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ZORAN DJORDJEVIĆ Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs

The key priority of the Ministry is to establish a stable, sustainable and efficient trend of growing employment based on the postulates of equal opportunities and decent work for all which is in line with the Goal 8 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 4


DECENT EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL S ocial dialogue at the state level represents a tripartite process between representatives of trade unions, employers and the Government, while we could view collective bargaining and the work of socio-economic councils as its most important forms. The Labour Law sets the basis for social dialogue, primarily for the establishment of trade unions and employers' associations, and then the manner and conditions for determining the representativeness of trade unions and employer associations, which is one of the conditi-

ons for participation in collective bargaining which result is a collective agreement, as well as participation in certain bodies for which the participation of representative trade unions and associations of employers is envisaged, such as the Social Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia and local social and economic councils.

What are the key priorities of your Ministry from the perspective of achieving the sustainable development goals? — Establishing a stable, sustainable and

efficient trend of growing employment as a result of increased economic and investment activity, based on the postulates of equal opportunities and decent work for all. This is in direct correlation with the Goal 8 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals - promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Given the complexity of achieving many goals, including the Goal 8 how do you collaborate with other government members on these objectives and how do you coordinate various public policies that should contribute to the accomplishment of this goal? — In terms of the cooperation and coordination of the work done by the state administration bodies in the creation of sectoral and multi-resource public policy at the operational level, this is realized through working groups and bodies in which we can identify the connection and compatibility of the proposed solutions with the existing strategic, normative and reform documents policies of relevance and impact on the regulated area. At the same time, cooperation takes place within the framework of the process of monitoring the implementation of policies through continuous communication and exchange of information between departments targeting a specific policy area, that is, the preparation of consolidated reviews of the implemented measures and activities, or rather the achieved effects. For instance, the implementation of the National Employment Action Plan, which is the key operational document in the employment policy system that defines the goals and priorities, the categories of employers, programmes and measures of active employment policy that will be implemented during the current year, etc., is also being monitored by the Working Group for the Preparation of the National Employment Action Plan consisting of representatives of relevant ministries (education, economy, youth, finance, public administration and local government), social partners (representatives of associations of employers and representative trade union organizations) and interested institutions and stakeholders (the State Secretariat for Public Policies, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Standing Conference of Towns and Mu-

nicipalities, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Team, etc.). The said working group is an example of good practice and a sustainable and high-quality mechanism of cooperation in the field of employment policy.

One of the important goals of sustainable development is eradicating poverty. In 2016, the absolute poverty rate in Serbia was 7.3%, while 1% -1.5% of the population suffered from extreme poverty. At the same time, in terms of the number of relatively poor, Serbia was the first in Europe. Which of these data is most important to you and how much focus does the Ministry put on them? — Serbia is seriously dedicated to measuring and monitoring poverty. Every year, we monitor and report about a na-



tionally specific poverty line (i.e. absolute poverty), as well about the persons at risk of poverty according to the EU methodology (relative poverty). Also, the data on the number of persons who have exercised the right to financial welfare assistance - which is the basic measure of financial support to the poor - is important to the Ministry, and in that sense, the threshold for exercising the right to financial welfare assistance can be treated as an administrative line of poverty. It should be noted that the state has managed to protect a significantly larger number of families in the last few years thanks to this measure (the amount of welfare funds, as well as the number of users has doubled). Regarding the concepts of poverty and the methodologies for their measurement, it is important to mention that Serbia remains committed to this topic, to continue with the expert monitoring of the different vulnerability indicators, and especially with analyzing beneficiaries of welfare assistance. Serbia is seriously committed to improving living standard and reducing poverty, so the different concepts of measuring poverty should be viewed from that perspective, namely how they can further point to specific vulnerabilitie, help identify the most vulnerable and provide adequate protection to them.

Research shows that the biggest problem that children are facing is violence, as is poverty that threatens every third child



in Serbia. What are your priorities in this area and which partners have you been collaborating with on implementing these priorities? — Serbia has a significantly developed legal and other regulation that stipulates protecting children from abuse and neglect in order to prevent violence and to ensure comprehensive and continuous protection, assistance and support to children who suffer violence as described in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Following the initiative of the Council for the Rights of the Child of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, a new Strategy for the Prevention and Protection of Children against Violence, covering the period from 2018 to 2022, is currently being drafted, as is an Action Plan for the implementation of this strategy. For the first time ever, the line ministry has a sector that will deal only with issues of gender equality and the active role of women in society. In which segments should the position of women be improved first in the short term? — The Gender Equality Law, from 2009, stipulates affirmative measures for improving the position the less represented gender (and these are the mostly women) in certain areas of public and social life. Owing to such measures and the introduction of quotas for participation in the election process from the state level down to the local level, the partici-



pation of women in the political and decision-making process has increased in the past few years. Also, the healthcare segment has recorded important results in this respect and we can now say that gender equality is alive and well in this sector which is also validated by the EU Gender Equality Index, which ranked Serbia very high in this area. There is still a lot do to in the work and employment sector where Serbia could implement further short-term measures for the protection of women during pregnancy leave related to the provision of uninterrupted career advancement, faciliating opening of nurseries and day care facilities in primary schools, promoting Mathematics and IT technologies in terms of having more women studying,



and also having more men studying to become nursery teachers. By the end of the current year, the Ministry plans to introduce, among other things, two very important laws: Amendments and Supplements to the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination and the Gender Equality Law, which will comprehensively improve the position of women as well as men in the Republic of Serbia. Of course, there is still an urgent issue of gender-based violence and domestic violence, which requires daily, long-term and sustainable engagement of state authorities and institutions, other structures, the media, civil society organizations and the entire population in order to reduce the violence and help the victims. The results in this field are not visible that quickly because fighting against violence, which is based on the patriarchal organization of society, requires a long and demanding work, and entails coordinated efforts that the Serbian government insists on.

In addition to bolstering employment, Serbia has taken on a variety of obligations to provide decent work for all. In that context, are you considering further improvement of the relevant laws and practices that would ensure better social dialogue and a more equal relationship between employers and workers? — The Republic of Serbia has ratified the following ILO Conventions in the segment of workers' rights to organize themselves and partake in collective bargaining, which are an integral part of the Republic of Serbia’s legal system, namely: 1. Convention No. 98 on the Rights of Workers to Organize and Collective Bargaining (1949) 2. Convention No. 87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948) 3. Convention No. 135 on the Workers' Representatives (1971) 4. Convention No. 144 on the Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards (1976) The right to organize and establish trade unions is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. According to the Constitution, workers' and employers organizations can be established without the intervention of a state that also must not interfere with their internal affairs. The Labour Law is a legisla-

tive framework that stipulates the establishment of trade unions and employer associations, while the Law on Associations is implemented in supsidiary manner. The establishment of the Socio-Economic Council (SEC) of the Republic of Serbia in 2004 has created an environment for a more successful conduct of social dialogue at the national level. The goal of founding the Socio-Economic Council is to establish and develop social dialogue in matters that are important for the realization of economic and social freedoms and human, material, social and economic status of employees and employers and their living and working conditions, development of a culture of negotiation and encouraging peaceful resolution of collective labour disputes. Social dialogue also permeates the SEC’s regular sessions. The Council met three times in 2018, and eight times in 2017/ In addition to the Socio-Economic Council, there are also socio-economic councils that operate at the territorial autonomy level and in local self-government (local socio-economic councils). In the course of its work, the Council has considered a series of issues that are important for the material, social and economic situation of employees. However, in the future, it would be necessary to strengthen its role and the establishment of local social and economic councils. It is a general assessment that the Socio-Eco-


THE GOVERNMENT HAS A VERY ELABORATED MODEL OF COOPERATION OF DIFFERENT BODIES WORKING ON THE MULTISERCTORAL POLICIES RELATED TO DIFFERENT SDGS nomic Council does not fully implement the role which it has been given, and the solution to this problem lies in improving the culture of social dialogue at all levels. One of the most important forms of social dialogue is certainly collective bargaining. Amendments to the Labour Law from July 2014 facilitate social dialogue and collective bargaining in conclusion of collective agreements at all levels. Representatives of the Ministry do participate in the negotiations about conclusion of collective agreements with employers, namely public enterprises and enterprises founded by the state, as well as in the negotiations about conclusion of special collective agreements for public companies and public services. It is very important to conduct social dialogue also through the Working Groups that are drafting laws. The Government Work Plan for the period 2016-2018 en-

visages the drafting of regulation that covers strike and the peaceful resolution of labour disputes.

