Bulat Utemuratov has placed a great emphasis on protecting the environment throughout his many business endeavors. Verny Capital, of which he is a key investor, operates its primary headquarters from the only building in Kazakhstan country that has received an international Gold category LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate, which honors the firm’s efforts to save water and electricity. Other companies he has invested in, such as the telecom operator, Beeline Kazakhstan and ForteBank, have devoted their resources to improving waste management systems and improving their energy efficiency. RG Gold is committed to the fundamental ethical standards of doing business, paying special attention to the environment and environmental protection, through the development and implementation of advanced and efficient waste-free production technologies. The Ritz-Carlton operates their own environmental strategy which involves plant restoration and diligent recycling of waste. They also donate funds from their charitable events to environmental protection organisations.
Beeline Kazakhstan also actively cooperates with the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation by participating in the Burabike charity bike ride. All proceeds from the event are used to help provide modern equipment for children’s medical institutions. The foundation also partners with ForteBank and the Red Crescent Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan to provide assistance to victims in emergency situations.
In 2020, as part of an effort to improve equality, Beeline Kazakhstan launched a project to deliver high-speed Internet to remote settlements designed to provide all residents of the country with equal digital opportunities. Today, 95% of the Kazakhstan population has access to the internet through Beeline.
In order to help further his goals for sustainable development, Mr Utemuratov ensures that his companies work with suitable partners. Verny Capital actively collaborates with the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation to improve the quality of life of beneficiary groups, with a view towards long-term sustainability. Beeline Kazakhstan and ForteBank also maintain partnership with NGOs for sustainable development. Their programs have company employees participating in activities such as Donor Days, subbotniks (Community service days), tree planting and providing assistance to low-income families as well as children with special needs.
Education has long been of great importance to Mr Utemuratov and he has made sure to instill this value in his companies. In 2016, Verny Capital created a scholarship program to help students in Kazakhstan access an education of international caliber. This initiative has been supported by other firms such as RG Gold, which dedicates over $ 200 000 to scholarships and school repairs each year, and Beeline Kazakhstan, which has helped to provide schools with software packages and data storage, as well as developing their own volunteer Zhyly Zhurek (Warm Heart) program, which won the EMBRAS (Employer Brand Award & Summit) competition in 2020.
Creating good employment is just as important as providing good education. As such, Verny Capital focuses on the development of policy that promotes innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. This helps young people to apply their studies to business and achieve success. Another of Mr Utemuratov’s companies, Beeline Kazakhstan, supports youth digital entrepreneurship by improving the education of children and adults, including people with disabilities. Since 2014, 20 social organizations throughout Kazakhstan have been using Beeline’s free unlimited high-speed Internet within the framework of the Unlimited Opportunities project and, since 2006, the company has been implementing the ” Digital Generation ” program which is aimed at attracting senior students and university graduates to specialized internships in various divisions of the company with the prospect of future employment.
Beeline also helped monitor the spread of Covid-19, and developed a mobile application Doctor Online, with which every citizen of Kazakhstan could get a round-the-clock consultation of doctors. Additionally, during the quarantine period, the company provided free communication and Internet to medical workers.
Mr Utemuratov believes in and practices transparency in all his business dealings. He also demands the highest standards of governance from all the companies in which he invests. He supports and acts on this view because he believes that governance is central to maintaining public trust in business – its licence to operate.
Gender equality is seen as an issue of the utmost importance, and companies associated with Mr Utemuratov strive to ensure that all his companies are guided by the principles of meritocracy regardless of gender. At Beeline Kazakhstan, the number of women in leadership positions is increasing every year, currently up 33% since 2010, and four key areas in the company – HR, PR, Financial Management and Compliance – are women-led.