Medeja Lončar, Siemens CEO For Slovenia, Croatia And Serbia; Vice President Of The Board Of Directors Of The German-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce (AHK Serbien)

Acting Responsibly Today Is Our Legacy For Tomorrow

Siemens has endeavoured since its very inception to improve people’s lives with the help of technology. It introduced electrification to the world of the 19th century, while it today brings digitalisation as a prerequisite for doing business and competing on the global market

Here we speak with Siemens’ Medeja Lončar about the kind of world we should strive to leave behind for future generations; how Siemens views itself and its role in this time of changes and challenges, as well as the importance of innovations and smart technologies to the future of business.

Do you believe that technology should always have a purpose and that today we should focus, among other things, on that which protects our planet?

— Standing behind Siemens’ guiding notion of “technology with purpose” is a clear conviction that all investments in new technologies should be oriented towards areas that will help the planet, reduce the consumption of resources and protect the environment. We today need smart and responsible technologies more than ever, and everything we’ve experienced over the past few years serves as a strong reminder that there is no joking with the climate. As individuals, a society, organisations and institutions, we must understand – from the local to the supranational level – that ensuring sustainability today means leaving a legacy for tomorrow. That’s why it’s essential that each of us, in our domain, do the best we can to bring the finest to this planet, particularly in the struggle against climate change and advocating for a green transition, and to prevent negative environmental impacts. When it comes to the economy, this is achieved through new, modern technologies and constant innovation.

Do you believe that technology, digitalisation and innovation represent the right response when it comes to creating a sustainable future, and that companies that fail to realise this will disappear?

— I would say that this awareness is growing by the day and that, among others, global companies that think and operate responsibly deserve credit for spreading this awareness. As an example, Germany has adopted a law stipulating that all suppliers working for German companies must comply with specific rules relating to respect for human rights and adherence to environmental standards, which then spills over to impact other companies, including those from Serbia that work as suppliers to German companies.

Siemens has almost 47,000 approved patents worldwide, and last year alone registered an average of 21 patents per working day

It was eight years ago that Siemens committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 – and the company has to date invested 650 million euros in decarbonisation and reduced CO2 emissions at its facilities and factories by 46 per cent. Siemens then, two years ago, set itself even more ambitious sustainable development goals through its DEGREE programme, which implies switching completely to electric vehicles, using energy exclusively from renewable sources and reducing the CO2 emissions of its suppliers by 20 per cent by 2030.

How does a better world and a better future look from your perspective?

— Siemens has almost 47,000 approved patents worldwide, and last year alone registered an average of 21 patents per working day, which clearly testifies to our aspiration to use modern and innovative technologies to ease the operations of other companies and the lives of all of us.

A better world and a better future means a world in which environmentally sustainable technologies have been widely adopted; a world that has bridged the gaps in education and made learning resources available around the planet thanks to smart technologies; a world that enables improved economic inclusion and access to financial services, employment opportunities and tools for entrepreneurship. In short, that better world is one where technologies help to reduce economic, social, educational and other differences between peoples.

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