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Vadim Smirnov, Deputy CEO, NIS

NIS Relies on Foundations of Sustainable Development

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 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

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.

Read the full interview in January 2023 issue of CorD Magazine

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