“European companies view sustainability from the perspective of guaranteed long-term income growth, and they believe that a sustainable product can bring them an additional income of as much as 23 per cent (on average) since consumers are increasingly opting for such brands and products. Regardless of the fact the focus on this topic can lead to cost reduction and significant savings, in non-EU countries, the general awareness of ESG is lower compared to the EU Member States”, Robert Ćuzela-Piljac, Business Development Manager for Adria and the Balkan region at Horváth Consulting, says at the beginning of the interview for Energy Portal magazine.
These are just some of the conclusions of a study conducted by the international consulting company Horváth, which specializes in ESG consulting. 35 European companies from Switzerland, Germany and Austria took part in the study. These companies combined employ over a thousand people, generating revenues of over three billion euros. The study also confirmed that sustainability is one of the biggest challenges, especially in setting, defining and measuring ESG goals. Speaking about the situation in our region and Serbia regarding developing and introducing ESG standards, Mr Ćuzela-Piljac explains that, unlike EU countries, Serbia still does not have many binding requirements regarding this topic.
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“Even though the implementation of ESG principles contributes to differentiation from the competition, cost reduction and creates new market opportunities, the general awareness of this topic in Serbia is lower compared to the European Union Member States. Nevertheless, companies that export goods or services to this market attach great importance to it, and many of them have already implemented various initiatives in this segment. One of these is appointing persons who deal exclusively with this topic. Their focus is on the planning and implementation of ESG standards in the companies for which they work,” he points out.
Mr Ćuzela-Piljac adds that companies should keep in mind that all parties see huge potential for growth and profitability through improved sustainability.
“According to our studies, 50 per cent of all participants see the potential for generating more revenue in existing markets, which could be achieved through competitive advantage and/or prices, 11 per cent (on average). On the other hand, 60 per cent of participants expect a sustainable product portfolio to lead to the opening of new markets or segments. It can also potentially increase revenue by up to 23 per cent on average. The fact that 40 per cent of the participants estimate and expect that sustainability can contribute to reducing costs by up to 7 per cent is particularly significant,” he says.
Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES