Source: eKapija | Sunday, 12.06.2022.| 12:47
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Tijana Koprivica, Chief Business Sustainability Officer at Delta Holding – Environmental Protection Is Not a Question of Choice, But Obligation

(Photo: Miodora Bozar, Delta Holding)
Profit or environmental protection – that’s the dilemma for many companies. Not for Delta Holding, though. Guided by the idea that environmental protection is not a matter of the company’s choice, but its obligation, Delta Holding sets before itself ecological goals which have a positive impact on the environment, but also on the business results.

How to reduce costs while at the same time protecting the environment, can villages in Serbia become oases of healthy and sustainable business operations, why green building is Delta’s long-term orientation – all this is revealed by Tijana Koprivica, Chief Business Sustainability Officer at Delta Holding.

How important is care for the environment in the operations of Delta Holding? Can making profit and protecting the environment go together?

– Harmonizing the economic role of the company and environmental protection is not a question of choice. It is a necessity and an obligation. Since its founding, Delta Holding has been introducing innovations to our market, and the implementation of the latest technical-technological achievements is also reflected on the upgrade of all sustainability aspects. In addition to economic development goals, our business strategies envisage social and ecological development goals as well, which have a positive impact on the environment, but also on the business results. Primarily, through the implementation of energy efficiency measures, the costs are reduced due to the lowered energy consumption, and then also, by switching to alternative energy sources, an independence from external suppliers is achieved and the effects of price turbulences are minimized. Furthermore, harmful gas emissions are reduced and with them the risk of paying penalties for excessive emissions. In addition to energy efficiency, it is also important to manage water and other resources properly, which also leads to savings. By using rainwater as technical water, the costs are reduced considerably. The same goes for proper waste management. A lot of byproducts can be used in production processes as energy sources or raw materials.

Your CSR report for 2020 shows that Occupational Health and Safety stands out as the priority topic. Which topics are in focus for 2021?

– Occupational health and safety, as well as the improvement of the quality and safety of products are the topics that are constantly a priority, because the health of employees and consumers always comes first. In addition to these topics, what was in focus in 2021 was energy efficiency. Revisions of energy systems, carried out by an external company, were done, and the result of those revisions was the conclusion that the company operates soundly with the optimal use of energy. Last year, an analysis of the feasibility of the construction of solar power plants in eight locations was also done. In seven locations, these power plants have already been done and are expected to be put into operation, so our four factories, two cooling plants and the Napredak farm will from now on use solar energy and replace 30% of power from conventional sources with it. The preparation of the project for the solar power plant on Sava Centar is in progress.
(Photo: Delta Holding)

What has the “Our Village” project shown – is it possible to renew villages in Serbia and turn them into oases of healthy, sustainable and ecological business operations?

– Our project has confirmed not just that the idea was good, but also that it was successfully realized in practice. We started the “Our Village” project in late 2018 in the villages of Dubocane and Mala Jasikova near Zajecar. The aim of the project was to improve the quality of life in villages through an economic recovery of agricultural producers and improvement of social life. The basis of the development of the agricultural production of small producers is the transfer of knowledge of modern production, financing support and the upgrade of business skills. Modern agriculture entails economical systems for irrigation, electrification of orchards, the use of modern means of protection and fertilization, which certainly leads to the saving of resources and the preservation of land for the future generations. Today, in these villages, we have bigger yields, but even more importantly, we have people who have learned a lot about modern agriculture, aware that, in the future as well, their success will depend on adopting new knowledge.

In Mokrin, you launched the “Digital Village” project. Are digitization and data management the key to not just a successful business, but also the kind of operations that will protect the environment?

– The digitization of agricultural production can largely influence the improvement of the environment. For years now, we have been digitizing our agricultural production, which entails the implementation of modern mechanization, irrigation systems, GPS systems and so on. Digitization ensures better yields and the saving of resources, and it also contributes to preserving the environment. Irrigation, feeding and protection in line with the plants’ needs, fertilization in line with the needs of the soil, variable sowing, these all reduce the consumption of water and energy sources and preserve the quality of land. We want to introduce individual agricultural producers to these achievements and show them that big investments are not needed, because they can implement digitization on their properties quickly and easily. We developed this project with our partners BioSense and Mokrin House and started realizing it in Mokrin.

Delta House is an example of green building with solar panels, rainwater tanks, natural materials, the implementation of plastic balls made from recycled plastic instead of heavy concrete wherever possible. Are you planning anything similar on other facilities too?

– Each new facility of ours will be built in line with the latest achievements in construction, which entails the use of ecologically acceptable and recycled materials, as well as renewable resources. That is Delta’s permanent orientation.

Delta Pak, an operator of packaging waste management, operates within Delta Holding. In addition to its regular operations, it also carried out projects which aim to increase environmental awareness. Do we have reason to be optimistic when it comes to the increase of the ecological awareness of the citizens and companies in Serbia?

– Delta Pak provides the services of an operator for the management of packaging waste, an adviser in the field of the living environment, chemicals and the transport of hazardous goods. It does these jobs for members of Delta Holding, but also for external clients. The organization operates in line with the principles of social responsibility and sustainable development, which it shares with its clients and business partners. In the past period, Delta Pak has carried out numerous projects which aimed to support the community in upgrading the field of environmental protection and raising environmental awareness. The examples are: the project of estimating the quantities and the morphological composition of the packaging waste in city markets, bars and restaurants and shopping centers and the education of volunteers about its proper selection and storage; the education of agricultural producers about the proper protection of packaging waste from plant protection products; the establishment of an information system about the deployed packaging and packaging waste. Our clients show a great interest in upgrading their operations in the field of environmental protection, and we will continue to influence, through socially responsible activities, the awareness of others, primarily small and medium enterprises, as well as the citizens of Serbia.

Are the employees of Delta Holding interested in campaigns directed at preserving the environment?

– At Delta, we have a long tradition of volunteering. We have planted trees in Usce, developed school and kindergarten yards, the Zvezdara Fortress and so on, within individual campaigns or the Our Belgrade campaign, organized by the Forum for Responsible Business. Ahead of the New Year, we also organized a workshop for the making of decoration from recycled materials for the employees and their children. On that occasion, we explained to the children the importance of responsibly handling natural resources and properly taking care of the waste. The employees are very interested in joining these campaigns and gladly respond to them.

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