Participants of the educational program “Sustainability Starter” have successfully attended all lectures outlined in the program, and now they are faced with solving Sustainability challenges. In teams, with the support of mentors from leading companies, they carefully work on addressing assigned challenges such as implementing ESG strategy into everyday business operations, devising campaigns to raise awareness about food waste, assessing the sustainability of a company’s supply chain, and similar tasks. The young “Starters” will present their solutions on December 12 at the CSR & ESG Forum. 

Like the previous month, program participants had a very busy schedule in November, with six lectures on sustainable development and responsible business practices. They had the opportunity to learn from experts from leading companies in Serbia and gain practical knowledge essential for a career in these fields. 

On Monday, November 6th, the “Starters” visited OTP Bank, where they attended the lecture “Sustainability in Financial Institutions and Financing Sustainability” presented by experts Milena Mićanović, Director for Communications and Public affairs, and Sonja Miladinovski, Head of Risk Governance & ESG Risk Coordination Directorate. They discussed monitoring ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risks and promoting green financing. Following that, they presented how OTP Bank, through the Generator LAB platform, finances and promotes sustainability and the circular economy. 

On Friday, November 10, participants of the “Sustainability Starter” program attended a lecture on “Measurement and Reporting” by Zvezdana Vuletić, Corp. Affairs & Sustainability Specialist at Coca-Cola HBC Serbia. Using the practical example of this company, starters had the chance to learn about material topics, how they are determined, and how positive impact can be increased in collaboration with the local community. 

The following Tuesday, November 14, young “Starters” listened to an interesting lecture on carbon footprint reduction strategies by Teodora Pasulj, ESG manager at PWC Serbia. They delved into the theoretical and practical aspects of calculating CO2 footprint and discovered why this knowledge is increasingly important for modern business. 

Two days later, on November 16, an exciting lecture on corporate philanthropy was held by Stefan Bićanin, CSR & PR specialist at Ahold Delhaize Serbia, and Zvezdana Vuletić from Coca-Cola HBC. The young “Starters” learned why multi-stakeholder partnerships are important for contributing to the community and why supporting local communities is crucial. 

The next day, the program participants were hosted by A1 Serbia, and they discussed building the ESG strategy of the company with Branislav Jovanović, ESG manager. Our “Starters” gained insight into the business world of A1 Serbia and saw firsthand what a day looks like in the position of an ESG manager. 

In the final lecture on November 27, Milica Mišković from Smart Kolektiv addressed the topic “Who is a sustainability manager?”. Young participants learned what a person engaged in sustainability as a manager or practitioner needs to know in terms of technical knowledge and soft skills, and what trends exist regarding the demand for these positions in companies. 

We express our gratitude to all mentors for generously dedicating their time and willingly sharing their expertise. Additionally, we extend our thanks to the program participants for their active engagement, and we eagerly await their solutions to the Sustainability challenges!