Fortenova Group, Konzum, Zvijezda and PIK Vrbovec are among 33 signatories that have today signed the voluntary agreement on preventing and reducing food waste “Together Against Food Waste” with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Agreement is intended to drive the food sector’s social responsibility, as well as collaboration, exchange of experience and defining of common goals and activities of the stakeholders involved, with the ultimate goal of preventing and reducing the generation of food waste in Croatia by 30 percent by the year 2028.
The Agreement is part of the Food Waste Prevention and Reduction Plan in the Republic of Croatia for the period between 2023 and 2028, as well as the reform measure “Food Donation System Improvement” from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and is signed for a period of five years. Pursuant thereto, a working group will be established that will prepare a Common Annual Report, where the involved signatories are obligated to submit progress reports.
On behalf of Fortenova Group and its companies the Agreement was signed by Marina Burazer, Director of Marketing at Fortenova grupa d.d., Uroš Kalinić, Member of the Management Board of Konzum, Tomislav Alagušić, President of the Management Board of Zvijezda and Slaven Ružić, President of the Management Board of PIK Vrbovec.
“Fortenova Group, with its companies engaging in agriculture, production and retail of food, is aware of the importance of preventing and reducing the generation of food waste. We have signed the Agreement in order to contribute to the reduction of food waste as well as to influence the raising of public awareness of this topic by way of concrete and measurable contributions. Each one of us, both personally and at company level, can contribute to a solution and I am pleased to say that our companies have since many years been systematically working in that direction – from efficient stock management, raising public awareness and promotional activities for customers to food donations. Konzum, for example, has for five consecutive years been holding the title of The Best Donor, having donated more than 1 300 tonnes of food. Such initiatives are good for the entire planet, as well as for individual states, companies and consumers – all in all, they are in the common interest of all of us and deserve to be approached with due care” – Marina Burazer stated on this occasion.
Fortenova Group and the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP) signed a cooperation agreement for the preparation of a carbon footprint calculation study for Fortenova grupa d.d. and its operating companies. The Agreement was signed by Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, and Dražen Jakšić, Director of the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute.
The study to be prepared for Fortenova Group by EIHP will include a calculation of GHG emissions from Scopes 1, 2 and 3 and is intended for the Group to be able to systematically work on their reduction. Scope 1 includes direct emissions occurring at company locations due to fuel combustion in immovable and movable energy sources, production processes, use of land, changes in the use of land and forestry as well as from fugitive sources. Indirect emissions from Scope 2 occur outside of the company’s locations and are related to the purchase and consumption of electricity, heat and cooling energy. The calculation will also include other significant indirect emissions from Scope 3, related to input and output material and people flows required for the functioning of Fortenova Group’s business units.
The calculations obtained shall be the basis for defining short-term and long-term GHG emission reduction objectives and the preparation of the Strategy and Action Plan for the reduction of Fortenova Group’s carbon footprint.
It is business entities that actually constitute a major part of the solution to the problem of climate change and achieving neutrality within the deadlines envisaged by the Paris Agreement as well as the goals set in that regard by the EU, namely, to reduce GHG emissions by the year 2030 by at least 55 percent against the emissions from 1990 and for Europe to eventually become a climate-neutral continent by the year 2050.
„As the largest private employer in the SEE region we are aware of our impact on the communities in which we operate and consequently also our responsibilities when it comes to assuming the leading role in contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions; hence achieving our own carbon neutrality is the long-term goal of our sustainability strategy. This project that we have launched with EIHP is therefore not only key in calculating the current level of our carbon footprint and setting concrete objectives for its reduction, but also for establishing high sustainability standards in all our companies, regardless of the respective market on which they operate, the level of its development and the national regulations when it comes to matters of reducing the impact on climate changes” – commented Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors on the occasion of signing the agreement with the Hrvoje Požar EI.
“By providing expert support to the business sector in transforming their operations towards low-carbon, EIHP also accomplishes its own mission in contributing to the green energy transition. We are pleased that Fortenova Group has recognized us as a reliable partner in implementing its sustainability strategy and reducing GHG emissions. A detailed carbon footprint calculation, both at the level of individual operating companies and at Group level, is an important first step that will enable Fortenova Group to get to know the emissions structure and recognize those activities that contribute to the carbon footprint. The next step is the preparation of a strategy and action plan defining the measures for reducing emissions, the implementation whereof will be Fortenova Group’s significant contribution to achieving climate neutrality of the society as a whole”, said Dražen Jakšić, Director of the Hrvoje Požar EI.
The project in question will take place in several stages – from calculating emissions and presenting the results in accordance with the GHG protocol and ISO 14064-1 standards to preparing the carbon footprint management strategy, the action plan for reducing GHG emissions and analysing the conditions for achieving carbon neutrality.
Fortenova Group has prepared its 2021 Sustainability Report and published it on its website (https://fortenova.hr/en/sustainability/ ). It is the Group’s first Report of this kind, whereby it has established its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) sustainability objectives, prepared in compliance with GRI standards – sustainability reporting guidelines devised by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The Report provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of the Group’s entire business operations in 2021, as well as insight in its strategy and key values and sustainability topics that are material for Fortenova Group and its stakeholders, i.e. those where the Group has the greatest impact.
