More Than Half of Croatian Enterprises Begin Green Transition

Lauren Simmonds

croatian enterprises

October the 10th, 2023 – More than half of the currently registered Croatian enterprises have already begun their respective green transitions.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, despite the fact that around 40 percent of Croatian enterprises still perceive the green transition as negative and threatening to their business operations, we’ve still witnessed a big change in the trend in the past few years. In as recently as 2021, only a few Croatian enterprises actually perceived this much talked about process remotely positively.

According to the just published data called “An analysis of the readiness of Croatian enterprises for the green transition for climate neutrality”, which is traditionally carried out by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and the company Apsolon, 80 percent of respondents agree that the innovations and technologies that companies intend to develop are related to renewable energy sources.

10% of Croatian enterprises continue to believe the green transition won’t affect them

While 60 percent of the respondents believe that the green transition will be positive for them, 10 percent are convinced that it won’t have any impact on their business operations whatsoever.

The general conclusion of the analysis, which was made on a representative sample of 165 Croatian enterprises, is that financing, administration and an unclear and inconsistent legislative framework are still the most significant obstacles to a sustainable and green way of doing business in this country. A general lack of financial resources has also been readily cited as the biggest challenge of all.

However, despite this, 52.5 respondents have already started their green transition, and 13.7 percent of them plan to start preparations in the next six to twelve months. With a strategic approach to the green transition and monitoring their progress, many Croatian enterprises see it all as a good opportunity to reduce their overall business costs in the future.

According to this analysis, 62.5 percent of respondents stated the reduction of business costs in the future as the most important reason for creating a green transition strategy, and 55.8 percent of them fully intend to create a green transition strategy. Slightly more than 41 percent of respondents believe that the first step towards a green transition is an analysis of the current situation before anything else can happen.

A decade of competitiveness awaits Croatia

HGK President Luka Burilovic pointed out that the focus of the domestic industry over the next ten years must be placed on strengthening competitiveness through participation in regional and EU supply chains. This should also be done by implementing green and digital transitions, he believes.

“It’s very important to say that Croatian enterprises do encounter the challenge of insufficient financing during these sorts of transitions. National and European Union funding programmes are therefore the most important strategic point to look at during this transition,” Burilovic explained in Zagreb at the presentation of the results of Apsolon’s analysis as part of a conference called “It’s time for Industry”.

Back at the end of 2019, the European Commission announced a new growth strategy, the European Green Plan, which was additionally strengthened with more ambitious goals and shorter deadlines due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in early 2022. The green transition doesn’t only represent a challenge for the still relatively poorly developed Croatia, but also for the EU as a bloc.

As was warned by Jean Pisani-Ferry, senior associate of the Bruegel Institute from Brussels, since Europe (including non EU nations) wants to become the world’s first carbon-neutral continent, it must achieve a delicate balance. At the same time, he wonders if the EU can actually manage transform its economy while simultaneously strengthening its overall competitiveness?

The answer, as he says, is a resounding no. Trade-offs, he says, are inevitable, and determining the trade-offs needed to strike the right balance could turn out to be more of a challenge than policymakers currently think.


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