According to relevant surveys, Serbia is the country with the most pronounced inequality in Europe. What support measures for vulnerable categories can the Ministry use to bridge this gap? — It is unemployed persons that belong to the difficult-to-employ category and the unemployed persons who, due to their ill health, or lack of appropriate education, or having certain socio-demographic features, or living in the areas where demand and supply in the labour market are out of balance, or having difficulty finding job due to other circumstances are given priority or exclusivity for inclusion in the active employment policy programmes and measures. Inclusion of unemployed persons into the additional education and training programmes creates an opportunity of them to acquire additional knowledge, skills, competencies and get acquainted with the real world of work. The affirmative action measures, that is facilitating the inclusion of particularly vulnerable groups and persons on welfare in the labour engagement and employment programmes, ensures equal access and equal opportunities in the labour market, which is the prerequisite for the economic empowerment and independence of each individual and a form of fight against poverty and social deprivation.




MICHEL SAINT-LOT UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Serbia

This understanding – that a sustainable future depends on how we meet the needs of children and young people today – is at the core of the SDGs, which include 48 child-related indicators integrated throughout the 17 goals




NICEF is committed to supporting the successful implementation of the SDGs, working with a diverse group of partners to see that the Goals deliver results for every child, and for generations to come.

There is a common agreement that in order to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, in each country children must be put at the centre of the agenda. But what does it really means when we speak about 10 SDGs in which UNICEF plays an important role? — Children and young people are inte-

gral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set in the 2030 Agenda, which focuses on reaching ALL children. Ultimately, progress in the condition of children is essential if we are to prevent state fragility and ensure long-term sustainable development, social cohesion, stability and human security. This SDG agenda presents a historic opportunity to advance the rights and well-being of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. The SDGs embody our highest aspirations for a better world – and reflect our greatest responsibility as a global community - to provide children and young

people today with the services, skills and opportunities they will need tomorrow so they can build better futures for themselves, their families, and their societies. This understanding – that a sustainable future depends on how we meet the needs of children and young people today – is at the core of the SDGs, which include 48 child-related indicators integrated throughout the 17 goals.

UNICEF is the custodian of 10 and co-custodian for another 7 SDG indicators. How does it assist countries in which it operates? — UNICEF supports national and international partners to meet the data demands of the SDGs For each SDG indicator (stunting, malnutrition, infant mortality, neonatal mortality, skilled birth attendants, developmental trajectories of children under 5, child marriage, female genital mutilation, physical punishment, and sexual violence), UNICEF leads the development of global data standards and contributes to national statistical capacity building, so as to facilitate the compilation and verification of national data. UNICEF plays a leading role in calling for more and better data about children worldwide. In recent decades, we have established surveys and extensive cross-national databases of indicators relating to the well-being of children, including the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) programme. High quality, desegregated data is necessary for governments and development partners to accurately address challenges facing children, and to track progress towards achieving the Goals. Desegregated data will help us to understand and break down the barriers that hold children back, and will help us find solutions, so that no child is left behind. We are supporting the Government of Serbia in its efforts to provide disaggregated data. Where, within this mandate, do you see the role of UNICEF Serbia as the most important? — UNICEF’s programmes in Serbia are geared toward achieving the SDGs. UNICEF supports Serbia's efforts in promoting and protecting the rights of every child and ensuring equal opportunities for all children to develop to their full potential. Our programmes are aimed at supporting excluded and vulnerable children from the beginning of their life, and thro-

ughout their childhood and adolescence. We are putting particular emphasis on those children that are being left behind. Disparities among different groups of children in Serbia are very prominent. They start at birth and increase as children grow up. Children with disability or developmental difficulties and their parents face a lack of early internvention services, poor children are growing up in unstimulative environments and have the lowest access to preschool, drop-out from education is the highest for the poorest children and Roma. This all means that cycles of poverty are repeated and equity gaps are further widened. UNICEF works with the Government and partners on addressing all of these issues.


UNICEF STRIVES TO FOSTER INNOVATION IN PROGRAMMING AND ADVOCACY FOR CHILDREN THROUGH THE USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES To what extent are the SDGs related to children at present interwoven in the national SDG framework? — Sustainable development is well covered with public policies in Serbia, despite the lack of a single, overarching sustainable development strategy. This is due to the presence of important overarching policies guiding reforms in line with EU accession requirements, as well as due to the presence of large number of sectoral and multi-sectoral policies framing reforms in diverse policy areas. The SDG process, and its monitoring, can help in tackling one of the weaknesses of the public policy implementation in Serbia and that is lack of monitoring and evaluation. Budgeting is still a critical point in policy planning. There needs to be a clear recognition of not only amounts, but also sources of financing. How can the business sector accelerate progress towards the SDGs? — The business sector plays an important role. It can accelerate progress towards the SDGs by funding programmes, provi-

ding expertise and driving innovation to deliver impact for children at scale. The business sector also has also the capability to facilitate change towards the SDGs by upholding child rights within business practices, marketplaces and the communities where they operate. Working together on the SDGs is mutually beneficial for UNICEF and the business community. For business, working with UNICEF offers new opportunities to strengthen brand reputation, establish a new consumer base, build strong societies where their companies can thrive, and create a reputation that strengthens their relationship with investors and employees. For UNICEF, partnering with the private sector offers new opportunities to drive change for children, harness the potential of innovative technologies, and address the impact of core business practices on children. In Serbia, through the partnerships with Telenor, Nordeus, GSK, Vojvodjanska Bank, VodaVoda, Telekom, and the Electricity of Serbia, as well as with more than 22,000 individuals, 350 SMEs, we are supporting the needs for quality and accessible services for every child. These services aim to help every child to survive and thrive, to be protected from violence and exploitation, to learn, to live in a safe and clean environment, and to have an equitable chance in life.

Last month you and UNICEF Director of Division of Information, Communications and Technologies from New York met with the CEOs of a few leading ICT companies in Serbia? How does UNICEF applies technology in its programmes for children? — Yes, Mr. Daniel Couture visited Belgrade at the end of April. We met with representatives from Telenor, the Science and Technology Park, and the Ministry of Telecommunications. We saw that Serbia has the potential to position itself as a Digital and Innovation Hub. It can do so by investing in education, tech entrepreneurship and digital innovation. UNICEF strives to foster innovation in programming and advocacy for children - through the use of new technologies to help the children at greatest risk and in greatest need. We will continue to enhance the use of new technologies to strengthen systems, improve service delivery, and engage communi-



ties, citizens and civil society organizations in public decision-making. We plan to identify the most promising programme innovations and work with partners to adopt, adapt and scale up the most successful approaches.

