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Violeta Belanović Kokir, General Manager, Sekopak

Proud Of Co2 Savings In Serbia

Sekopak is a company that has already spent 15 years contributing, together with its partners and clients, to raising awareness of the importance of recycling and primary waste selection among all citizens. Despite the difficulties, it has attained a leadership position that it carefully protects.

Sekopak has more female workers than males, but all employees are there because of their competence, not their gender. I like seeing that there are ever more women holding top positions in companies and that people’s confidence in female leadership is ever-increasing – notes one of Serbia’s most successful lady directors.

These are turbulent times and the market is turbulent, but your company has no intention of relinquishing its leadership position. Do that give you a great sense of responsibility?

Success also brings great responsibility. We need to preserve our leadership position, and we strive to achieve that through the expanding of our network of associates, innovation, caring for our colleagues and providing support that implies not only support that’s specific to the field of packaging waste management, but rather entails looking at the bigger picture as it relates to environmental protection.

According to the report of the Environmental Protection Agency, Sekopak recycled the greatest quantities of packaging waste over the previous year. I’m proud that Sekopak deserves the credit for more than half of all contributions to reducing CO2 emissions in Serbia, through its system of packaging waste operators. We saved the equivalent of 54,000 tons of CO2 and celebrated 15 years of successful operations at the CO2 conference held in October. We didn’t have an opportunity to gather for last year’s CO2 conference, due to the COVID situation, so this year’s celebration had a certain charm and brought together a large number of our associates.

You’ve been growing in parallel with your clients and associates for the past decade and a half, by listening to the market and adapting to the changing demands. Does this provide an explanation for the fact that you satisfy and even exceed the goals set?

The packaging waste management system in Serbia is still developing, and it is our mission to introduce innovations to that system and improve it. We succeed in that both by listening to the needs of our clients and implementing projects that aim to test the market and advance the system.

Through the Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans, we want to establish a cost-effective system for recycling glass and create a guide for local governments

We’ve been working on two major projects during this year, each of which is innovative in its own way. Through the Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans, we want to establish a cost-effective system for recycling glass and create a guide for local governments, in order for the towns and villages not participating in the project to also benefit.

The Recycling to Driving project involves researching the way citizens react to a reward system related to recycling, and this experience will definitely serve both us and the state when it comes to improving the system of packaging and packaging waste management. We are preparing another project for next year that will get us ready to face the challenges of the future, but we’ll discuss that more next year.

Although Sekopak employs more women than men, you nonetheless believe that a successful team depends on all individuals, regardless of their gender.

The circular economy suggests that every link in the chain is vital, which is why it’s important to us that we and our associates do our jobs well and that everyone is able to stand behind the work they’ve done.

I’m happy that we have associates that I can rely on and that I have a team that is productive and sees the bigger picture when it comes to environmental protection.

However, research shows that there is still a lack of trust in women leaders, even when it comes to developed countries. That is changing with the new generations and I hope that we’ll no longer have to fight this battle, but rather that the younger generations will be able to focus on the work and not on proving their worth.

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