What a special evening we had at the Sustainability Awards Gala organized by The Diplomat and now in its 3rd edition! As every year, the event of The Diplomat-Bucharest celebrated excellence in sustainability and the impressive achievements of the winners at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bucharest.
These things would not have been possible without the support of our great partners, to whom we would like to say a big thank you: Gold Partners Innova Project Consulting, Kaufland, Immofinanz, Schneider Electric, Electrica Furnizare, CHEP Romania, Bosch, Romgaz, Klarwin, Hidroelectrica, Auchan Retail Romania, eMAG, Green Ambalaje; Connectivity Partner Telekom; Partners BRD-Groupe Societe Generale, TeraPlast, Carrefour, Coca-Cola HBC; Strategic Partner Circular Economy Coalition CERC; Partner Institutions APAR, World Energy Council, BRCC, AHK Romania, BEROCC, Henro, ACUE, ADAA, Lovering & Partners Business Performance Consultants, HIM Public Affairs, SCS, Wave.
Romania’s sustainability champions were decided by the esteemed jury committee, comprised of top professionals from various business sectors: Ramona Jurubita – Country Managing Partner, KPMG Romania & Moldova, Ilinca Pandele – Senior Consultant, Team Leader Econet Romania, AHK Romania, Colin Lovering – Co-Founder, Lovering & Partners Business Performance Consultants, Chairman of British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Mihaela Croitoru – Founder, INNOVA Project Consulting, Monica Movileanu – Partner, ESG Leader, PwC Romania, Sorin Elisei – Director and Leader of Sustainability Practice, Deloitte Romania, Alex Laibar – Executive Director, at Circular Economy Coalition CERC.
A special thank you to our jury members for supporting this great event organized by The Diplomat-Bucharest!
And now it’s time to reveal the list of winners at the Sustainability Awards Gala 2022:
GAME CHANGER IN SUSTAINABILITY
This award is given to a company that is one of the largest PET plastic recyclers in Europe and a major manufacturer of products in the recycling segment. This company started recycling 12,000 tons per year, and now has a capacity of 150,000 tons per year. The company’s pioneering project “Reducing CO2 emissions from PET recycling” was the first of its kind in Europe to enforce waste regulations by recycling PET, proactively reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the project, the Swiss organization GoldStandard measured data on the recycling process, pointing out that it requires a considerably lower energy consumption compared to the manufacture of the same products from virgin inputs. Thus, this company is the first company in Europe to implement a CO2 reduction project by producing: PET flakes and other recycling products.
The first award of this Gala goes to GreenTech, part of the GreenGroup recycling group for the project Reducing CO2 emissions from PET recycling.
SUSTAINABILITY FRONTRUNNER IN INDUSTRY
The winner of this category is the first company in Romania to join the Retrofeed project (a waste to energy project) in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, which aims to develop a new technology for injecting alternative materials and testing a range large amounts of recycled materials in the steelmaking process. In this project, the company tests the use of rubber and plastic in the production process of their SteelShop in Calarasi, avoiding the consumption of primary raw material. The company says that this will generate and maintain the necessary energy and at the same time, will reduce electricity consumption and will have less CO2 emissions.
This award goes to Tenars Silcotub.
EDUCATIONAL PROJECT IN SUSTAINABILITY
The award in this category is given to a foundation that was launched in October 2012, led by the belief that education is the basis for building a democratic society based on respect, human values and equal opportunities. The main objective of the Foundation is to help children in vulnerable communities to continue their education and to avoid dropping out of school. The mission of the program developed by the foundation is to ensure that young people and children in vulnerable communities continue their education and improve in the schools of their choice. Thus, after-school centers will be built based on the principles of remedial education in schools in rural communities. According to the measurements, the school attendance of those children enrolled in the program has improved by 80 percent, and their level of education improves by about 1 point during a school year. In the school year 2021-2022, the program was extended to 84 after-school centers in 31 counties and to 2,422 children attending classes.
For this initiative, the award of this category goes to eMAG and the Foundation “Nouă ne pasă”.
SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR
The award in this category goes to the partnership of two companies that laid the foundations of the first program that offers direct support to Romanian farmers who want to grow. It is a national program to support farmers who want to grow organic produce and encourage healthy eating habits. It started in 2019 by offering Romanian practitioners in conventional agriculture access to a simplified process of transition to BIO agriculture and a secure market. The program is a long-term commitment open to any Romanian farmers who want to obtain organic certification, and through this partnership, direct support will be provided throughout the entire conversion process.
The award goes to the partnership between Carrefour and Ecocert.