Which institutions, CSOs and other partners would be the most important one in your activities in the country? On which partnerships would you count the most? — The SDGs are not something that any one stakeholder will be able to deliver alone. Therefore, partnerships are crucial for implementation, and are essential to the successful operationalization of the SDGs. Governments, the UN System, civil society organisations, the private sector, academia and citizens of all ages from around the world must work together in order to achieve the SDGs. Although there is much enthusiasm for this Agenda, the true test will be in its ability to drive actions that will result in the better lives for all people, and whether it will secure the sustainability of the planet we inhabit, now and for generations to come.



How would you rate the progress Serbia made in the areas such has prevention of child marriages? — In Serbia, based on 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) child marriage is present within the general population. However, the situation is much worse


UNICEF WILL WORK TO STRENGTHEN THE ROLE AND LEADERSHIP OF ROMA COMMUNITIES IN TACKLING CHILD MARRIAGE in Roma settlements. In fact, 57% of girls in Roma settlements are married before the age of 18, and almost 17% are married before the age of 15. Unfortunately, over the past decade, it has become significantly more common in Roma settlement communities. Recognizing the need for action, UNICEF aims to support the establishment of a coalition of government and civil

society stakeholders to work in partnership with the Roma community towards ending child marriage in Serbia by 2030. While relevant strategic documents recognize the problem of child marriage, there is a need to develop long-term solutions that will support for young girls and their families. UNICEF will support girls from Roma settlements to benefit from education, employment and social resources like their peers, by making services and training available to them. We must build-up national and local capacities to undertake coordinated action across key sectors - community outreach, social protection, law enforcement, education and health care. We must keep Roma children, and particularly Roma girls, in school. Only 22% of Roma children, and 15% of Roma girls attend secondary education. This means that a reat majority do not acquire the necessary skills necessary to compete in the labour market. UNICEF will work to strengthen the role and leadership of Roma communities in tackling child marriage by providing information on alternatives – through community dialogue, direct support to families and engagement of successful young Roma role models.


BUSINESS PRINCIPLES AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN SERBIA The research involved 42 companies of different sizes and from different sectors. The survey also recommends that companies, in addition to supporting activities that improve the position of children, need to analyze and improve the overall impact of business on children's rights, including recruitment procedures, determining wages, marketing activities, product quality control, and the approach to natural resources.


he business sector inevitably has a strong direct and indirect influence on children – as members of their employees’ families, the local community in which children live and through their promotional campaigns. In order to provide a framework for understanding and improving the impact of the business sector on children and pay more attention to the connect between business and children’s rights, , Save the Children and UN Global Compact developed Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Comprising of ten segments, the Principles are a call to the business sector to recognize children as equally important stakeholders and promote a comprehensive approach that companies should apply to ensure respect for and support for children's rights in the workplace, the market, the community and the environment. The survey, conducted in late 2017, represents a part of UNICEF’s efforts on supporting the implementation of the Chil-

dren’s Rights and Business Principles in Serbia, and examining the areas where positive changes have been made and those where improvement is needed. The survey results indicate that in 2017, only one third of company management (29%) considered CSR to be as equally important as other areas of business. Nevertheless, for most surveyed companies (82%), supporting children is an important segment of socially responsible business, and for one third (38%), children are a CSR priority: - Relative to the 2015 survey, the scope of CSR-related activities for children has increased, and an average of 42% of the total CSR budgets was allocated for these activities; - The most supported areas are the promotion of children's education (79%), supporting childcare services (71%), health promotion / healthy lifestyles (68%) improving living conditions in the community and investing in local infrastructure (64%), and raising environmental awa-

reness (64%); - In addition to financial support, the business sector actively supports children with donations in goods and equipment (48%), organizing volunteer activities (24%) and providing professional support to organizations dealing with children (17%); - The largest number of companies (88%) have heard about the Principles of Business and Children's Rights, and close to a half (46%) are well acquainted with them; - The following companies stand out as examples of good practice in 2017 Telenor, Knjaz Miloš, Telekom Srbije, Vojvođanska banka and VodaVoda The survey also recommends that companies, further from supporting activities that improve the position of children, need to analyze and improve the overall impact of business on children's rights, including recruitment procedures, determining wages, marketing activities, product quality control, and the approach to natural resources. Companies in Serbia see UNICEF as an important stakeholder in the promotion of children-oriented CSR, with the vast majority (92%) saying that the organization has an important role in raising awareness in the business sector. Due to the fact that most of the companies that participated in the research (87%) expressed their desire to procedurally implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles in their business, in cooperation with business and associations promoting CSR in Serbia, UNICEF will promote the ten Children’s Rights and Business Principles in the business sector, with the aim of supporting their systemic incorporation into strategic documents through partnership, training and providing professional support.





Eurobank constantly combines the strategy of dynamic and successful growth with contributing to the community in which it operates, through numerous campaigns and events

ŽELJKA ĆIRIĆ JAKOVLJEVIĆ Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication Division, Eurobank


ince its inception in 2003, Eurobank has included corporate social responsibility as an integral part of its strategy. Through the comprehensive programme called "Investing in European Values", over EUR 4 million has been invested in various projects and initiatives in accordance with the specific needs of the local communities in which the Bank operates. When selecting projects to support, the Bank takes into consideration the interests of all stakeholders - employees, clients, investors, non-government sector and others. Education, ecology, culture, health and equality are the areas that the Bank has been particularly focusing on.



Eurobank has embedded CSR in its business strategy. Can you single out some of your CSR projects? — The campaigns and projects we are working on are long-term and we are very proud of everything we do. I would especially like to underline our support for high school seniors, which is being realized in cooperation with the Crown Prince Aleksandar II Karadjordjević’s Education Foundation. For the tenth consecutive year, we are supporting 600 top high school graduates from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska at a ceremony organized together with the Crown Prince Aleksandar II Karadjordjević’s Education Foundation. “A Class Made Just for You” promotes

a culture of reading and true values from the earliest age. Eurobank has made it possible for the famous children’s poet Ljubivoje Ršumović to meet with the pupils from the Belgrade elementary schools Karadjordje, Rade Drainac, Jelena Ćetković and Jovan Sterija Popović as one of the activities envisaged under the “A Class Made Just for You” campaign. Our desire was to give the pupils a class that was a bit different, that they would enjoy, and where they would learn about new books through meet and greet with a renowned poet. For the eight consecutive year, the humanitarian MasterCard credit card initiative called "Big Heart", launched by Eurobank and the Ana and Vlade Divac

Foundation, has been creating better and safer places for children to play. With ever use of this humanitarian card, the bank’s clients are supporting the restoration of children playgrounds throughout Serbia, at no additional cost to them. With each transaction made with the "Big Heart" card, the bank donates 1% of the value of each transaction and 50% of the monthly account maintenance fee. The card holders bear no additional costs and can use it as any other standard credit card, for shopping and withdrawing cash.

We have been following the “Big Heart” campaign since its inception. What are you especially proud of when it comes to this campaign and how important is it? — Since 2010, thanks to the “Big Heart” campaign, playgrounds and premises at 43 nurseries and schools across Serbia, which are used by 25,000 children, have been renovated. The funds came from Eurobank’s clients, over 22,000 of them, which are holders of the “Big Heart” credit card, and who have, so far, donated 62 million dinars towards purchasing equipment and restoring nurseries, schools and healthcare facilities. In late 2017, the “Big Heart” campaign brought smiles to the kids from the Snežana nursery and the Naše Dete pre-school institution from Šabac, and the Jovan Cvijić elementary school from Debrc. Thanks to the campaign, the Snežana nursery now has a new playground, while the pupils from the Jovan Cvijić School now have restored classrooms with the new laminate flooring, and properly painted walls, plus a part of the school’s roof was fixed. It was also the citizens of Šabac who have donated to the aforementioned causes by using their “Big Heart” cards.

