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Center-invest Bank’s sustainable development takes it into final of international competition

The winners of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award 2011 (SEA) were announced in Vienna. Center-invest Bank was the only Russian company to make it to the final of this international competition. This achievement is attributable to the bank’s strategies for sustainable business development, incorporating social responsibility. Every year, Center-invest Bank runs more than ten social and educational projects.

The competition final was held in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The finalists were introduced with a short video clip about their efforts to develop enterprise and energy efficiency and to produce environmentally friendly products. The award nominees, who come from both developed and emerging economies, are companies that demonstrate leadership and innovation and a high degree of social responsibility and sustainability.

This year, 150 companies from 11 countries entered the competition. The majority of the submissions came from companies in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Sustainable development is a subject that affects us all. It is already a pressing issue, and for future generations it will be crucial and mandatory. As noted by the competition organisers, it is clear that business sustainability will be a guiding principle for many modern companies and that it will become something of a way of life.

During the gala award ceremony, Center-invest Bank had the opportunity to establish new contacts with businesses from Europe and to agree on possible ways of sharing successful experience of enterprise based on the sustainable development business model. The event was also attended by a number of our partners, namely, the Austrian Development Bank, Erste Bank and Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich.

“For Center-invest Bank, sustainable banking is not only about being socially and environmentally responsible; it also entails a commitment to a business model that focuses on long-term profitability in the interests of current and future generations, rather than on speculative, instantaneous gains,” says Dr. Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center-invest Bank. “In 2011, at a time of volatility on the speculative markets, the advantages of the sustainable banking business model were clearly demonstrated, and, ultimately, our application of this model enabled us to enter the “turnpike” to sustainable, organic growth. Center-invest Bank has nurtured a new generation of customers. During the acute phase of the crisis, we helped our customers to complete their modernization projects, and they now enjoy sustainable market positions in the new, post-crisis economy.”

Center-invest Bank has always stood out for its innovative approach to business, with strategies that incorporate social responsibility and the application of international best practice and modern banking technologies to promote southern Russia’s economic development.

In 2007 Center-invest Bank was the first Russian bank to be a finalist and prize winner in the FT Sustainable Banking Awards: Dr. Vysokov won the silver medal in the “Sustainable Banker of the Year” category.

In 2008, the Chairman of the Board of Directors’ Audit and Compliance Committee, Tatiana Vysokova (Ph.D in Economics, Reader), was one of the winners in the EBRD’s prestigious annual Women in Business Awards.

In a competition run by The New Economy magazine, Center-invest Bank was recognised as the best Russian bank of 2010 for sustainability. We were the only Russian bank to reach the competition final.