As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Agency for Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Antunovac held a conference on untapped Slavonian potential, organised by the International Network of Business Women and the Croatian Association of Employers of the Osijek Regional Office.
“This is a fantastic topic for Slavonia, but also for Croatia in general, because a lot of funds will be available. Digitalisation and the green transition is something that awaits us in the future and without which we can’t move forward. Neither big nor small enterprises can turn a blind eye to this, because without it they won’t be competitive and that’s something they’ll simply have to introduce,” said Ivana Radic, President of the International Business Women’s Network.
Milan Peterka, head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, added that in addition to the tenders from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, for digitalisation and the green transition, it will be possible to withdraw funds from the European Union’s multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, and as much as 7 billion kuna will be available.
The conference focused on two main topics: the green transition and digitalisation, as these are increasingly current topics that the European Commission has also emphasised in the new budget period. Here in Croatia, only 15% of business entities use green technology and we’re still very much lagging behind in terms of the degree of digitalisation. Croatian companies are insufficiently prepared and insufficiently informed.
“The green transition is a strategic decision of every company and it’s a process that requires a lot of financial resources, depending on the industry in question. If we talk, for example, about the chemical industry, those funds can be very significant,” explained Mirjana Samardzic Novoselec.
She also referred to the recent research conducted by Apsolon related to digitalisation, in which Croatian companies continue to make insufficient use of digital technologies. “The coronavirus pandemic has pushed some processes forward, but this still isn’t enough,” he said.
However, there are some good examples of digitalisation and the green transition among businesses in Croatia. Blazenka Cisko Anic, the director of the Saponia Institute d.d., also spoke at the conference, at which she announced that in the coming period, Saponia plans to invest 20 million kuna in increasing its energy efficiency by using green energy through the installation of solar panels and the energy renovation of six production facilities and the company’s headquarters.
“Saponia has long since recognised the need for a green transition and for products that are environmentally friendly. Within Saponia, great care is taken of the raw materials that are purchased, the production process and standards,” said Cisko Anic.
On behalf of the Olimpias Group, their Wasatex project was presented, which enables water savings in the fabric production process, where 70 percent of the water is reused in the production process. The investment is worth a massive 1.2 million euros, half of which was obtained from EU funds, and the return on investment is two years.
Zvonko Popovic, the director of Kanaan, said that part of their planned activities when it comes to the green transition has already been implemented by Kanaan, and the next step is robotisation.
“We’ve done perhaps the most in agriculture. We bought software that now makes it much easier to control the situation out in the fields. The new equipment we bought consumes a lot less resources, both in the human and energy senses. We’ve invested almost 10 million euros in robotics, which may not be the most popular thing, and our goal in the next two years is to robotise all possible drives. The reason is that there isn’t enough manpower, and labour is becoming more expensive and the quality is declining. I must say that the only thing that pays off for the future is the purchase of state-of-the-art technology and to have adequate people who will follow it,” stated Popovic.
PlantOn CEO Mario Salai explained how their company helps farmers on the one hand and customers on the other because it allows them to nurture their remote garden through the app.
“Anyone can enter our system, apply, get 40 square metres of their plot and process what the customer wants. It may be surprising that most of the current users are family farms and companies that want to produce organic and healthy fruit and vegetables for themselves or their employees,” concluded Salai.
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