Šabac now ranks second in terms of the number of transactions made with the “Big Heart” card.

What did you especially focus on in 2017, and which CSR campaigns for children would you like to single out? — In 2017, the emphasis was, as always, on educational institutions and state-run nurseries, as well as on health care institutions. Close to 100 children from the Mila Jevtović nursery, which operates under the Čika Jova Zmaj pre-school facility in the municipality of Vozdovac in Belgrade, now have safer and


FOR THE TENTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, WE ARE SUPPORTING 600 TOP HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES FROM SERBIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA more enjoyable conditions to play and develop in. Their yard was rebuilt and rubber flooring was installed, which provides greater safety for children during their everyday activities. Also, we have provided equipment for one of the consultation rooms at the Clinic for Maxillofacial Surgery, which operates under the Faculty of Dentistry, which is one of the oldest higher learning institutions in our country. Thanks to our donations, the pupils and the employees of the 14. Oktobar Elementary School from Niš can now enjoy improved learning and working

conditions. Also, the school’s boiler room is working again, while the classrooms now have computer equipment. In November, we renovated the playground at the Neven nursery in Pirot which is being used by over 250 kids. Owing to this donation, children now have new slides, playhouses, seesaws, a train, climbers etc.

In addition to activities and campaigns for children, how important is for the Bank to support and implement projects in the field of culture and sports? — Eurobank traditionally supports "The Book Night" (“Noć Knjige”) as its general sponsor. This cultural event of regional importance, organized by the publishing company Laguna and the bookstore chain Delfi, is something that we recognized as being worthy of our support. Our aim was to contribute to boost the appreciation for books and improve the general reading culture, which is why we joined this festival of written word. Socially responsible campaigns that we implement with FC Manchester United as our partner in terms of issuance of payment cards is something we are particularly proud of, because we directly participate in the promotion of inclusion. In May 2017, we established the cooperation with the Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia with the Bank helping with the inception of their first football team. On that occasion, the Bank’s football team played against the Association’s team, while Nemanja Vidić, the legendary football player who plays for Manchester United, had the first kick. As partners, FC Manchester United and Eurobank continuously support and promote inclusion of the people with disabilities into everyday life.





Sustainable development goals are inbuilt in the business strategy of Oven Elektro Maribor d.o.o and represent a genuine part of the both the core operations of the company and the green sideproducts and services




ven Elektro Maribor d.o.o. is steadily pursuing its business strategy which relies on green solutions. We spoke with CEO Miroslav Prešern about the company's portfolio and business interest in Slovenia and the region.

Where have you as a company recognised your place within the framework of the UN Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals? — The goals of the company OVEN have been clearly defined up to the year 2030. We will increase the installed power on

our production facilities by 2 MW, we are currently focused on developing our side products, among them the biggest electric bicycle rental shop in Styria and the region - OVeNtura. We will continue to promote sales over the online shop OVEN that has exceeded all expectations last year. We are continuously present in the field of efficient energy use and renewable sources that represent our basic activity.

What do the defined goals mean for the development of a company like yours,

which bases its philosophy on renewable energy sources? — The defined goals have a two-fold significance for our company: first, there are the economic goal, and second, the goals in the field of renewable sources. Especially with micro solar power plants we are encouraging the construction of systems, supported by quality savings, as this would contribute to the reduction of costs for the development of the network and also fulfil ecological requirements. How many facilities do you operate in Slovenia and how many in the region? — Our company is producing green energy from 5 small hydroelectric power plants in Pohorje and 17 small solar power plants. The power plants annually produce approximately 13,000 MWh. There are currently no energy facilities in the region, however, we are definitely working on purchasing a larger facility in the sense of small hydroelectric power plants. The company strategy up to the year 2025 includes direct sales of energy to interested buyers who operate in the close area of location of the small hydroelectric power plants. In this way we would come closer to the original idea of producing electricity from renewable sources that was not intended for transmission of the electricity produced into the network. How well is the use of the energy and renewable sources potential recognised in the markets you are active in, and especially in the region? — Slovenia offers a large amount of water sources, thus the construction of small hydroelectric power plants is very important. We believe that the use of water for the production of electricity from

renewable sources is the key. Especially for economic reasons, as the production from small hydroelectric power plants are the only type of electricity production from renewable sources that is profitable even without government subsidies. Even in the region, especially in Serbia, we have recongised a strong presence of water potential.

In Serbia, the highest potential lies in small hydroelectric power plants, and yet not much has been done in their construction. What are your experiences? — Our experiences in Serbia on the formal level are positive. You have a great advantage due to friendly conditions, simplified bureaucratic procedures and easier acquisition of operating permits, which are much more complicated in our country. The wider community here is also more open to this that in Slovenia. We do face obstacles in concrete projects, however I believe that we need to give it time, to persevere and thus arrive at the right project that will develop in the direction



of good practice.

Even though energy from renewable energy sources is welcome, it is very important that solid institutional frameworks and incentives are set up. What example of good practice would you share with our readers? — In this field, all developed countries have a highly simplified system, which is also true in your country where no water permit is needed to build a small hydroelectric power plant, only a building permit. In Slovenia, the issue is more complicated as both permits are still required, which presents a time challenge. The problems lie in the existing bureaucracy which has to be eliminated in some way, as the complicated procedures are hindering the construction of small hydroelectric power plants, despite the great water potential that Slovenia offers. How big is your portfolio in the segment of green products and services compared to your basic operations? — Last year we have very successfully launched our online shop, where you can find green, related products that ease and enrich your everyday life. We have opened the first e-bike rental shop in Slovenia, OVeNtura, that is supported by a cutting-edge application and offers 15 e-bikes that cyclists can borrow individually or in interesting tourist packages. In the field of services, we offer a new service, namely the construction of turn-key micro solar power plants in the sense of net-metering and in-out measurement. In the fall we will begin with a project that will be a big surprise, namely in the field of eco-tourism.





SDGs are created aiming the sustainable improvement of life for all of us, as well as for the generations to come

”LEAVE NO BODY BEHIND” R ecycling industry today, is serving the targets for better global resources utilization – i.e metals, plastics, glass, paper, energy saving, as well as it is setting the benchmark for the ecological design of various industrial products. We do expect a more level playing field into the sector of the secondary raw materials and we are ready to execute our investment plan, based on the acquis of our operation in other EU state members.

How much are capacities of the recycling industry at present employed in achieving SDG goals? — The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to address various issues aiming the improvement



of life. Among others, they include priority areas such as climate change, economic inequality, protection of natural environment and sustainable consumption. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. Recycling industry part of the circular economy model addresses most of the priorities set by SDGs. Recycling industry today, is serving the targets for better global resources utilization – i.e metals, plastics, glass, paper, energy saving, as well as it is setting the benchmark for the ecological design of various industrial products. A level playing field of operations is a prerequisite for the recycling industry to continue develo-

ping the necessary capacities. Moreover, the recycling industry provides job or even entrepreneurial opportunities for various isolated social groups, allowing them to benefit from the circular economy model, serving in this way the struggle against economic inequality.

