Peter Kopietz, CEO of Zagorka, part of Heineken
Zagorka has been an integral part of Bulgarian life since 1902 when its first brewery in Stara Zagora opened. For 27 years, the company has been part of the Heineken group. It provides the Bulgarian market and society with much more than excellent beer – environmental care and social responsibility. We talked about it with Peter Kopietz.
This year again, Zagorka is one of Bulgaria's greenest companies. What stands behind that recognition?
Great responsibility, but also – satisfaction. Every year with our platform "Brewing a better world" we upgrade our goals and share new positive changes. Our strategy is long-term with desire for changes and finding solutions to prominent social and environmental issues.
In 2020 as well, we followed our own 6 directions which are part of the UN's sustainable development goals, and we put maximum effort in supporting the local communities. We helped those in greatest need, supported the business of our customers and suppliers and we took part in different social projects. We showed that we want not only to change but to also inspire and motivate a change. In this way, sustainable development is part of our employees, clients and partners, too.
People are the heart of our business. We had announced zero work-related accidents this year, and we provided a safe working environment during COVID-19. We continue encouraging responsible consumption with our non-alcoholic Zero Zone portfolio. As a green company, our responsibility for the environment is a main priority. In the last year, we also reduced CO2 emissions with 70% and moved from second to first stage of wastewater treatment. Behind our results stand a lot of work and a great dedication to the cause for a better world for us all.
How did you respond to the 2020 challenge and the pandemic?
We had to adapt to the challenging business situation but more importantly – to support our communities and partners at a moment when every gesture was of great significance.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we helped the most affected with medical equipment, supplies, and financially. We donated funds and products from our Zero Zone portfolio to hospitals, NGOs and food banks in Stara Zagora and Sofia, and we supported 1,500 sites and HoReCa clients with masks in the first weeks of the pandemic. Our efforts went beyond the company. Our colleagues backed different volunteer initiatives, and our brands realized a series of social initiatives like the digital exhibition in support of Bulgarian artists organized by Starobrno. Together with some NGOs we provided IT equipment to disadvantaged families.
What does the future look like for Zagorka?
Our future is based on the same values that determine our actions right now – care for people, focus on the environment, and responsibility towards society. As part of the global Heineken strategy for sustainable development for 2030, we step on three important foundations – social and environmental sustainability, and responsible consumption. We are working to provide an even more inclusive and diverse environment, a safe workplace and an overall positive impact on society. Our green policy is striving not only for elimination of harmful emissions and responsible use of water resources by 2030, but also for zero waste production by 2025. Last but not least, we continue to work on our campaigns for responsible consumption to address road safety and underage drinking. The future of Zagorka is dynamic and inspired.