Contributions won’t be devalued by any inflation
Domestic business’ social responsibility pays dividends, not inferior profit
By Olga Kruchenkova
Not long ago, the Belarusian Idea Fund conducted a study on the role of social responsibility in modern domestic business. The authors not only justified the need for socially responsible personnel but came to the encouraging conclusion that domestic enterprises and businesses already show admirable standards of social responsibility.
A striking example was evident at the country’s largest shoe factory: Marko. Since its launch, it has supported good traditions of patronage, as Director Nikolay Martynov emphasises. He is a strong believer in businesses having a social conscience, interceding to improve the urban environment, to help fund local restoration projects or, even, stepping in to rescue a loss-making company. For ten years, he has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Velikie Lettsy family-type children’s home. His company helps those with disabilities, soldiers, urban schools, sports clubs, medical institutions, creative groups and the diocesan administration.
Thanks to Marko, two late-19th century buildings have been restored in the very heart of ancient Vitebsk, and the enterprise has helped fund the restoration of the Church of the Resurrection, the pride of the city centre; ten new bells have been funded by the CEO. Three years ago, Vitebsk received a living gift from Marko: a lion cub for Vitebsk Zoo, naturally, named Mark in honour of his sponsor. “I’m convinced that life gains meaning through us leaving a visible legacy,” stresses Mr. Martynov. “Everything I do will stay in Vitebsk and I hope my countrymen will be proud of the Marko brand.”
Similarly, it’s impossible to imagine Novopolotsk without Naftan’s support. Its Palace of Culture offers numerous courses, artists’ performances and a health-care clinic. Over the past half century, the plant has built more than a hundred apartment buildings and several of the city’s best known landmarks: the Sadko Palace of Water Sports, Naftan sanatorium (with its three-star hotel), a greenhouse complex, Yakovtsy tourist base, Kometa children’s recreation camp and a clutch of kindergartens. Meanwhile, Naftan sponsors local hospitals and schools, cultural institutions, public organisations and children’s homes, giving materials and equipment as well as direct donations of money.