How the institutional framework may spur fulfillment of SDGs in your sector? —The achievement of the SDGs, requires primarily an adequate capital investment particularly in the field of natural environment protection. I am pretty confident that the necessary investments can be achieved by a strong cooperation between private and public sector. The legislative tools to promote SDGs are in place at an EU level and continue to improve. It is important tough that (i) Authorities to focus on effective adoption and implementation. (ii) Authorities to avoid misleading interpretations that disturb the market and discourage the industry (i.e - measures of protectionism) How are you preparing your business to

meet both criteria related to Chapter 27 and UN Agenda2030? —Our group of companies, operates in most of the countries of the region, i.e. Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM and of course Serbia. We have been witnesses of the EU integration process for both Romania and Bulgaria, and we are


WE ARE AWARE OF THE NEW CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE OPENING OF CHAPTER 27 OF THE NEGOTIATIONS WILL BRING aware of the new challenges and opportunities that the opening of Chapter 27 of the negotiations will bring. We do expect a more level playing field into the sector of the secondary raw materials and we are ready to execute our investment plan, based on

the acquis of our operation in other EU state members. Not only we are operating under the higher environmental and health and safety standards that the EU legislation directs for our sector, but we are also encouraging our business partners to adopt them too.

How do you assess the capacities of the citizens to embrace the SDG goals in recycling? How they can be motivated to work together with the recycling industry? — SDGs are created aiming the sustainable improvement of life for all of us, as well as for the generations to come. The main commitment is “Leave no body behind”. The recycling as culture but also as act starts at home. Sorting of our domestic waste and minimizing their volume is a valuable and achievable target, as the experience of other EU state members can tell us. Moreover, we have to underscore the effect of the appropriate education on achieving citizen’s participation. Schools and other educational institutions are valuable partners on the trip towards achieving the SDGs.









Vojvođanska banka


Delta Holding



Smart Kolektiv




the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia



CSR AS AN IMPERATIVE OF MODERN DAY SOCIETY As a responsible financial institution we have decided to be one of the leaders in social responsibility

Director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department at Vojvodjanska Bank


uided by the view that companies have responsibility for the development of the society they operate in, that they also must take an active role in propelling our society forward, and that they cannot sit and wait for the state alone to resolve social issues, Vojvodjanska Bank engages its resources with the goal of contributing to the general welfare of society.

Vojvodjanska Bank is the first financial institution in Serbia to have formed a Corporate Social Responsibility Sector and has incorporated this important segment in its long-term business strategy. What were your motives for this decision? — In an effort to systematize its management of corporate social responsibility issues, in April 2016, Vojvodjanska Bank formed a separate organizational unit dedicated to corporate social responsibility, which, although being a non-banking activity, has become an integral part of the Bank’s business strategy. This step has clearly affirmed the Bank's commitment to continually improve socially responsible business, while being focused not only on the environment and community, but also on its employees as its most important resource, and the market as a whole. Since 2016 you have publicly presented your Sustainable Business Report. Why is this report important?

— As a responsible financial institution we have decided to one of the leaders in social responsibility, while being aware of the fact that we can and must influence the accomplishment of global goals defined by the United Nations. The 2016 Sustainable Business Report was prepared in line with the General Reporting Initiative (GRI) methodology and it presents our overall efforts towards achieving sustainability, their impact, and the accomplished results. The significance of writing the Sustainable Business Report is reflected, among other things, in the fact that the overall contribution to sustainable business for the reviewed year was measured in a transparent and comparable way. Owing to this, we are one of only 11 companies in Serbia with this practice, considering there a European Union directive which says that all companies that have over 500 employees should report in line with the GRI standards. We are currently drafting a new report that will comprehensively and realistically present our efforts and results achieved in 2017, and, at the same time, show us which direction we should take in devising our strategies and plans in the coming years.

How do your employees view this kind of the bank’s engagement and how do you include them in your activities? — The needs of the community in which we live are great and hence the constant feeling that whatever is being done is

never enough and we can always do more and better, and that's what we are aiming for. We are intently listening to the needs of the community, and based on the initiatives of our colleagues from different cities, we have various volunteer campaigns. In this way, slowly but surely, we are integrating volunteering in corporate culture and our company’s identity. We will continue to participate in volunteer activities. The next one is taking place at the beginning of June, when we traditionally participate in the ‘Naš Beograd’ (‘Our Belgrade’) volunteer day.

What other important topics are in the focus of your CSR strategy? — We are committed to preserving our cultural heritage through cooperation with the Gallery of Matica Srpska. Also, we have participated with the UNICEF in the ‘Sport for All’ project thanks to which we have established a strategic cooperation with the view of creating better conditions for the growth and development of children with disabilities, which in Serbia, are one of the most marginalized social groups. We are also very proud of the fact that our employees throughout Serbia have gone through voluntary education on how to use the Serbian sign language, thus becoming the first financial institution to enable its deaf and hard-of-hearing customers to partake in basic banking activities without having to engage an interpreter.





We contribute to the reduction of inequality by bolstering regional development, and especially by developing agriculture in 14 municipalities in Serbia

Corporate Social Responsibility Manager in Delta Holding


ince its inception, Delta Holding has been implementing the principles of corporate social responsibility. It is important to mention that, for us, this is not just a mere proclamation and a dead letter. To that end, I have to say that I am particularly pleased to see that some of the goals and campaigns that Delta is implementing already coincide with the UN 2030 Agenda. The UN 2030 Agenda speaks about fighting against poverty. In that context, Delta Holding is helping families from rural areas to launch their own production, as well as provides scholarships for children from vulnerable families. We promote sustainable agriculture on our farms, while at the same time, we are helping with the development of social enterprises through our “Planting for Future” project. We also support inclusive and quality education by promoting continuous learning among our staff. Furthermore, we have helped 264 scholars, who received scholarships from the Foundation for Future and who come from financially disadvantaged families, to acquire the necessary theoretical and expert knowledge to find employment. Also, in the past 5 years, we provided employment for 152 young leaders and thus gave them a chance to develop their careers in their own country. We have achieved sustainable eco-



nomic growth because we adhere to non-discriminatory principles. We demonstrate gender equality on a daily basis, and it's interesting to note that more than a half of the members of Delta’s Board are women. We also employ people with disabilities. I can confidently say that we are leaders in inclusion because we have two endowments focusing solely on people with disabilities.


THE GOALS AND CAMPAIGNS THAT DELTA IS IMPLEMENTING ALREADY COINCIDE WITH THE UN 2030 AGENDA We contribute to the reduction of inequality by bolstering regional development, and especially by developing agriculture in 14 municipalities in Serbia which we have assisted in launching sustainable agricultural production. In 2018, we selected the recipients of the third round of grants under the “Planting for Future” project. Our corporate social responsibility strategy is integrated in all our busi-

ness strategies and all plans related to the improvement of corporate governance, employee development, work health and safety, environmental protection, and supporting community are being considered and approved at the highest level. We are aware that only by respecting and appreciating the needs of all our stakeholders can we achieve growth and development. Our values - excellence, achievement, innovation, integrity and taking care of people – prompt all of us, in Delta Holding, to be responsible for ourselves and the environment. In 2017, we were awarded the Virtus Prize for the contribution to the development of philanthropy at the national level on the basis of our support to the community. We use our CSR reports to inform all stakeholders about the activities for which we have received awards, as well as about other segments of sustainable development. The reports are written in line with the internationally recognized GRI methodology, and with each new year, we are increasing the number of required indicators. Our reports also serve as good examples to other companies, as evidenced by the awards given to us by Deloitte Audit Company and the Forum for Responsible Business.


