Inaugural ESG report highlights

We published our first ESG Report, for the year ended 31 December 2019 (“2019 ESG Report”).

In this blog we provide some highlights from the report. Please contact our IR team at ir@corp.mail.ru for clarifications or any other topics around our company. Specifically on esg-related questions, we can also be reached out at esg@corp.mail.ru

Boris Dobrodeev CEO (Russia) Mail.ru Group commented on ESG strategy:

“The services we offer make our society more flexible, modern and open to the fast-changing world of digital communication, no matter where people live, work or travel. They help create a comfortable environment for entertainment, communication, education, work and life in general. Through our investments in technology and cooperation with charities in Russia, we aim to use digital platforms to make our world more open, sustainable and accessible. Over the last two years we have launched services that provide audiences with easier access to charitable institutions, as well as initiatives that expand educational opportunities for anybody willing to enhance their experience in the digital world. One of our primary ESG focus areas is to improve the lives of people and communities, and we work constantly to ensure the security and safety of our users' digital experience. Our ESG strategy is to invest our technology and experience of creating large-scale internet services into developing social projects across the markets where we have a presence. In 2019 we invested efforts in IT education and charity activities, among others, to support this goal.”

Our priorities:

Based on our analysis of ESG trends and topics, we have defined several goals for our ESG activities:

  • In the social sphere – improving the quality of lives with our products, enhancing opportunities and giving back to society and communities
  • Privacy and data security
  • High ethical standards and respect for human rights
  • Climate change and the sustainable use of natural resources

What we do for our users:

  • Advertising technologies: Mail.ru Group products serve >93 % of Russian internet users. We develop technological and marketing solutions to assist our partners in communicating with the most relevant audiences, and to help bring our users the most interesting offers in suitable formats
  • Our e-mail service Mail.ru serves >100mn users in Russia and around the world, helping them with their business and day-to-day activities
  • VK, as the largest social network in Russia, unites millions of people, helps them share interesting content and creative work, and opens up new business opportunities. VK’s mission is to connect people, services and companies by creating simple and useful communication tools
  • Odnoklassniki is one of the largest social networks in Russia and the C.I.S. Its users socialise with friends and share emotions with people they care about using various services offered by the network: messages, voice and video calls, gifts, cards and stickers. OK is also a content and service platform: users can watch broadcasts of major sporting and cultural events in 4K format, listen to the most popular audio tracks, buy goods and services, make money transfers to 18 countries and promote their own business
  • In MY.GAMES we develop games for PC, console and mobile, and boast a portfolio of >150 game titles. We have developed popular games such as War Robots, Hustle Castle, Left to Survive, Skyforge, and Allods Online, and also operate other top titles: Warface, ArcheAge, Perfect World, Revelation, Conqueror's Blade, Lost Ark, and many others. More than 605mn people worldwide are registered users of our games. We are also actively developing our own media resources, the MY.GAMES Store and a separate investment division (MRGV), which was connected to 22 different gaming studios at the end of 2019. We also believe that the virtual world should be a healthy and safe environment, and to achieve this we must prevent harassment, bullying and other forms of online abuse. We are launching our own initiatives and joining worldwide ones to make the online gaming experience safe and enjoyable
  • Created in 2015, Donation Alerts is the largest stream monetisation tool in Russia. Over the last five years it has become extremely popular among streamers in Russia and the C.I.S., and has started to gain audiences in European countries. In 2019 we were recognised as the most widely-used streaming service1 on the Russian internet (RuNet), with an 85 % share
  • Our virtual voice assistant Marusia helps users to study and learn new things, and solves their everyday problems using voice commands. Marusia plays music and turns on the radio, answers questions, tells fairy tales, plays quizzes, reads weather forecasts, and informs users of cinema times and the price of flights and train tickets. Whether you need to find information from the past or want to learn something new, Marusia will always offer help
  • Mail.ru Cloud is one of the most popular cloud services in Russia. With its state-of-the-art data centres, geo-distributed storages and file backup, Cloud offers secure and safe storage for any data uploaded
  • Mail.ru for Business is a communication platform that delivers IT solutions for small and medium businesses. We offer a range of services to both startups and existing companies: built-in email, cloud storage, Teambox, the Sendbox mailing list service, the MyTeam business messenger, the Sitebox site constructor, the Askbox poll service, etc
  • Delivery Club (part of O2O JV) is transforming the way the people eat and order food using its mobile technologies and products to deliver tasty and healthy food from local restaurants directly to our users. Ordering takeaway food delivery is no longer just an option for a special occasion, but has become an integral part of daily life. We offer reliable and fast delivery of meals from the most popular restaurants, with delivery easily tracked at any time via the user’s mobile device. We attract the best local restaurants with a wide selection of cuisine to suit the tastes of our audience. With this in mind, Delivery Club is trying to be of as much use as possible to all parties: users, partner restaurants, and employees of other companies, especially couriers
  • AliExpress (e-commerce partnership) is currently one of the largest online platforms in Russia and the C.I.S. The platform unites tens of millions of merchants from China, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Russia, etc. It is one of the most visited websites on the Russian internet
  • We believe that responsible consumption is one of the key approaches to tackling environmental issues and support the reuse and responsible use of goods. Allowing our users to resell or give away used or unwanted goods will minimise waste volumes and create a positive experience. The whole concept of Youla as a C2C-service is to give users the opportunity to pay less and earn more through the re-use of used goods
  • Carsharing is a modern solution to reducing congestion and pollution in cities by using fewer cars for the same number of people. An example of responsible communal urban living, it envisions a future in which carsharing users outnumber car owners in major cities around the globe. To support these principles, we are developing our carsharing platform YouDrive through the O2O JV with Sberbank. We offer competitive tariffs and comfortable cars for users, allowing them to travel in comfort whilst reducing the negative collective impact of car emissions and the deficit of parking space in cities. All our users automatically receive life and health and liability insurance, which is valid from the start of the ride
  • We believe that using a taxi instead of a private vehicle is a good way to contribute to reducing air pollution and to promote responsible consumption. We offer our users and drivers a convenient and reliable service and take care of their needs by expanding the Citymobil ride-hailing service together with Sberbank through the O2O JV. We are aiming to further expand Citymobil presence in Russian cities over the next 12 months, becoming one of the largest local ride-hailing players on a federal level.

