The NIS Company participated in the panel discussion titled “Our Sustainable Community” organized by the Novosti Company in the Royal Palace in Belgrade
When we say sustainable development, we, first and foremost, mean how development reflects on the quality of life, not only of our generation but also all of those who will come after us and not only people but also all other systems that surround us. If we look back at some of the definitions of sustainable development, it becomes clear why it is important to integrate the principles of sustainable development into the decisions, plans and strategies we make, which influence the future quality of life. One of the most commonly used definitions of this term is that sustainable development implies such a development of society that satisfies human needs with available resources, without endangering the environment, thus ensuring the long-term existence of society and its environment.
These topics, as well as how to establish and ensure the long-term sustainable development of our community in challenging times, were the topics of the panel discussion “Our Sustainable Community” hosted by the Novosti Company in the inspiring setting of the Royal Palace in Belgrade.
Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Mining and Energy Minister in the Republic of Serbia’s Government, Kirill Tyurdenev, CEO of NIS, and Milun Todorović, Mayor of Čačak participated in the discussion which highlighted the importance of contributing to the accomplishment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In the introductory part of the meeting, Slobodan Krstović, Head of the Sustainable Development Department at NALED, stated that it is extremely important to think about what we leave as a legacy to future generations and that building a long-term sustainable community requires the synergy of numerous social factors.
The special focus of the discussion was on the need for human development and conservation of natural resources, as well as on improving the quality of life of our fellow citizens. Ways to make our community more inclusive and safer and enable long-term sustainable development in challenging times were also discussed. One of the focuses was how energy transition contributes to the accomplishment of certain Sustainable Development Goals.
For NIS, the energy transition is not new, but the road that the company has been taking for years
Dubravka Đedović Handanović stated that energy investments must be a priority in the next 20 years. “We have three goals – the first is energy independence, then to ensure the lowest price for individual consumers and businesses and the third is to have security of supply and functioning of our energy system. Energy is a sector that requires long-term planning and it takes a lot of time to see the results. We have adopted an investment plan related to energy infrastructure in the next 10 years, which foresees investments of 15 billion euros – first and foremost in renewable energy sources, distribution and transmission grids and reversible hydropower plants,” said the minister.
Kirill Tyurdenev pointed out that for NIS, the energy transition is not new, but the road that the company has been taking for years. “On this road, we pay a great deal of attention to our green agenda. Since 2009, we have spent more than 900 million euros on environmental projects and business projects that indirectly have a positive impact on environmental protection. Improving environmental protection is one of our priorities and we implement projects with the intention that they contribute not only to achieving our business results but also to a better environmental situation in the whole of Serbia”, Tyurdenjev concluded.
Milun Todorović noted that stability is of great importance for people. “In addition to healthy and quality air, good, healthy and tasty food and good quality water, people want stability in all these elements – healthy air, electricity and water supply. The fact remains that consumption in Čačak is increasing due to industrial growth. In order for people to have a better quality of life, we need to boost both the economy and infrastructure, which we are working very hard on together with the Government and line ministries. My recommendation is that local governments must always side with the state authorities, ministries and leadership so that the citizens can reap as many benefits as possible”, concluded Todorović.
The panel participants also discussed the importance of education in local communities, as an important segment on the road to development and sustainability. In this sense, Kirill Tyurdenev underlined the importance of synergy between companies and the education sector. He stated that NIS has been supporting educational and scientific institutions for years and that this year, under the auspices of the Common Cause Community programme, the company allocated 144.5 million dinars to support elementary and high schools, scientific research organizations and science and technology parks throughout Serbia.