It comprises seven key topics starting from the objective to build sustainability as a relevant criterion into the Group’s decision making processes, through reducing GHG emissions, waste management across the chain from food production to packaging, improving life quality by way of the quality of food, reducing the impact that the Group and its operating companies have on soil and waters, impact on improving the standard of living in the communities where it operates to continuing to encourage diversity and inclusion at all levels.
The Report features a lot of data related to the above topics from the Group’s 45 companies that have significant operating activities and actively employ. At the same time, the 2021 Report also includes selected initiatives that were launched in early 2022 to illustrate the current status of topics that are the most relevant for the Group.
Furthermore, given that some of the operating companies’ everyday activities comprised in the Report also include activities specified in the first two objectives of the EU Taxonomy – climate change mitigation and climat change adaptation – in order to act in accordance with its regulatory obligations for 2022, as a first step Fortenova Group disclosed the evaluation of eligibility for 2021.
Namely, the Taxonomy Regulation is the EU’s key document for the achievement of climate objectives and features a classification system that establishes a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities and aligns the criteria for determining whether an economic activity qualifies as environmentally sustainable.
„Everything that we have done over the last few years, and particularly in 2021, is part of the activities that have improved our social and corporate responsibility, while having a positive impact on the economic development of the communities in which we operate. This Report not only shows that we have timely accepted the responsibilities arising from the European Green Deal, but that in 2021 we laid the organizational foundation, as well as the foundation pertaining to activities required for sustainability to be integrated in our internal management system and become part of the Group’s long-term strategy. We have thus raised the responsibility not only to ourselves, but to our consumers, partners, suppliers, the environment and the society as a whole – to an even higher level” – commented Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors on the occasion of publishing Fortenova Group’s first Sustainability Report.
According to the assessment of the Expert Commission of the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development (HR PSOR), Fortenova Group’s 2021 Sustainability Report is in accordance with the core level of GRI reporting and complies with the legal provisions of the Republic of Croatia in the area of sustainability reporting.
„ We as a Commission noted that Fortenova, as the largest regional company, has prepared a very comprehensive and thorough report with a lot of useful information that give us complete overview of all their operations. Even though there are some parts of the Report that can be improved, generally, considering that it is the Group’s first report of this kind, we found it very well aligned with the requirements of GRI. It is in our opinion one of the most complete reports to be published in Croatia in recent years and probably one of the finest sustainability reports in the region. We commend Fortenova Group for this accomplishment and look forward to their future work on sustainable practices and on the development of the reporting process itself“ – HR PSOR stated in its assessment of Fortenova Group’s first Sustainability Report.
Fortenova grupa d.d. has received the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer”, awarded for the fourth year in a row by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth to companies with best quality solutions in achieving a friendly atmosphere towards employees and their families, particularly taking into account the adjustment of the employers to employees’ families over the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2018, when it was awarded for the first time, this acknowledgement has established itself as an important public commendation to those employers whose relation to their employees stands witness to their socially responsible approach and also shows a diversity of solutions for creating a friendly and encouraging environment for employees and their families.
“At the company we have focused on our employees with children, by providing parents with certain benefits in those moments of life that are important to them. At the same time we are focused on the idea of projecting optimism, as we believe that the optimism that we build within our company also affects the broader society. Viewed in the context of the declining population, we think that what is missing in our society is optimism. It is important for us to support family life as well as optimism, because we believe that it is possible to create personal wealth, values and business success in our region and that people can feel good here” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer, on the occasion of the award presentation.
Gordana Fabris, Fortenova Group’s Director of Human Resources, noted that the wide array of benefits at Fortenova Group ranged from employee health care by way of covering additional health insurance costs, thru a number of measures supporting parenthood – flexible working hours and four-hour workdays for parents of children with special needs, the possibility of gradual return to work following maternity or parental leave, use of days off for the child’s first day at school or kindergarten – up to subsidized sporting activities for its employees.
“Fortenova Group’s commitment to building a community that places the focus on family values has been recognized by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth, which has awarded us the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer” for the year 2021. We are exceptionally proud of this valuable recognition, which is also an encouragement to keep focusing on the welfare of our employees even more” – Gordana Fabris said.
Fortenova Group has today in collaboration with the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development signed the Diversity Charter for all segments of its operations and its operating companies in Croatia and across the region. The Charter was signed by Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, and Mirjana Matešić, Ph.D., Director or the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development. The signing follows after Fortenova Group recently formally joined HR PSOR and UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainable development and corporate sustainability initiative.
With today’s adoption of the Diversity Charter Fortenova Group has undertaken to publicly support and develop diversity in all of its work environments, operating companies and the business environment in general.
