Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Good Energy Tour to Promote Solar Energy in Croatian Cities

October 13, 2021 - Solar energy in Croatian cities will be promoted thanks to the Good Energy tour, held for the second time in October and November this year. 

The Green Energy Cooperative (ZEZ) announces that, in cooperation with the European initiative Covenant of Mayors, the Association of Cities, and the Island Movement, it will conduct a Good Energy tour for the second time in October and November to promote solar energy in Croatian cities, reports Jutarnji List.

The first edition of the tour was held in autumn 2020 when the cooperative visited 11 Croatian cities in continental Croatia and Istria, and this year will include 12 new cities in northern and central Croatia (Čakovec, Ludbreg, Prelog, Zaprešić, Ivanić-Grad), Slavonia (Slavonski Brod, Pleternica, Slatina) and the coast and islands (Zadar, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Hvar).

"With 0.5 percent of electricity obtained from the sun, Croatia is at the bottom of the European Union in terms of using its solar potential. The Good Energy Tour is one of the initiatives we want to encourage its greater use. That is why we gave priority in choosing the host cities of this year's edition to cities that have stood out in their application for our public call for their commitment and readiness to invest further in solar energy, especially in the context of achieving the goals of the European Green Plan."

The cost of installing a home solar power plant, installation conditions, necessary documentation, opportunities for co-financing, association with fellow citizens to exchange energy, as stated in the notice, are just some of the valuable information that citizens will have the opportunity to learn first hand at free training on solar energy in the host cities of the Good Energy tour.

"The use of solar energy is no longer a matter of the distant future. Home solar power plants are affordable and usable in every part of Croatia, and we want to help citizens realize them in a way that will be maximally profitable for them," said the Green Energy Cooperative.

They also state that the campaign is locally focused to bring the opportunities related to the use of solar energy closer to as many citizens as possible through direct communication and encourage understanding of solar energy as a local resource that can be a carrier of Croatian cities. In addition to training on the installation of domestic solar power plants, the Green Energy Cooperative will support 12 host cities in the development and investment in solar energy projects through advisory activities as part of the tour.

They invite all citizens interested in participating in the free education to pre-register via the application form. The first cities that ZEZ will visit as part of the tour are Čakovec on October 19, Ludbreg on October 21, and Prelog on October 26, and detailed information on training in each city and tour schedule can be found on the website of the Green Energy Cooperative www.zez.coop.

The Croatian Parliament passed the Electricity Market Act on 1 October, an essential law in the green transition that transposes all the provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on standard rules for the internal market in electricity and amending Directive 2012/27 / EU (OJ L 158, 14.6.2019).

Adopting the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration, which has passed the first reading, is also expected and is adopted following Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on access to energy from renewable sources. The proposal for this law should be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia at the end of October 2021, and its entry into force is expected by the end of November 2021.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Panel: Green Transition Must Be Just; Transport, Building Renovation Top Challenges

ZAGREB, 11 Sept, 2021 - The green transition must be just and Croatia's biggest challenges are transport and the energy renovation of buildings, heard a panel on the challenges and opportunities provided by the European Green Deal, held in Fažana on Saturday.

"There is no green transition without a just social transition," said Lidija Pavić-Rogošić, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee.

The Commission has proposed the establishment of a new social climate fund to help citizens invest in energy efficiency, new heating and cooling systems, and cleaner mobility. The Commission is proposing up to €1.4 billion for Croatia for the 2025-2032 period.

Pavić-Rogošić called for including relevant stakeholders in defining policies and for adopting solutions that met the needs of the local population.

Hana Huzjak of the European Commission Representation in Croatia said the Fit For 55 targets could be met if every individual contributed.

The Fit For 55 legislative package envisages reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 55% by 2030 from those in the 1990s, the end goal being to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

Thanks to many hydroelectric power plants and the development of wind parks, Croatia is above the EU average in electricity production from renewables, said Dražen Jakšić, head of the Hrvoje Požar Institute, adding that transport and the energy renovation of buildings were Croatia's biggest green transition challenges.

The participants in the panel were agreed that it was necessary to educate and inform citizens about how to get involved in the green transition.

Funding for the energy renovation of buildings may be obtained via the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, said Tin Bašić, editor of the Zgradonačelnik.hr. platform, adding that it was necessary to educate people that by investing in their building, they would save in the long term and have lower utility bills.

In the EU, buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Besides having a positive effect on the environment, the energy renovation of buildings is expected to reduce the risk of energy poverty. In 2018, 17.5% of Croatian citizens could not pay their utilities in time, while the EU average was 6.6%.

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Friday, 13 November 2020

Valamar Riviera Receives the Highest Recognition for Social Responsibility

November 13, 2020 - The Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce have recognized Valamar's green business philosophy, as Valamar Riviera receives the highest recognition for social responsibility.

Namely, HRTurizam reports that Valamar Riviera is the best large company in Croatia according to the CSR Index for 2019.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Index (CSR Index) evaluates the practices of the most successful companies in Croatia, taking into account seven key areas - economic sustainability, the inclusion of corporate social responsibility in business strategy, work environment, environmental protection, market relations, community relations and responsible policies diversity and protection of human rights.

Valamar Riviera is a leading Croatian tourism company that continuously invests in employees, products, and destinations with extremely great concern for sustainable development and socially responsible business. It has invested more than 400 million kuna in the past five years.