SOCIAL VALUE INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABILITY
The award in this category is given to a campaign that began in May 2021, representing a broad effort by a retailer and an association to encourage the use of public transport and to promote waste collection and recycling. The program is a unique CSR initiative that aims to encourage the collection and recycling of waste and the use of urban public transport. The campaign, a premiere in Romania, was initially started in Constanța and then extended nationally, reaching Craiova, Iași, Buzău, Galați, Timișoara and Sibiu. The mechanism was simple: for every 5 wastes (PET, bottles, cans) that people brought in the recycling bins found in the parking lots of the supermarket chain, they were offered a return bus ticket. The budget allocated to the campaign was 33,462 RON, covering the tickets provided, transportation expenses, food for volunteers and other administrative expenses.
This award goes to the initiative developed by Kaufland Romania, together with the Act for Tomorrow Association, with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests and the project Exchange PET with Ticket.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
The winner of this category embraces the circular economy model with a buy back formula that aims to encourage customers to get involved in the process: they can buy and sell used sports equipment or repair used and defective equipment, instead of buying new ones. Thus, this retailer aims for sustainable growth in which economic activity and well-being increase. Pressure and environmental impact are transformed into a positive impact. Due to the changing use of resources, there will be a transition from the current linear model to a circular economy. The target of the program was 90 percent reached in 2021. Also, during the same period, sales of second-hand products increased by more than 100 percent and the conversion rate was 80 percent (94 percent for bicycles).
This award goes to Decathlon.
BEST SUSTAINABLE FINANCE SOLUTIONS PROVIDER
The award in this category is given to a company that says that sustainability can play a crucial role in the development of the Romanian economy and its competitiveness, as well as in the transition to a secure, climate-neutral and resilient economy, but also more efficient in terms of view of resource use. The green credits offered by this company are granted in compliance with the eligibility criteria for green assets, but credits can also be granted based on the client’s sustainability strategy, respectively taking into account the targets set by him. Impact of 2021 financing summarizes: EUR 508 million transactions in 2021 with an own participation of EUR 368 million, realization of the largest green financing and support as a structuring bank in defining the first financing framework for bonds related to sustainability objectives.
This award goes to is BRD Groupe Societe Generale
WASTE AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR
The award-winning project in this category is an initiative that invites home consumers to bring cooking oil used in their own households for collection and recycling to the winning company’s hypermarkets, avoiding dumping it in inappropriate places. The involvement of over 212,000 home consumers demonstrates the strong impact this program has had on consumers. The negative effects of improper storage of used cooking oil have been understood by the large community of customers who are willing to change their consumption behavior in a more responsible and environmentally friendly way. Therefore, by the end of 2021, more than 307,000 liters of used oil have been collected. Avoiding the improper use of a significant amount of cooking oil by tens of thousands of Romanians translates into avoiding the pollution of millions of liters of water. This means a cleaner and healthier environment for millions of home consumers.
This award goes to Auchan Retail Romania.
WASTE MANAGEMENT CORPORATE SUPPORT
The winner of this award is a company with Romanian capital, specialized in waste management services, authorized by ANPM to collect and treat recyclable waste generated in commercial and industrial flows, including packaging waste. Their mission is to provide partners with integrated waste management services, starting with the segregation and preparation of waste, transporting it and culminating in its recycling or recovery through efficient and at the same time economically convenient methods. The philosophy adopted is to be environmentally friendly, to respect the hierarchy of waste recovery and to ensure recycling, recovery and disposal at high standards, in accordance with their national and European legislation.
This award goes to Green PC Ambalaje.
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN OF THE YEAR
The winner of this category is a pioneer of the circular economy, with a history of over 70 years worldwide and 10 years in Romania. In Romania, this company leads the transition of the FMCG industry from a linear economic model (production-consumption-waste) to a circular one (production-reconditioning-reuse), a transition that is supported by several factors, such as an increased level of competitiveness, the need to comply with current environmental legislation obligations and pressures from conscious consumers. In the last 10 years (ended December 31, 2021), through the collaborative pooling system operated by the company, over 400 companies and their partners have together avoided the consumption of 101,335 cubic meters of timber (equivalent to 97,908 mature trees) and the generation of 9,600 tons (2,256 trucks) of waste. In addition, the level of pollution has been reduced by more than 118.7 tons of CO2 on transport routes, the equivalent of 2,704 round trips by Earth truck – consumption that would otherwise have been generated in the traditional single-use pallet exchange system.
This award goes to CHEP Romania.
TECHNOLOGY FOR GOOD AWARD
The winner of this category is a carbon-neutral company worldwide in 2020 – being the first global industrial entity to do so. The company says it has additional growth potential in the field of electromobility, while continuing to improve existing measures – such as further increasing energy efficiency and minimizing the use of carbon offset. They are at the forefront of the range of electromobility they offer: from electric bicycles to construction machinery, from silicon carbide chips to pre-integrated modules, and more. They have various solutions and technologies with green and electromobility objectives, such as: the production of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors, which can expand the range of electric vehicles by up to 6 percent. By 2024, the company says it will invest more than one billion Euro in green technologies.
The winner of this category is the BOSCH Group in Romania.
