As part of the traditional HGK Support sustainably conference, ESG rating HGK awards were awarded for the first time in six categories: best small, medium, large, public company, financial institution, and an award for an example of a sustainable business model. ESG rating is a rating assigned to an organization based on its approach to the environment (Environment), society (Social) and adopted management practices (Governance). In addition to the national evaluation model developed by HGK, it is also a new HGK award that the chamber will award annually to companies with the best results.
“Today, income growth is often equated with development, we act as if we will never run out of resources. However, ESG is not an alternative view of business or investments. When we consider the geopolitical, energy and resource crises, the need for ESG transformation becomes more and more pronounced. Our winners today are well aware of this,” said Tomislav Radoš, Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Industry and Sustainable Development.
In the ESG rating HGK category for the best sustainable small company, the winner was Schiedel chimney production. The company is focused on socially and environmentally responsible business, with reduced energy consumption and low emissions, it produces highly efficient solutions.
AquafilCRO is the winner in the category of the best sustainable medium-sized company. The company continuously works to protect workers and human rights, invest in the social community and is committed to building a resilient, sustainable and ethical supply chain.
ESG rating HGK for the best large sustainable company went to Muraplast. They recycle 96 percent of waste, used water is fully reused, and use 86 percent of energy from renewable energy sources.
The winners were presented with awards in two forms. The first is a physical prize, which is the work of academic artist Silvio Vujičić, and the second is a prize in the form of a digital asset – NFT (non-fungible token), which was created by the company Lumen Spei from Osijek. Physical rewards created by recycling aluminum discarded items from the CIOS Zagreb landfill. The second part of the award’s creative concept is unique digital certificates in the form of NFTs, stored on the blockchain network, which contain personalized service packages of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, created especially for each of the winners.
“Our aim is to further highlight the importance and recognition of the digital transformation of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the availability of an increasing number of e-services through the Digital Chamber platform,” said Radoš.
In addition to the key benefit of attracting capital and investors, companies will be able to evaluate their ESG performance and gain insight into risk exposure by using HGK’s ESG rating as a tool. They can monitor their progress and adjust their business strategy, as well as compare their business with other companies in the sector and increase competitiveness.
Of course, there is also the reputational factor with key stakeholders, from shareholders and employees to all external partners. The criteria are aligned with regulations, requirements of financial institutions and the capital market, and the specifics of individual industries. Part of the information is collected through a completed ESG questionnaire, and the rest is based on public data, from financial to, for example, estimates of greenhouse gas emissions for a particular activity. The collected indicators are interpreted with regard to the industry. After the analysis, each company receives an individual report and suggestions for improving the results.