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Our Sustainable Community

Under the organisation of company Novosti, Belgrade played host to a panel debate entitled “Our Sustainable Community”, which addressed the importance of sustainable development and contributions to the achieving of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and included the participation of Serbian Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović, NIS CEO Kirill Tyurdenev and Čačak Mayor Milun Todorović

Speaking in the introductory part of the gathering, Slobodan Krstović, director of the Sustainable Development Department of NALED, stated that it is extremely important to consider what we leave behind as a legacy to future generations and that the building of a community that’s sustainable over the long term requires the synergy of numerous social factors.

The discussion placed a special focus on the need to develop human resources and conserve natural resources, but also on improving quality of life for our fellow citizens. Discussions also encompassed ways to make our community more inclusive and safer, and ways of enabling long-term sustainable development in challenging times. The issues in focus also included that of energy transitioning to achieve the SDGs.

Minister Đedović Handanović noted that investments in energy must be a priority over the next 20 years. “We have three goals: the first is energy independence, then securing the lowest price for citizens and the economy, and the third is for us to secure the supplies and operations of our energy system. Energy is a department that demands long-term planning and a lot of time is required for the result to be evident. We have adopted a ten-year plan for investments in energy infrastructure, which envisages investments of 15 billion euros, primarily in renewable energy sources, distribution and transmission networks, and reversible hydropower plants.”

NIS is among Serbia’s pioneers in the field of sustainable development reporting and in June published on its corporate website its 2022 Sustainable Development Report, which represents the company’s 13th consecutive verified report. According to this document, NIS provides a strong contribution, through its operations, to the basic principles of sustainable development: economic progress, the development of human resources, environmental protection and community support. In the field of sustainable development, NIS is led by the UN’s global goals, and in this latest report it acknowledges 12 of the 17 goals that it contributes to achieving with its activities.

Kirill Tyurdenev said that energy transition is nothing new for NIS, but rather represents a path that the company has been taking for years. “Our green agenda is of great importance on this path – we’ve invested more than 900 million euros since 2009 in environmental projects and business projects that have a positive indirect impact on environmental protection. Improving environmental protection is among our basic priorities and we implement projects with the intention of them contributing not only to our business results, but also to a better ecological picture for Serbia as a whole,” concluded Tyurdenev.

Mayor Todorović said that stability is of great importance to citizens. “Alongside healthy and good quality air, good, healthy and tasty food, and high-quality water, people want stability in all of these elements: healthy air, power supply, water supply. The fact is that there is ever more consumption in Čačak due to industrial growth. In order for citizens to have better quality of life, we need to strengthen the economy and reinforce the infrastructure, which we are working on intensively together with the Government and relevant ministries. My personal recommendation is for local government to always be alongside its state, ministries and leadership in order for citizens to have as many benefits as possible,” concluded Todorović.

The panel also included discussion of the importance of community education as an important segment of sustainability.

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