NIS has long since ceased to be just an oil company, as it has taken strides to enter into the production and trade of electricity, while it also deals with renewable energy sources. NIS simultaneously implements numerous CSR programmes and is among the leaders of the field in Serbia
At this company that’s considered one of the country’s leading employers, investors and exporters, the management pays special attention to investing in the community, in their belief that this is how one invests in the future. Sustainable development, for them, means having a responsible attitude towards operations, future generations and the natural environment.
The previous year was marked by an energy crisis, yet NIS nonetheless recorded good business results. Will the Serbian market continue to be regularly supplied with petroleum products?
The oil industry is among those that are often exposed to challenges. The crises that we endured in 2014 and 2020 strengthened us and ensured that we were better prepared to face the latest events. In business, just like in life, you must always be prepared that not everything will go according to plan. That’s why we must always, first and foremost, know what our own priorities are. When it comes to business, the absolute priority for us during this year was to preserve the regular/orderly supply of the market, as well as the social stability of our employees. NIS is a company that has special importance for Serbia and we are continuing, despite all the challenges, to provide a significant contribution to the country’s energy security.
More than three billion euros has been invested in the company’s development since 2009, which ranks you, according to official data, among the country’s leading employers, investors and exporters. What do the figures show?
These investments enabled us to build a modern and efficient company. Apart from that, NIS has long since ceased to be just an oil company, as we have taken strides to enter into the production and trade of electricity, while we also deal with renewable energy sources. Moreover, we expanded our operations to other countries of the region in several business segments and we now have, for example, a network of more than 400 petrol stations in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Romania.
Best testifying to our successes are the results. A study conducted by consulting firm KPMG showed that, in the period from 2010 to 2020, NIS’s average annual direct contribution to the country’s GDP was 5.1%. Through the paying of taxes, we contribute an annual average of more than 1.1 billion euros, or around 15.3% of the country’s total tax revenue, to the budget of the Republic of Serbia. All this clearly testifies to the success and modernisation of the company following 2009, and that was made possible thanks to good cooperation and understanding among the shareholders.
The figures are indeed impressive, but NIS isn’t just about its business results. The company also invests significantly in the development of communities and improving citizens’ quality of life…
We aren’t just NIS employees; we are first and foremost citizens of this country. By investing in the community, we also invest in the future of our children. Anyone who thinks doing business successfully is possible without the support of the community doesn’t know what a modern business is. I can state with satisfaction that, since 2009, we’ve invested more than 4.2 billion dinars through various CSR programmes. We are dedicated to protecting the environment, supporting the youth, educational and scientific institutions, investing in public health and social protection, supporting the development of culture and professional sports, as well as philanthropic and volunteering activities.
We are particularly proud of the “Common Cause Community” [Zajednici zajedno] programme, through which we cooperate with local communities nationwide across Serbia, but also our “Energy of Knowledge” [Energija znanja] programme, under the scope of which we grant scholarships to the best students and form partnerships with educational and scientific institutions.
Your “Common Cause Community” CSR programme has also marked the previous year, as well as the campaign “For new hopes to be born” (Da se nove nade rode). Are reproductive health, birth rates and babies among your priority topics?
Those are priority topics for the future of any society. When it comes to this issue, we joined the initiative of the Government of Serbia, because increasing the birth rate is a national priority. Within the framework of this year’s “Commom Cause Community” cycle, we allocated 118.5 million dinars for the equipping of health institutions at all levels of healthcare that deal with reproductive health and increasing the birth rate in 13 municipalities and cities participating in this programme. We will thereby enable the healthcare sector to receive modern devices and have improved working conditions.
The company’s volunteer club has more than 1,650 members, who are ready to engage in working on all issues that are priorities for the community
Our support also relates to the cofinancing of costs for couples in the in vitro fertilisation process. Under the scope of the campaign „For new hopes to be born“, we also donated funds to procure equipment for eight maternity wards in the south and east of Serbia, while we will bring cheer to the 225 babies born first in 2023 at 15 maternity wards in Serbia by gifting welcome packages containing essential products for new-born babies in their first days after arriving home from the maternity ward. Our desire is for our example to also represent an invitation for others to contribute to our shared goal – of our new hopes being born.
Apart from your enviable business results, you are also proud of the members of the NIS Volunteer Club, who have already implemented more than 60 humanitarian activities. You have said that they are not only the strength of NIS, but also the energy of the communities in which they live?
Employees are every company’s most important resource, just as the people who comprise any community are its greatest strength. Our company’s volunteer club now has more than 1,650 members, who are ready to engage in working on all issues that are priorities for the community. During the years marked by the COVID pandemic, they were engaged in supporting the most vulnerable among their neighbours, colleagues etc. The priority for this year has been environmental activities carried out under the slogan “Change the circumstances in your surroundings” [Promeni okolnosti u svojoj okolini]. This is also perhaps the best message. Let’s not wait for the changes that we want to happen, rather let’s initiate them with our activities.
NIS has woven the principles of sustainable development deeply into its business processes, while in parallel it is also among the pioneers of reporting that encompasses the area of sustainability. What is sustainable development for NIS?
Sustainable development, for us, means having a responsible attitude towards operations, future generations and the natural environment. There are four foundations of sustainable development for NIS: economic progress, the development of human resources, the protection of the environment and safety in the workplace, coupled with strong support for the development of the community. I think that work on all four foundations should be carried out simultaneously, and that this synergy yields the best results. For example, environmental protection measures are part of every NIS business project. Thus, since 2009, we’ve invested approximately 900 million euros in ecological and other projects that have significant positive effects on the protection of nature. Emissions of gas into the atmosphere have been reduced significantly, which is why the Pančevo Oil Refinery is the first energy plant in Serbia to receive an IPPC permit, which serves to confirm that our production is in compliance with the highest environmental standards of the country and Europe.
It was back in 2011 that we published our first verified Sustainable Development Report aligned with the standards of the world’s leading organisation in the domain of sustainable business – the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and we’ve been reporting regularly to all interested parties since then. We want a dialogue with all stakeholders, and that’s why we’ll continue striving to present, completely transparently, all our efforts and achievements to the broadest sections of the general public.