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Russian internet major Yandex outlines ESG goals

Russian internet major Yandex made a call on ESG policies for investors, outlining the major priorities, BCS Global Markets wrote on June 10.

As reported by bne IntelliNews, the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) has been dominated by the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda on a scale unprecedented for Russia.

Major state-controlled (Rosneft) and private (Lukoil) oil and gas majors are pledging to deliver green strategies. Russia's largest bank Sber (Sberbank) has also set out its climate agenda, which aims to reduce the bank’s carbon footprint and put climate risk at the top of its investment strategy.

Now Yandex too "has increased efforts to bring more transparency to ESG area – published sustainability report, created chief privacy officer position," BCS Global Markets commented. The analysts at BCS GM do not see ESG updates as market moving, but believe that these steps will add to investor sentiment, while reiterating a Hold call on Yandex shares.

Yandex has 12 ESG priorities, the four key being to reduce carbon footprint (currently 52% from data centres, 44% fuel, remainder from refrigerator leakage), education initiatives (long-term talent management), audience inclusivity, and improvement of conditions for service partners. 

Currently over 1mn people are employed as Yandex drivers or couriers, with fully employed Yandex’s partners earning more than 50% versus the respective region’s average.

In the field of data privacy, in addition to creating a chief privacy officer position, Yandex ID also just launched a tool to manage personal data collected by its services (around 50 services). Users are able to request deletion of any information and requests processed within a day. 

As reported by bne IntelliNews, in 2021 Yandex for the fifth year in a row topped the list of the most valuable tech and internet companies with a valuation of $23bn. 

Its investment case now rests on developments in transportation, e-commerce and foodtech, with the developed ecosystem seen as a key advantage. Last month Sova Capital analysts confirmed Buy call for Yandex shares, while VTB Capital (VTBC) argued that Yandex has potential for e-commerce leadership.