This award goes to a professional in public affairs and communication, who has distinguished herself in recent years by a constant presence in the context of the circular economy and sustainability. Through her profession, she has a strong contribution to the development of strategic initiatives on waste management but also in the area of environment, health and social impact. She is a leader who leads by visibility and relevance. She is a recognized advocate for sustainability in the business area, with a strong media presence and visibility, participating in numerous public debates on sustainability issues.
This award goes to Alice Nichita, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola HBC Romania.
LEADERSHIP IN SUSTAINABILITY
The company that has distinguished itself in this category supports and promotes sustainability and care for the environment, constantly carrying out actions to raise awareness of responsible consumption. Through its constant involvement in sustainable actions, the company has also marked several premieres on the Romanian market. Continuing its mission to encourage a responsible lifestyle, it became the first local retailer to implement a circular economy project for clothing. It was also the first retailer to integrate refurbished smartphones into its offering, being a pioneer in Romania in the field of the circular economy and sustainable electronic products. Through the mentioned projects but also many others, its main goal is to ensure well-being, to leave behind well-made and sustainable things, offering a climate of trust to customers.
This award goes to Auchan Retail Romania.
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR IN SUSTAINABILITY
This award goes to a visible professional in the landscape of sustainability and the circular economy in Romania. With over 20 years of experience, he is a manager with extensive knowledge and understanding of waste management and recycling solutions. He participated in government working groups to transpose EU directives on packaging, WEEE, car batteries and used tires into national law. Together with representatives of the Romanian Environmental Authorities and the automotive industry, he contributed to the development of the first waste collection and treatment network. He is also a constant promoter of the principles of the circular economy and is also the founder and president of the Coalition for the Circular Economy in Romania.
This award goes to Constantin Damov, President of the Green Group.
SMART SUSTAINABLE CONCEPT
This award goes to a company that has marked a premiere, with the only scanning service for solid municipal waste. This is possible with the help of a smart and sustainable solution that allows the assessment of moisture content and other indicators in municipal solid waste landfills using the method of electrical resistivity. By using geophysical methods in the management of bioreactor landfills, municipal solid landfills can be made less hazardous. The solution developed is the result of studies conducted by the Romanian Society of Applied Geophysics, and the Laboratory of Applied Geophysics at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki in Greece.
This solution is the result of the Klarwin initiative with the involvement of the highest academic competencies of the Romanian Society of Applied Geophysics in Romania (SGAR) and the Laboratory of Applied Geophysics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece (AUTH). The research, testing and implementation team was led by Lucian Pavel – Manager of the Environmental Protection Department (Klarwin), Lecturer Florina Mihaela Țuluca, PhD – University of Bucharest – President of the Romanian Society of Applied Geophysics (SGAR), and Researcher Fikos Ilias – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).
This award goes to Klarwin for the Geoklast solution – the scanner for municipal waste.
NET-ZERO CARBON STRATEGY OF THE YEAR
In this category where votes were cast online, the winner implemented a new business model and set new sustainability goals, in line with the “Net Zero” commitment. At the group level, the company aims to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050. In Romania, the company has implemented a series of programs as part of the new business model, ECONCEPT, such as: ECOPact, the first range of green concrete in the industry, with emissions more than 30 percent reduced CO2 emissions, and ECoPlanet, the new generation of low-carbon, high-recycled cement. The new business model includes three complementary directions: ECO Solutions (green, low-carbon products and solutions), ECO Services (consulting and tools for building sustainable, circular economy-based projects) and ECO Scor (evaluation and certification systems). climate performance of portfolio products).
The winner of the category is Holcim Romania.
SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING & COMMUNICATIONS
Within this category of online votes, a sustainability report was highlighted, the communication campaign of which was developed under the creative concept “The story of hands doing good deeds”. The sustainability report states that the company’s investments in energy consumption reduction projects exceeded 8 million lei between March 2020 and February 2021. The analysis provides a perspective on investments in the product portfolio, the work environment and the policy. of human resources of the company, of the concern for the environment, of the supply chain and, last but not least, of the projects with impact in the community, where the company has invested the largest budget to date. According to the analysis, the consumption of electricity from renewable sources (MWh) for the company’s stores reached the threshold of 97.6 percent. The company also managed to reduce energy intensity by 3.8 percent and recorded a decrease in emissions by 4.3 percent (compared to 2019).
The winner of this category is Kaufland Romania.
BRAND OF THE YEAR IN SUSTAINABILITY
The company that won this award supports and promotes sustainability and care for the environment, constantly initiating actions to raise awareness of responsible consumption. Through its constant involvement in sustainable actions, the company has also marked several premieres on the Romanian market. The company also says it is focusing on the needs of local communities and carrying out projects that support customers with the idea of consuming more responsibly and being more responsible themselves.
This award goes to Auchan Retail Romania.