“It is important to note that today’s signing of the Diversity Charter is a logical upgrade on our commitment to sustainable development. I am particularly proud of the speed at which Fortenova Group has within very short time made key strides in accepting sustainable operations and its values; from our Code of Ethics and accession to HR PSOR and UN Global Compact, until today when we have signed the Diversity Charter. Sustainability and diversity are Fortenova Group’s fundamental values and a constituent part of our corporate culture” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors on the occasion of signing the Diversity Charter.
Mirjana Matešić, Ph.D., Director of the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development, stated on that occasion: “We are pleased that by signing the Diversity Charter Fortenova Group has publicly, on behalf of all its employees, accepted the responsibility to apply diversity and equal opportunities at the workplace in all of its companies. Diversity is one of the main tools for achieving innovativeness and creativity, required more than ever in order to realize our transformation towards sustainability”.
Fortenova Group, comprising some of the most significant companies in Croatia and the region, such as Konzum, Mercator, Jamnica, Zvijezda, Dijamant, Belje, Tisak, Sarajevski kiseljak etc., has formally joined the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainable development and corporate sustainability initiative. Fortenova Group has thus become part of a large community of 18,000 members from 162 countries of the world that have committed to adhering to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. The principles comprise fundamental operating responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, based on internationally adopted declarations and conventions of the UN and constituting the normative authority for responsible operations.
UN Global Compact has, as a special initiative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, been mandated to direct and provide support to the business community worldwide in achieving progress and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.
“Since it first commenced its operations, Fortenova Group started to live its fundamental values, with sustainable operations being one of the four key pillars of the culture of responsibility that we have been building towards our employees, the communities in which we operate, our consumers, partners, suppliers, the environment and the society as a whole. From the Code of Ethics that we adopted just a few months after our incorporation, to the development of a reporting concept in accordance with GRI standards that we shall already adhere to in our next operating report. Fortenova Group has within only two years raised its social and corporate responsibility to a very high level, creating the prerequisites for sustainable development in its environment. Given that we engage in food production and distribution, food safety systems are part of our integrated management system and among the initiatives and continuous investments in green and socially responsible projects, particularly worth being singled out are the recent projects carried out by our companies in reducing the carbon footprint of our packaging. Hence our joining this global initiative is but a natural step to round off all our activities in that direction, and because of everything that we have currently been witnessing – global climatic, health, economic as well as value challenges, the accession to the Compact is the more important for us” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, on the occasion of Fortenova Group joining the UN Global Compact.
Through operating strategies in all of its core businesses Fortenova Group has opted for sustainable development and efficient management in the long term, thus also driving a stronger involvement of the business sector in activities intended to progress towards sustainable development goals and achieving corporate sustainability in accordance with the principles of the UN Global Compact.
“It is my great pleasure to welcome Fortenova Group on behalf of the UN Global compact. By joining this initiative, the company has demonstrated its commitment to the sustainability goals set, while at the same time raising the already high expectations of its stakeholders. I am looking forward to the collaboration, with a view to the company progressing towards meeting those expectations” – said Vali Marszalek, Executive Director of Global Compact Network Croatia.
The protective equipment worth almost HRK 2 million is intended for users working in the field to implement health protection measures against the coronavirus
Half a million disposable protective masks were donated by Fortenova Group to the Civil Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. The protective equipment worth almost HRK 2 million, collected today from the Konzum warehouse, is intended for users who work in the field, implementing protective measures against the coronavirus.
Assistant Minister Damir Trut, PhD, thanked for the donation and said that it would contribute to increasing the safety of people taking part in activities related to fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic.
„The donation of protective masks will provide for safer work conditions and the protection of all workers, primarily in the health system, but also other operating forces in the civil protection system and I would therefore like to say thank you for this praiseworthy donation. It is only with joint forces that we can contribute to reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus and to increasing the safety of all citizens of the Republic of Croatia“ – the Assistant Minister said.
Despite the great challenge in purchasing equipment which is currently the most sought after product on global level, Fortenova Group managed to import a sizeable quantity thereof, part of which is intended for the protection of Fortenova Group employees, while the majority of the masks will be provided to those who currently need them most.
„Everything we get from medical workers, policemen, fire fighters and all the others who have over the last weeks non-stop been taking care of the safety and health of us all, is invaluable. At Fortenova Group we know this very well, as thousands of our workers have daily been taking care of the smooth supply of goods for the people in the region. This why we very much appreciate the value of caring for safety and health and the importance of investing in that safety at this point“, – said Fabris Peruško, CEO of Fortenova Group.
Fortenova Group companies in Croatia – Konzum, PIK Vrbovec, Jamnica, Zvijezda, Belje and Ledo – have since the beginning of the crisis been helping hospitals, the Red Cross and various associations taking care of those in need. In Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, countries of the region in which they operate, the companies have as well helped to a significant extent in providing the basic necessities in fighting against the coronavirus spread.
„With this most recent donation of protective masks the overall amount of Fortenova Group donations across the region to date has reached almost HRK 4 million in direct contributions to the communities in which we operate. This is also a way to show our gratitude to everyone who are in their workplaces daily, irrespective of the risks“ – Peruško highlighted.