016. The primary aim is to draw attention to the topic in the Bank along with education and enhancing our colleagues’ engagement in our environment.

The campaigns organised by Erste Green to date have been aimed at raising colleagues’ awareness and educate them on the topic. The campaign included wearing green clothes on Earth Day, a dedicated Erste Green tent on Erste Day where colleagues could participate in environment quizzes and measuring ecological footprint. A photo contest with environment protection as its topic was also organised. On the other hand, Erste Green has embraced measures that even outsiders could relate to, including volunteering to collect trash at the Danube bank next to Erste’s headquarter, clearing a trekking trail in the Pilis Mountains and repainting the signage, implementing the ISO 50001 standard that endeavours to reduce energy costs and emission of gases that cause greenhouse effect.


Customers with disability

Erste Bank Hungary Zrt. continues to dismantle accessibility obstacles at retail branches in order to facilitate for customers living with disabilities and confined to wheelchairs to manage their banking matters as conveniently as possible. As a result of the program, the bank has modified 81 out of its 124-unit branch network in Hungary to date to make them disabled-friendly by ensuring full access to the entrances and creating larger spaces inside the branches for easier manoeuvring in the customer area. Going forward, all bank branch investments will be implemented with ease of access in mind unless physical or other obstacles arise.


Erste Bank Hungary’s energy efficiency

The Bank attaches great emphasis on improving and sustaining energy efficiency both in its central buildings and branch network.

The central locations of the Bank are Class A office buildings constructed with up-to-date architecture standards, modern heating and cooling technologies, and facility monitoring systems. Motion sensors as well as energy efficient and LED lighting sources have been installed at numerous locations in the buildings. The heating and air conditioning systems are operated in energy-saving mode at night and during the weekends. All workstations in the buildings have natural illumination, an important aspect for employees’ health and for our commitment to reduce energy consumption as well.  By constant development, the appliances providing the energy supply of the building are replaced with more efficient appliances that meet the demands with a higher level of efficiency.


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Focusing on environment consciousness, selective waste disposal units for paper and plastic refuse as well as communal waste have been placed in the central buildings. Plans include introducing selective waste disposal in the branch network as well.

A total of 8,000 MWh of green power has been purchased for 2016 és 2017, which not only reduces the Bank’s CO2 emission directly, but also fosters the expansion of innovative and renewable energy generation indirectly.

In order to ensure continuous maintenance and development of energy management efficacy, a power management system equivalent to the ISO50001 standards has been implemented by the end of 2016.

The energy-efficient design of the branch network is ensured by continuously evolving planning standards. A lower level of energy consumption for the periods outside business hours is facilitated with changes in the operating mode aligned with opening hours.

Artificial illumination is provided using energy-efficient neon lighting and LED light fittings set in line with demands. Logo illumination is controlled by timers; most of the night illumination is limited. All new appliances installed carry energy certificate ‘A’.

When selecting air conditioning systems for new installation, VRV (thermal pump) and inverted appliances which ensure efficient use of energy are preferred. Recently installed furnaces are of the condensing type.

In order to reduce paper consumption, Erste Bank has implemented the option of cash withdrawal from home ATMs without receipt. Additionally, recyclable, environment-friendly paper is used in the Bank’s ATMs and also in its daily workflow.

In the Bank’s internal mailing system, envelopes that can be re-addressed 24 times are used as well as recyclable paper and stamps.

Obsolete but still operable computers as well as unused furniture are donated to education institutions in need, and also to foundations. Used paint cartridges from copy machines and printers are collected by the suppliers.

In order to reduce the direct harmful effects of traffic on the environment, priority is given to checking the emission levels of company cars when they are undergoing regular maintenance. For biking colleagues a space in the Bank’s central buildings is provided to park approximately 180 bicycles simultaneously as part of our commitment to promote a healthy and environment-friendly way of commute.