„LET'S GET OUR CHILDREN ACTIVE“ AS A PART OF SCHOOL LIFE IN SERBIA Results and awards encourage the continuation of activities and further development of the project


he initiative launched by Aqua Viva, a brand of the Knjaz Miloš Company, which envisages additional fifteen minutes of physical activity a day for younger pupils in all schools in Serbia, has become an integral part of the education system in our country over the past year. The Let's Get Our Children Active programme has made the activities such as "Happy Chairs", "Music Gymnastics", "Healthy Little Feet" and others a staple in Serbian classrooms and playgrounds. These activities are designed and grouped to act as a prevention against the ever more present problems that have prompted Aqua Viva to launch the programme. 70% of children are not physically active enough, every fifth child has a bad posture, and every fourth is obese. The following have been established as the main causes of the said problems - fast technological development (children spend an increasing amount of time sitting in front of TVs, or using tablets and mobile phones), busy lifestyle that leaves parents with less time for activities with children, as well as underdeveloped infrastructure in the sense of the lack of fitness equipment and gymnasiums which are mostly used by 5th to 8th grade pupils who are considered

priority. On the other hand, there are proven benefits of an active lifestyle such as - children who exercise regularly have fewer physiological and cardiovascular problems, they achieve better results in school, are socially more intelligent and more team-oriented. A systemic and multidisciplinary solution for the resolution of this complex problem is urgently needed.


AQUA VIVA LAUNCHED A NATIONAL COMPETITION LATE LAST YEAR WITH ALL SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE It is this comprehensive and thorough approach, as well as a major campaign dedicated to improving children's health that won Aqua Viva two global awards at the Global Bottled Water Congress in Barcelona. In addition to winning in the category of the best socially responsible initiative, with over 100 companies from 23 countries nominated, the Let's

Get Our Children Active programme has also received a special, golden award which was specially given on this occasion in acknowledgement of this important socially responsible campaign. In the award rationale, the International Jury says that Let's Get Our Children Moving is a fantastic project that meets the right needs, and is focusing on a simple, brilliant and relevant idea for children to get active, which will benefit the generations to come. In order to reward teachers and students who achieved the best results in implementing this programme, Aqua Viva launched a national competition late last year with all schools in the country eligible to participate. A total of 467 classes participated, with 36 of them awarded with gym equipment. Elementary schools Momčilo Nastasijević from Gornji Milanovac, Sava Šumanović from Zemun and Veljko Vlahović from Novog Sada won the first three places respectively. The teachers were awarded with trips, while pupils were awarded with seven-day, two-day and one-day recreational excursion. The plan is to visit the winners to officially hand over the prizes which these champions won on the account of their perseverance, regularity and creativity in practice. Partners in the project - the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Serbian Association of Physical Education and Sport Teachers and Aqua Viva - are planning new activities related to the programme which they will carry out with as much pleasure and dedication as before.


















the Serbian Philanthropic Forum

Delhaize has a sustainability strategy that defines our priorities, and we adhere to all the principles of Sustainable Development





he Sustainable Development Strategy clearly defines our priorities in the framework under which we operate and we want to adhere to all these principles of sustainable development, which is, on one hand, very important in terms of our employees and, on the other, because of the society. Reporting is very important in Delhaize, because you can track the accomplishment of the goals you set. We report four times annually, and as such, we are able to monitor how we deliver the results that we defined in the Strategy. This is our guideline, the way in which we keep track of whether we operate in accordance with our goals, and how we can react in a timely manner. When it comes to the public, you can be transparent in your business and the sustainable activities you are carrying out, so that is also important from that aspect. There are three areas that we are especially focusing on in the Sustainable Development Strategy, as well as a number of initiatives that we implement to make our shops into a good neighbour to the shoppers, and a better

place for shopping, as well as for the company itself to be a better place to work for everybody. As a leader in retail business, our main focus is on promoting healthy nutrition among our customers. Our goal is for our stores, with their wide range of products, to become a place where it's easy to make a healthier choice in shopping. Our goal is also to sell only first class foods. We manage surplus food respon-



sibly and work on a number of initiatives aimed at reducing the total amount of waste. We try to donate surplus food, and if this is not possible, we recycle it responsibly. Every year, our results in this segment have been growing significantly. Last year, for instance, we donated over 1,000 tons of food, which is enough to feed 9,000 people. One of the novelties in our Shop and Go outlets is that we are starting charging for plastic bags, and our plan is to launch this in our other retail chains, Maxi and Tempo. This is purely a habit, and so far, the reactions from opur shoppers, media and partners have been good. Our aim is to reduce the use of plastic bags and hence contribute to protecting our environment. It is very important to us that all suppliers, with which we cooperate, and many of them are small and medium enterprises, to meet the quality standards and standards that we have set. As a company who treats people as its most valuable resource through various initiatives, we provide an inclusive and healthy working environment for all employees.







Sustainable Development Manager, Hemofarm AD

ušan Stojaković, Sustainable Development Manager in Hemofarm, was invited to moderate one of the panel discussions within the conference “Sustainable Development - Environmental Protection and CSR Models for the Future”. This was an excellent opportunity to share Hemofarm’s experiences in the sustainable development area and in the fight against climate change. Hemofarm is one of the leaders in sustainable development in Serbia and in the Balkans region. According to UN SDG no. 17, which promotes partnerships for the goals, Hemofarm strives to activate both private and civil sectors to support sustainable development and initiate trilateral cooperation with the state institutions. It is important to understand that sustainable development is not just a phrase or a current trend, but an integral factor of the present and future business of every


company in Serbia. Sustainable development is not only about environmental protection. It has another two important aspects – economic and social development. Only the full respect of all three pillars might lead us towards better environment we work and live in. Hemofarm always like to share the story how we faced direct consequences of climate changes in Serbia when Hemofarm factory was almost drowned by the river flood a few years ago. If the employees had not been proactive enough, the factory would be significantly damaged. Afterwards, Hemofarm with its Foundation in addition organized planting trees in Šabac, near the factory, in order to activate the local society in fighting climate change. Serbia has significant challenge to improve its environmental protection legislation and practice in the context of EU integrations.




o the satisfaction of all socially responsible companies, the Ministry of Environmental Protection was formed in 2017, which is a good sign because Chapter 27 is technically the most demanding and the most expensive out of all accession chapters. The Ministry has to urgently deal with many challenges from the past. However, this also requires the support of businesses in terms of cooperation and assistance in the implementation of EU legislation. Environmental protection and supporting businesses can go hand in hand, while environmental policy also plays a key role in job creation and investment promotion. In this regard, the events surrounding the non-transparent collection of fees that created unfair competition and shadow economy, the uneconomical spending of the "green dinar", the inadequate disposal of hazardous waste, the limitations in the export of secondary raw materials and the upcoming adoption

of of the Law on Fees for the Use of Public Goods made us question whether the Ministry really understands the problems of the economy and whether it is inclined to accept well-meaning proposals for cooperation. What the state authorities must understand is that all costs, collected through environmental pollution charges, are passed on to Serbian citizens who pay them by paying products or services. According to the existing legislation, the collected fees are considered revenue for the Serbian state budget, so it is only justified to raise the question of what are these funds being used for. If we look at all of this from a different angle, let’s roll up our sleeves and clean up “our own house”, and by doing so we are going to become competent to meet the tough requirements that are imposed on us in the EU accession process. All socially responsible companies have already opened themselves up to that kind of cooperation.