Privacy & data security:

Though the digital world brings many benefits to users, we understand the growing concerns around personal data protection and privacy issues, as more and more sensitive personal data becomes digitalised and transmitted via global networks, with millions of new devices and millions of user accounts. As a leading internet company we make data security our top priority. There are several aspects we focus on to ensure that our users have a safe and enjoyable online experience – account safety, types of information we process, data protection & security, removal of illegal and inappropriate content, etc.

Promoting IT education:

For the last nine years, Mail.ru Group has been supporting and developing IT education in Russia. We enrich standard education programmes by bringing IT expertise to schools and universities and offering free courses for a wide range of IT professions. We regularly invest in people and teams, helping to transform education and make it digital and increasingly accessible, especially in times of crisis.

We offer online courses via Coursera, Stepik, YouTube and other platforms that make quality educational content accessible to students and adults. The courses, which are delivered by our employees and well-known IT specialists, offer practical skills, insights from the IT profession and career advice. Our Ambassadors programme is an example of smart volunteering and aims at a much wider audience of regional higher education institutes and university students, post-graduates and professors, creating a community of IT evangelists across Russia.

We have developed special programmes for technical university students as well as for non-technical students to help them find their place in the modern IT world.  We actively support schoolchildren with a talent for programming and IT. We have teamed up with some of the leading Russian universities to hold TechnoCup, an international programming contest for pupils in the eighth-11th grades. The winners have the chance to become students of major Russian universities without the need to take entrance exams.

Mail.ru Group has hosted 55 IT championships in total, with 175,000 entrants from over 100 countries taking part.

Technologies for charity:

We are using our technologies and expertise to improve people’s lives in Russia through charity empowerment and volunteering. In 2019 we continued to develop Dobro.Mail (Kindness) and our other charity projects, which help charities boost their fundraising efforts through our platform. In 2019 we sealed agreements with payment systems and banks to make donations fee-free for all our users.

We are proud that over the last seven years we have helped raise more than RUB280mn for charity, and increased awareness among millions of people of the importance of making donations to those in need.

Environmental impact:

Our Group operates core business models that are not particularly carbon-intensive or environmentally damaging. However, we try to reduce our impact to the best of our efforts and take steps to improve our environmental footprint.

Our environmental approach is based on the following principles:

  • Compliance with existing laws and regulations in countries where we have presence;
  • Ensuring environmental information about the company is transparent and available;
  • Raising awareness among our employees on environmental issues and supporting internal environmental activities;
  • Supporting significant external environmental activities.

Our people:

People are our greatest asset and our success depends on the talent, engagement and professionalism of our teams.

Core people practices at Mail.ru Group:

  • Rewards – we pay competitive salaries and offer high-class benefits to our employees, our incentive programmes reward high performance and focus our people on business results and teamwork;
  • Working hours – we take the life/work balance very seriously and provide special activities to help manage this, including a comfortable office and remote work opportunities;
  • Non-discrimination – we have zero tolerance for discrimination in any form, and this includes the hiring, promoting, terminating, assessment and development process of our employees;
  • Development – we take the development of our people very seriously and invest money and effort to provide our teams with a maximum of useful and efficient training;
  • Health and wellbeing – we aim to provide our people with a comfortable, friendly and safe office space and enhance their stay with us with additional benefits such as facilities for fitness, sport and wellbeing.

We believe that learning is essential to maintain highly motivated and happy teams, so we support our employees’ external learning initiatives and organise various internal meet-ups, training sessions, conferences and seminars.

COVID-19 pandemic response:

In early 2020, the coronavirus outbreak presented the world with an unprecedented global health and economic issue. We reacted immediately to protect our employees by switching all our offices to remote operations (prior to the issuance of official government recommendations).

As a corporation we understood how hard-hit small and medium businesses would be, and we quickly took the decision to offer them support both during and after the pandemic. From day one of this new threat, we have been helping the community rebuild – at least partly – in order to return to everyday life, with the help of our products and services. We believe it is our duty today to act preemptively to help SMEs, since they are an essential part of the national economy, providing millions of jobs. We have established a task force to do this, and we have allocated RUB 1bn to support the following categories:

  1. Companies and entrepreneurs in general: The VK and OK social networks have been doubling advertising budgets for SMEs’ mobile accounts;
  2. Companies and entrepreneurs providing services remotely and at home: The Youla classifieds service has been promoting remote services on its main feed. It has also been offer sellers up to 200 free ads a month, and an option of free promotion in exchange for bonuses;
  3. Companies forced to move their business online: We have a package of free services being provided by the Mail.ru for Business platform;

All our services – OK,VK, B2B, Mail Service, Delivery Club, Citymobil, YouDrive and others – offered help and support to their users through various initiatives and we will continue to seek ways how we can best use our platforms, services and technology to help communities and businesses across Russia.

For further information please contact:

Investors:
Tatiana Volochkovich
Phone: +7 495 725 6357 extension: 3434
Mobile: +7 905 594 6604
E-mail: t.volochkovich@corp.mail.ru

Press:
Ksenia Egorova
Mobile: +7 915 314 7797  
E-mail: k.egorova@corp.mail.ru