Today, on 19th September, the BTC Crystal palace hosted a press conference during which BTC Company presented a new strategic project operating in the field of sustainable development, Mission: Green. It is the first of its kind in Slovenia, with which BTC City, the most important Slovenian business, entertainment, shopping, recreational and cultural centre, is becoming an even stronger driving force in the green development of society. With a wholesome sustainable strategy, which has been developed in collaboration with the marketing agency specializing in sustainable development, Fit media d.o.o., BTC City will gradually transform itself into a green city.
With its unique business model eco-index, for which it has received a number of awards, BTC d.d. already evaluates the effect of its activities on the environment. This year, the company’s management decided to take another step in the right direction – to realize the strategic project Mission: Green.
President of the BTC Management Board Jože Mermal has stressed the importance of sustainable development for the future of BTC City, since modern trends in society are in need of significant changes if we are to have a bearable and friendly future.
“BTC City will continue to be an atractive and dynamic city of shopping, adventure and the urban way of life; a city of social and business networking. At the same time it’s becoming a driving force in the green transformation of Slovenia. We are aware that sustainable development in the city of the future is not a distant goal but an urgent reality,” said the President of BTC Management Board, Jože Mermal.
The strategy is summed up in two words: mission and green. The word mission implies action, boldness, courage, persevarance and cooperation. The colour green symbolizes hope and growth, it also connotes regeneration and the future, in fact everything that is people- and environment-friendly and sustainable.
The goal of the mission is a GREEN city in all segments, which co-creates a green capital and a green country. Green is not understood only in the sense of nature and ecology, but also in the broader sense of sustainable development. The city of the future will evolve in a symbiosis between the real and the virtual world, with new content and new technologies – all through the prism of sustainable development and social responsibility.
According to Jože Mermal, Mission: Green will include partners in all areas in the long term. The BTC Company will proceed with investments that are needed for a greener BTC City and will continue to promote green products and services, encourage green consumership and raise public awareness on the issue of green values and actions.
An important part of the strategy are the so-called green agents, who can, each in their own area, contribute to the realization of the common mission. A green agent can be absolutely anybody who is willing to act for the good of a friendly environment and green development.
Damjan Kralj, MA, director of BTC d.d. Ljubljana, presented the activities that have already been carried out within the scope of Mission: Green. Green plants have been planted at the western and eastern sides of Hall A. Numerous posters draw attention to the need for greener actions. To encourage people to walk around BTC City on foot, the first part of a green footpath has been set down, with additional parts to follow. Visitors are encouraged to use the multi-storey car park and drive around on the free-of-charge city bus. Numerous waste containers communicate BTC’s resolution to separate waste, which is at the same time an important raw material for future use.
“With the project Mission: Green, we want to invite to action as many green agents as possible. We also invite all the green-minded companies and individuals to share with us their suggestions on how to take further steps in Mission: Green together,” said Damjan Kralj, MA.
Mission: Green project manager Miha Mermal presented the green guidelines for the future: “We will continue to make our facades green, and trace new green footpaths, which will invite people to walk or cycle around the city. We will equip more collection points for separate waste collection with motivational messages that raise public awareness on the importance of adequate waste separation. We will develop our partnerships with all actors to be included in Mission: Green. In the long term, we would like to present green products and services of those interested to our visitors in various attractive ways in a green city.”
According to Miha Mermal, special attention will be given to various visitor activities. A special mobile application in connection with the green info points, which will be dynamically and interactively included in Mission: Green, will be developed.
Let us recap
Mission: Green covers several areas, among the most important ones are waste management, energy efficiency, responsible water management, sustainable traffic, safety and other areas of social responsibility. The BTC Company has already achieved several accomplished results in all these areas.
Waste is seen as raw material, which has its value. The BTC Company carefully separates waste (more than 60% of all waste is separated). The company has established a system of regular waste separation and it also has its own eco-stations and waste presses. In the Central eco-station, waste is separated in 24 different fractions.
The BTC Company lowers its energy consumption with precise planning. The company is currently replacing the energetically inefficient lighting with LED technology, which saves more than 500 thousand kWh per year, which lowers CO² emission by more than 200 tons. LED technology lowered energy consumption of big advertising boards by more than 20 times. In June 2012 the company set up its already third own solar plant. All three solar plants combined produce more than 2 million kWh of electrical energy per year. In 2008, before the start of the strategic approach of the company’s management towards more intensive realisation of the efficient energy consumption measures, BTC Company planned to consume 45 million kWh of electrical energy in 2011. With the implementation of URE measures, the actual consumption in 2011 amounted to 39.3 million kWh, which is a result of planned energy management as well as of raising awareness about energy efficiency among the employees, business partners and visitors.
The company’s water management is precisely planned and socially responsible. When additional water for the pools is needed, the BTC Company pumps water from a special geothermal hole, from which up to 3.500 cubic metres of water can be pumped monthly.
All plumbing fixtures, which are part of the Water Park Atlantis pool complex, were equipped with water shower heads, all with special nozzles, which prevent the accumulation of scale and reduce the water flow to less than 9 litres per minute, as well as guarantee a suitable microbiological quality of water.
Green traffic represents a big challenge. BTC City boasts a new electric vehicle, which picks up different types of waste. To charge its battery it needs only 18 kWh of electrical energy, which suffices for about 80 kilometres.
With the programme for rational dealing and distribution of goods, the spatial capacities of lorries are fully filled, which means that the daily distribution of goods is covered by the minimum number of transport vehicles. Lorries transport the goods by the shortest possible routes.
The BTC City Ljubljana area is covered by a free city bus. The area has lots of roundabouts, while sidewalks, bicycle and green routes are all being systematically set up. The BTC Company is trying to persuade visitors to leave their cars in the big multi-storey car parks, which have 780 free parking spaces, and either walk around BTC City or take a free ride on the city bus.
One of the most important values for the BTC Company management is providing safety and well-being for all the visitors and workers in BTC City. General, fire, traffic and other forms of safety are all being taken care of in an active manner, namely with a central video surveillance system, with BTC’s own fire unit, with the modernisation of systems preventing burglaries and fires. The BTC Company’s security guards, which help raise social awareness among visitors and shop-renters, are professionally trained. They cooperate well with the police, paramedics and firemen.
The BTC Company is trying to raise awareness among its visitors to help them better the quality of life in all areas. That is why the company sponsors sports events, environmental and humanitarian activities, organizes workshops and competitions for children, as well as co-finances purchases of children’s playground equipment, etc. The BTC Company received the Slovenian Award for Social Responsibility, HORUS 2011, the Award for an Environmentally Friendly Company (Finance 2010) and the JAPTI Award for the Most Innovative Business Model (JAPTI 2011).
Miha Mermal, project manager