e are promoting the sustainable development concept through our company’s daily operations, the quality of life and the quality of the environment, as well as through the rational use of general and individual resources, social justice in distribution of resources and goods, and by giving the present and future generations the freedom of choice. Is it possible to translate the principles of sustainable development into people’s everyday life? Is it possible to live a balanced life, and to harmonize your needs with continuous development in the long run? What does a man really need from nature to satisfy his needs? Humanity must advance, new technologies are developing, natural resources and energy are consumed, waste is generated - that is why the goal is to effectively organize human activities. Because of this, modern day people have to be mindful of future generations, plants and animals, and also for this reason, it is important to use recycled materials and alternative types of energy as much as possible. Delta Pak, a licensed operator for the management of packaging and packaging waste, operates under the Delta Holding system. The main role of Delta Pak is to connect organizations that sell packaging and recyclers in order to achieve legally defined goals, take care of packaging waste and minimize the negative impact of packaging on the environment. By recycling paper and cardboard packaging used by its customers in 2017,


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN DELTA HOLDING: 58,000 TREES SAVED Delta Pak, a licensed operator for the management of packaging and packaging waste, operates under the Delta Holding system

Delta Pak has saved 58,384 trees, which provide oxygen for 3,736,584 people, while also saving 109,899,520 litres of water and 14,424,312 kW of electricity. Delta Pak is also an advisor in the areas of environmental protection, hazardous and non-hazardous waste management, special waste, chemicals and safe transport of dangerous goods. The company invests its resources in educating the population about selection and proper waste management and other projects aimed at reducing environment pollution. In the last few years, our experts have been training volunteers and the students of the faculties of agriculture, law and economics in Belgrade how to manage packaging and packaging waste, about legal regulation, and social responsibility in theory and practice. We also did a study that showed that around 15% of the waste from outdoor markets is packaging,



while about 80% was organic waste. Companies that operate under Delta Holding have adopted corporate social responsibility as a business principle that they are implementing through the quality of their products and services, staff development, environmental protection and relationship with the local community. Our chosen technologies in food factories and in primary production (agriculture, fruit and vegetable production, cattle breeding and fishing) have a minimal impact on the environment. The proof of this can be found in an objective forecasting and monitoring of environmental aspects through measurable parameters (temperature, emission of particles, vapours, gases in the air, emissions into surface and underground waters, pollutants in the soil, monitoring the quantity of generated waste, monitoring the survival of animal and plant species in the given environment, monitoring the occurrence of certain diseases in the workforce or the local population etc.). We are observing environmental impact, anticipate possible consequences and, if necessary, deliver technologies to mitigate these consequences. It is simply not enough to produce quality goods, to adjust production to economically viable limits, to place products on the market, and to satisfy the consumers. The conditions of procurement, production, storage, transport and sales should be viewed from an environmental angle too, which also applies to waste and packaging waste with an emphasis on recycling products after their use.







Participants PREDRAG MILINČIĆ Mars


Coca-Cola HBC


Trag fondation


Telenor foundation


hile the entire telecommunications industry is undergoing a digitization process, Telenor Foundation, along with its partners, has started numerous new projects where technologies and digital solutions are being used to reduce inequalities and connect societies. SAFE DIGITAL FUTURE FOR ALL Telenor has entered a new phase of cooperation with UNICEF within two-year project “Family Safety Net”. The project focuses on children, aged four to eight, through education of 2000 teachers and 100 000 parents. With the same goal, to keep children safe online, Telenor Foundation has teamed up with another strong partner in this subject - Tijana Jurić Foundation, realizing project “Watch the Webinar - Be Safe”. Within ten days, 10.350 pupils and 1.100 parents and teachers were educated on topics of internet recruiting, online predators, cyber dens, human trafficking, peer pressure and cyber bullying. DIGITAL LITERACY IN FOCUS The digital world opens up incredible opportunities for learning and entertainment. With the development of technologies and Internet, there are no longer obstacles to acquiring new knowledge. In cooperation with “Jerina’s Town” civic association Telenor has provided 10 elementary school students in Serbia with Interactive Dictionaries, applications for learning Mathematics and English language and interactive school boards and tablets, as well as

training for their teachers. Surveys have shown that working with apps keeps children’s attention longer than the traditional work with a textbook. Association of Roma Women “Nada” approached Telenor Foundation with the learning that Roma children who have access to interactive instructions are more likely to stay in school. The main goal of this cooperation is to reduce the number of Roma children who do not complete elementary school at the Municipality of Aleksinac. The project envisages training of pedagogical assistants for work with interactive teaching tools, aimed at basic literacy, who will reach 193 Roma children within this school year.


MORE THAN 1600 STUDENTS IN SERBIA LEARNS THROUGH INTERACTIVE INSTRUCTION COMMUNICATION WITHOUT BOUNDARIES Although the subject of dyslexia is increasingly talked about, this disorder that affects the ability to read or understand what is read is still very little known. With the idea to help people with dyslexia, in cooperation with Telenor Foundation the “Read Visual” project is reali-



STARTING A NEW DECADE OF CONNECTED SOCIETY zed. The lexPad application is designed for computers and aims to make reading and writing much easier for people with dyslexia by converting Word and PDF documents into a format that is easier for them to “decode.” A STEP TOWARDS ACCESSIBLE BELGRADE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES According to unofficial assessments, there are around 700,000 people with disabilities living in Serbia, whereas there are no official data on that. The accessibility of infrastructures, facilities and locations is extremely important for disabled so that they can equitably participate in all spheres of life. Within the project “A Step Towards Accessible Belgrade”, the Centre for the Improvement of the Society, with the support of Telenor Foundation, has developed an internet portal and Android application This is an easy-to-browse base of information about the accessibility of facilities to disabled persons, whereby their movement and daily getting around would be made much easier. SMART SOLAR BENCHES IN VELIKA PLANA Technology enables easier use of renewable energy sources. Two smart solar benches, placed on central city locations in Velika Plana will enable citizens to charge their smart devices using solar energy, and will also provide Telenor Internet. The benches were provided by Telenor Foundation, in cooperation with Municipality of Velika Plana.




DOING WHAT IS RIGHT Sustainable and responsible business brings long-term benefits for all

PREDRAG MILINČIĆ Regional Market Director for Mars Balkan East (Serbia, Montenegro and MAK)


n our business, we have been upholding the Five Principles as our foundation while combining them with science to devise long-term plans that will help us grow in a way that we can be proud of. We are convinced that we cannot grow and progress if the planet, people and communities we rely on do not grow together with us.

