The Group recognises that its operations have both an indirect and direct impact on the environment, and therefore seeks to establish management approaches which will help it become a more environmentally-friendly institution.
As for the direct environmental impact, we believe that the impact of the insurance businesses is not significant. The most significant direct impact on the environment within the Group is created by our real estate development business, m2 Real Estate. The company addresses industry specific environmental issues and undertakes appropriate measures to manage them. The company’s projects are constructed with impeccable attention to energy efficient design for sustainable development, which achieves energy savings over the long term. Aiming to increase efficient use of energy, water and materials, m2 installs energy efficient lighting systems and uses low emissivity window glasses and other modern insulation materials to cover a facade of the buildings. This reduces a U-value of constructed buildings to 0.21W/m2K. As a result, it is expected that utility costs in these buildings will be cut by up to 43%, compared to average residential buildings in Georgia.
GGU is currently in the process of implementing an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in accordance with the roadmap schedule presented in the Environmental & Social Policy Framework, adopted by the company in 2016. ESMS is in compliance with the Georgian legislation and IFC performance standards (Environmental, Health and Safety guidelines for Water and Sanitation). As part of the ESMS, environmental and social audit of the company has been performed. The audit report covers the environmental issues that are mainly associated with water treatment, water distribution, sanitation (sewerage system) and wastewater treatment and discharge, as well as occupational health and safety issues related to accidents and injuries, chemical exposure, noise, etc. To manage and mitigate the risks associated with GGU’s business, the company has elaborated ESMS procedures and topical management plans, which are implemented according to the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) in the set timeframe. ESMS will facilitate the process of obtaining the ISO14000 standard for environmental management and the ISO26000 standard for social responsibility.
GHG’s most significant environmental impact is associated with the generation of medical waste. The company developed medical waste management record keeping standards. GHG’s personnel is responsible for filling out daily and weekly forms, such as: waste registration form, waste information form and hazardous waste transportation form. Special storing rooms were set up in GHG’s hospitals, to place waste before final disposal. To prevent human and environmental harm, the company’s clinics collect and dispose of medical and biological waste through an outsourced service specialising in medical waste disposal. For waste collection, GHG uses plastic bags that have sufficient strength and are secured with staples to safely retain waste. Also, the company does not fill more than two-thirds of the bags’ capacity. Further, steam sterilisation is used to decontaminate biological and bio hazardous waste, including blood. All used sharps are placed only in the labelled, hermetic single-use special containers made of hard plastic. Waste is collected from GHG’s sites daily, or twice a day when required. The maximum on-site storage time of waste is up to 24 hours.
The Group has in place a Code of Ethics, as well as policies which relate to environmental matters, employees, social matters, our respect for human rights and anti-corruption and bribery.
Copies of these polices can be found here.