BGBC was invited to be an official partner of the Net Zero Economy Forum, organized by Capital newspaper.
This large-scale event brought together senior experts from different areas of the economy, representatives of financial institutions - the EIB and banks operating in Bulgaria, political and economic leaders from Bulgaria and Europe, all of them directly involved in researching the opportunities and development of the zero carbon and circular economy.
The forum was opened by Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the EIB and the owner of Economedia Ivo Prokopiev. Their welcome addresses were followed by a speech by Radan Kanev, MEP from DB.
The panels addressed a range of issues in the area of measuring and monitoring of CO2 emissions from different economic sectors and their impact on our environment and future. Each sector of the economy has a direct impact on the climate through its carbon emissions. Professionals from the different sectors examined the mechanisms of this impact, the possibilities to mitigate it and shared best practices, proving that a zero-carbon economy is not only feasible for every sector, but also significantly more financially viable.
As an organization in the field of urban development and construction, we will focus on the panel devoted to our topic:"Green Buildings, Materials and Technologies", with the participation of Rossen Papazov, Executive Director of Holcim Bulgaria, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Emanuela Manolova, Development Manager at Aurubis, Konstantin Zlatev, Executive Director of GBS Plovdiv and moderated by Arch. Vesela Valcheva-McGee, BGBC Board member. Given the alarming statistics that approximately 40% of the GHG emissions come from buildings, the construction sector is one of the main to be blamed for the carbon footprint and bears a serious responsibility for limiting it. Our colleagues presented a range of innovations in construction materials (responsible for 1/3 of the above 40% themselves) and innovative ways of construction. "Holcim Bulgaria" already uses over 85% alternative fuels, and produces composite cements, made of ash from TPPs, which products are not only an example of circular economy, but also of a competitive material with constantly growing sales. A similar innovative material is the iron silicate, produced by Aurubis, widely used in construction, which is in fact a by-product - another example of circular economy. "GBS Plovdiv” informed the audience about starting the mass use and purchasing process of hybrid construction equipment, about using photovoltaics to power their construction sites and exclusively purchasing local construction materials. All of the above significantly contribute to the limitation of emissions from the company sites.
Another part of the programme "Industry as an engine of transition" also gave a good example, coming from the economy in Bulgaria. "Thrace Economic Zone" in the city of Plovdiv shows that companies, who inhabit the same industrial park can strive for a zero-carbon economy together and become a serious driver for sustainable change not only in business, but also in the shared space, originally created to be a "green" economic zone. A number of joint projects are currently being implemented by the inhabitants of the largest industrial zone project in Eastern Europe - Schneider Bulgaria and the owners of the zone. A good practice was also demonstrated by ZMM Holding, a company with mainly PVV powered manufacturing processes. In the discussion took part: Eng. Maria Topchiyska, Executive Director of Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Eastern Europe, Ivan Velev, Portfolio Manager at ACT Commodities, Eng. Vassil Tsanev, Executive Director of ZMM Holding. The panel discussion was moderated by Julian Popov, European Climate Foundation.
An important tool for emissions reducing are the various GHG calculation systems. Such calculations are also part of the ESG company analysis. The Bulgarian Stock Exchange established the Green Finance & Energy Centre - a Think-tank whose aim is to reduce emissions, transform business towards sustainability and promote ESG among companies in our country. The Board members of the Green Finance & Energy Centre Sasha Bezuhanova, Nikolay Garnev and Ivan Tsankov, together with Assoc. Prof. Manyu Moravenov, Ph.D., Chairman of the Centre and Executive Director of the BSE, discussed the necessity and actual impact of the implementation of ESG analysis among the Bulgarian business.
On a larger scale, affecting all economic spheres, we will share a few highlights from the presentation of the top expert in the field of emissions and climate change, Mr. Maxfield Weiss, CEO of CDP Europe. Mr. Weiss sounded the alarm about the low percentage of companies within the EU with carbon targets and visible emissions, leading to the conclusion that there is an urgent need for medium and small businesses to get involved adequately with limiting their emissions. He recommended in our country this process to be started by the government with settlement of science-based mitigation strategies that include transparency, measurable targets and methodologies to limit carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy at national level.