Responsibility is one of the five key principles that your company upholds. What does this principle mean in the context of the sustainable development principles? — Quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency, and freedom are the Mars Five Principles that guide us in our everyday business and that keep us, members of the global Mars family, united where ever we are, while demanding of us to think and behave differently towards our associates and the environment in which we operate. The principle of responsibility applies to every level in Mars, from individual to company responsibility. While being aware of the local and global impact, we are trying to build a sustainable and responsible business, and create products that our worldwide consumers and their pets can enjoy, in the way of preserving the environment, natural resources, but also contributing to the well-being of all our suppliers in the chain. What specific goals of sustainable development have you set in your business



and how do you keep track of them? — “Sustainable in a Generation Plan“, launched at the beginning of September last year, focuses on three interconnected areas that we consider to be important drivers of sustainable development where Mars can contribute to their resolution the most. Mars has committed to investing 1 billion dollars over the next few years to help solve the biggest global threats stipulated in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The first area is a healthy planet, where following the scientific forecasts and recommendations, we are doing everything in our power to reduce the negative impact on the environment. In this sense, we have also launched campaigns to educate our consumers on this important topic. The M&M's Fans of Wind campaign is an interesting example of this where the mascots of our chocolates educate about and render support to renewable energy sources. Mars already buys enough energy from partner wind farms to produce the entire quantity of M&M's in the world, and we are talking here about the world's biggest chocolate brand. We have an ambitious plan to completely switch to wind power by the year 2040, because it is a free, renewable, easily accessible and clean source of energy. The next segment of our plan is thriving people, that is, we aim to improve the working conditions of millions of people that make our supply chain, while respecting human rights, and in particular, by unlocking opportunities for women. Another important goal for us is nourishing well-being, because we want to promote science, innovation and responsible marketing in a way to help billions of people and their pets live a happier and healthier lives. This is achieved through being mindful of food safety, the quality of ingredients that go into our products and the raising consumer awareness about the importance of quality, healthy nutrition.

Mars cooperates with teams of reputable experts and scientists around the world in order to monitor and evaluate the implementation of these aims.

How important is the commitment to the 2030 Agenda in the context of the positioning of companies in the global and local markets? — Taking into account the alarming information about the health of the entire planet and its inhabitants, I believe that commitment to the agenda is an obligation, not a choice of each company, whether it is a global leader or a local firm. We must be aware of the impact on our environment and be the initiators of positive change. What makes me a proud member of the Mars family is precisely the fact that the company does not only do what is profitable, but what is right too. And in Mars, we firmly believe that responsible business brings well-being to all in the long run. Are companies in the region aware of the importance of reporting on adhering to the principles of sustainable development and what kind of example does your company provide in the region? — Reporting on progress is a commitment towards greater responsibility and transparency of companies. I believe that most of them today are aware of the significance of aligning their businesses with the sustainable development principles and striving to show the effort they make in this domain, bearing in mind that this significantly affects their reputation among the wide public and key stakeholders. In terms of Mars, as I have mentioned previously, we strive primarily to do what is right, to follow the principle of reciprocity while building innovative partnerships that benefit everybody involved. It would give us a greate pleasure to be recognized as an example of good practice that others follow.


CREATING AND SHARING VALUES We are contributing to the community by changing our internal processes, but also by investing in the community

JOVANA PALJIĆ Community Executive - Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia


e, in Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia, firmly believe that we cannot grow and develop as a conmpany if the environment that community that we operate in does not develop together with us. We believe in partnership with the community, and we have been trying to be an active member of it for many years. The way we do this is to constantly change our internal processes and striving to do business as sustainably as possible. We reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources, on one hand, and constantly listen to the needs of the community, on the other, we support good ideas and initiatives, and strategically invest in good ideas and concepts, while believing that we can make a difference and operate according to the principles of sustainable development in that way. All our activities and work in the community are derived from this philosophy. The need to invest in the community has always existed, and it was also the duty of those who possessed the knowledge and skills to share them with the community. Even today, there are certain skills that can be shared with the community and we, at Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia, have just identified this as a resource that we can share and expand. Investing in a community today is not only based on financial investment in projects, but it is precisely the sharing of the skills and knowledge that the community needs. For the past couple of years, Coca-Cola HBC has been focusing on

knowledge, and what we noticed was that our colleagues have the capabilities, experience, skills and knowledge that they can share with young people, and with all those who need it. Knowledge is an enormous resource that needs and can be shared. Knowledge is something we share through different programmes and campaigns. We spend over 500 hours annually on educating and working with young people at universities, and we cooperate with students at faculties and with student organizations.


WE SPEND OVER 500 HOURS ANNUALLY ON EDUCATING AND WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AT UNIVERSITIES, AND WE COOPERATE WITH STUDENTS AT FACULTIES AND WITH STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS In 2017, we launched the Youth Support Programme, the national programme implemented by Coca-Cola HBC Serbia, which helps young people in 14 cities of Serbia to improve their personal and professional skills in order to find employment. The programme is realized through three-day interactive workshops and the participants have the opportunity to improve their personal skills with certified experts, as well as acquire pra-

ctical knowledge that will help them in the search for work. In addition to the three-day workshops, part of the programme takes place at a digital platform, in the shape of online lectures, workshops and vast literature, which all provide young people with additional education. The results of the programme have been great. We had over 700 young people attending the workshops, having over 200 hours of online education, with 30 employees involved in workshops and material preparation. We are very proud of the feedback that we got, namely that over 100 students have found employment with the help of our programme. Environmental protection is strategically one of the most important segments of our sustainability. We are doing a lot of different projects, changing procedures internally and reducing the amount of resources and energy we consume, as well as externally by implementing several projects that raise awareness in the community. For a number of years, we have been focusing on protecting the Danube basin and raising awareness of the importance of protecting this river. Together with the World Wide Fund for Nature, for over 10 years, we have been engaged in the project on the protection of the natural reserve BaÄ?ko Danube (Upper Danube), where are restoring swamps and marshes to their natural state. We protect both species and biodiversity. Together with the National Water Directorate, we have established the International Danube Day, 29th June, which is celebrated in the towns of Serbia, and the Danube Day, which is marked in 7 municipalities to which we have been donating educational ecological parks.








PhD, the MEF Faculty

the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Economics

n Serbia, there is a discrepancy between university graduates and those who have decided to stay in the country. If all the educated young people were to stay in Serbia, then perhaps we would not even mention the deficit. The uncertainty of the economic environment has prompted all of them to try to find a civil servant job, which provides at least some security. In my opinion, importing workforce should be an exception in Serbia rather than the rule. Of course, it is acceptable to look for experts who have been trained abroad and who are specialized for certian areas, such as high technology, or technical or natural sciences. Sometimes, the lack of market experience, considering that we have become market economy relatively



late, should be compensated by bringing in experts with better knowledge. I support knowledge in every way. However, if we were to motivate the workforce in Serbia by giving them the wages we are willing to give to the imported workforce, maybe this could be the key to resolving the problem. I admire the young people who have succeeded abroad, and I even admire more the young people who have stayed here and succeeded. They are here, and they are diligent, brave and live in accordance with their true self. They should be given incentives in the form of training and independence in making business decisions, even during studying through simulations of real business circumstances.


erbia is a country that is yet to experience the emigration of young people of all educational profiles, and we are yet to fully face the problem of employment, because a large segment of young people will leave for the EU. This will affect both employee categories people with university education and those with lower levels of education. This is a macroeconomic and political problem that will affect almost all companies in Serbia in the years to come, especially those that work in smaller areas where the quality of available workforce is not that high. The problem of ever growing gap between quality and the pragmatism of higher learning, on one side, and the economy’s needs is a result of the fact that changes in higher learning institutions are lagging behind the changes in the business world. There is a general rule that every

faculty will have to abide by sooner or later and that is the need for every curriculum, every school subject, and every part of school textbooks to be tested to see whether they are beneficial to businesses. Serbia has a problem with the high fluctuation of employees in the lower categories of education who are important to various factories, logistic companies, shops, and all those companies that employ middle-category labour. The first signs of this problem can be noticed in those areas in Serbia where the concentration of new factories and logistics centres is the highest. Another problem is the construction labour market, where many craftsmen (bricklayers, ceramists, and similar) are lacking because there simply aren’t any. This is a problem for construction companies that are suffering from a chronic lack of workforce.

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Sustainable Development Serbia 2018  
Sustainable Development Serbia 2018