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Green Talks launching – Green Centre with a new initiative in support of Bulgaria's largest businesses
Sofia, 09 February 2024 – The Green Centre for Sustainable Finance & Energy has launched a new initiative in support of large corporates in Bulgaria under the umbrella of Green Talks. Through this new format of strategic meetings, the Green Centre hopes to create a platform for the meaningful and comprehensive exchange of good practices, while also providing a channel through which solutions to common challenges can be discussed, brought to relevance through the inclusion of the real-business experience of pioneering companies in the field of sustainable business development.
„Green Talks aims to give the much-needed visibility to the often-hidden processes in business and the economy which have an undeniable contribution to our collective journey up the sustainability ladder. The goal of the Green Center is to empower large businesses in Bulgaria on their ESG growth path by connecting them with leading experts in the field. It is my firm conviction that introducing good practices for sustainability in each industry is crucial in uniting all sustainability players, so that together we can stand united before society and the government, using our collective knowledge and experience to impact the drafting and implementation of policies,“ stated Assoc. Prof. Manu Moravenov, Chairperson of the Green Centre.

„The Financial Supervision Commission stands behind all efforts to support sustainable initiatives and the green future of companies in Bulgaria. We recognize and value sustainability practices as a fundamental pillar of successful developments within the business environment“, reiterated Maria Filipova, Deputy Chairperson of the Financial Supervision Commission in charge of the Supervision of the Investment Activities Division.

The introductory meeting from the series was attended by the operator of Sofia Airport SOF Connect AD, the largest soda plant in Bulgaria and Europe for the synthetic production of soda ash Solvay Sodi AD and the global leader in the field of construction and building materials Holcim Bulgaria AD.

What sets Green Talks aside from other formats and brings true value is the real-time inclusion of specialized feedback from an expert panel composed of renowned names in the field of academia, the non-governmental sector and consulting. Experts who are participants in the Green Centre provided valuable guidance to each of the companies on their progress in meeting established sustainability standards.

During the meeting, the CEO of SOF Connect, Jesus Caballero, outlined the main goals and priorities for how Sofia Airport can become a 5-star regional hub and achieve sustainable development. He shared some of the measures already taken, such as the construction of 12 electric vehicle charging stations, the implementation of internal electric transportation between terminals, and a 30% reduction in electricity consumption over the past 2 years.

Significantly reducing the carbon footprint by 2027 is one of the key goals of Solway Sodi, shared by CEO Spiros Nomikos. The next major goal for the soda plant is to become completely carbon-neutral by 2050, hence the phased introduction of biomass and other alternative fuels into the production process. The company has also set another ambitious goal to cease the use of fossil fuels by 2030.

The construction industry is among the economic sectors strongly influenced by global sustainability trends. The planet's population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, a factor that will provoke tremendous growth in construction.

During the meeting, the CEO of Holcim, Rosen Papazov, explained how the company has developed two new low-carbon products that drastically reduce the carbon footprint in building new structures. These products are already being applied in Bulgaria and several other countries worldwide. He also pointed out the need to continue efforts to decarbonize every step of the production process. Therefore, the leading construction company has set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

A Green Paper is due to be issued, summarizing the good practices shared during the meeting, drawing conclusions for improving compliance with ESG standards in the country, in addition to providing advice on the development of the applicable legislative framework.
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