"In this challenging year for the entire economy, especially for tourism, the importance of responsible business, and the quality of relations with stakeholders were crucial for successful crisis management. In the crisis, Valamar acted quickly to preserve jobs, liquidity, and key resources to be ready for the recovery period. We have succeeded in this largely due to the trust of employees, shareholders, and partners in the long-term sustainability of our business. Therefore, we are extremely proud to be recognized as the best large company in Croatia in the field of social responsibility and sustainable business," said Ivana Budin Arhanić, Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Affairs at Valamar Riviera.

Through the "Good job at Valamar" program, Valamar provides systematic care for its employees and has been declared the most desirable employer in tourism in Croatia and is the 6th best employer in Croatia.

In 2019, Valamar also launched a comprehensive educational platform for employee development and education called Valamar Excellence, which provides employees with more than 160,000 hours of training per year. In 2020, Valamar preserved all jobs through the "Pause, Restart" program, which will continue until the beginning of the next tourist season with the support of the Government and social partners.

Around HRK 97 million has been invested in the "Green Valamar" program in the past 5 years, and 100 percent of the electricity in Valamar's hotels, resorts and camping resorts comes from renewable sources. Over a period of several years, Valamar has managed to reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 percent and has also implemented several photovoltaic power plants at many tourist facilities in its portfolio.

“In the coming period, Valamar will continue to focus on renewable energy sources and cooperation with local suppliers, in which Valamar is already an important partner to local producers through the Valfresco Direkt online store, which includes more than 100 small producers and family farms across Croatian. Valamar will continue with the "plastic-free" initiative by replacing disposable plastic packaging with environmentally friendly ones, as well as other initiatives aimed at significantly reducing the carbon footprint, contributing to responsible destination development, and supporting sustainable tourism development in Croatia," Valamar concludes.

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Monday, 18 November 2019

Zagreb Sustainable Architecture: First Green Buildings Downtown!

Downtown Zagreb will soon be getting its first green sustainable buildings! VMD Model, a developer based in Zagreb, will shortly begin construction on a unique green project right in the center of the city. It will revitalize a block in Donji grad, right next to the former Nada Dimić factory on Branimirova ulica, which is currently a large neglected space and parking lot.

As Korana Sutlić/Novac/JutarnjiList reveals in an exclusive on November 17, 2019; the 3LHD architecture studio won the competition for preliminary design of the project, which was conducted by VMD Model. Everything will be arranged around one fundamental concept: A new park; not just a neighborhood!

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New Zagreb Green Spaces

Although this is primarily a residential project in the center of bustling Zagreb, it will be defined by green spaces, peace and quiet. Cars will not be visible within the neighborhood, but hidden underground. In addition to enhancing the value of the natural environment, this setting will reduce the effects of the urban heat island, noise and CO2 emissions. The buildings will also house Zagreb's very first vertical gardens. The block will not be closed off and the public will have access to a new park and passage from Branimirova to Ulica kneza Borne, much like the existing Ratkajev prolaz.

The project will be situated on a block of Zagreb, which follows the railway line, and is bordered by Branimirova, Bornina, Domagojeva and Erdödyeva streets. The site is a residential and industrial block, which housed the former Nada Dimić and Penkala factories. Since their closure in the 1990s, the buildings between the two streets have collapsed and have been demolished. This has created a large empty open space in the heart of the city, which offers an opportunity to create a valuable urban-architectural space. In recent decades, there have been several projects in this zone, which have led to a significantly higher building density than the current VMD Model project proposal.

- An analysis of the traditional blocks in Zagreb’s Donji grad revealed that public passages have always been present, and the creation of parks within the blocks of high-rise buildings, originated the concept of the new green urban block - says Saša Begović, architect, and one of the founders of the 3LHD studio.

High Standard of Urban Living

This feature of Zagreb's Donji grad block structure, which inspired the project, will promote a high standard of urban living and distinct lifestyle and cultural opportunities all within a high urban density environment. The layout of the planned neighborhood will provide space for multiple purposes: housing, business and recreation.

 A pedestrian path will be created between the north-south block of Branimirova ulica and Bornina ulica, and will replace the traditional block structure there.

- In contrast to the restrained design of the street façades, the interior of the block will be indented by multiple buildings surrounded by a park, whose dimensions and floor plans will be cascaded in height, closely corresponding with the park and green gardens within the block. A fundamental component of ​​the new block will be the pedestrian connection of the two streets, clear visibility, access to the city and the block, and the creation of a new large green area: an urban park within the interior of the block - explains Saša Begović, adding that the introduction of the park will improve the quality of housing not only for the residents within the block, but also those living in surrounding buildings.

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Green Apartments and Townhouses

The project will include several different residential categories. Two-story houses (so-called townhouses) will be situated in a row with gardens, which will offer a very high quality of life and will be connected to the terrain, within the quiet interior of the block. There will also be apartments with larger terraces, which enhance the quality of outdoor living, and apartments with large walkways, city views and recognizable Zagreb vistas. The largest apartments will be housed on the top floor and have terraces with views of the entire city of Zagreb.

- We believe that, in partnership with a respected investor like VMD Model, we will be able to complete this very interesting project, which provides Zagreb with a new green urban oasis right in the heart of the city - says Saša Begović from 3LHD.

Neven Mikec, the Director of VMD Model, also shared his thoughts about the project, which will be a major stride in home construction.

- When we purchased this space, which has unfortunately been long-neglected, our desire was to create a green oasis, not only for the residents but for the entire block, and for the city of Zagreb. The project's vision is a new park for the city, not a new neighborhood. The main motive is to create something new, which is in line with green and sustainable construction - says Neven Mikec.

He is very pleased, he adds, with his choice of the winning entry, because the architects of 3LHD studio were inspired by his idea to add a "green theme" to the city center.

- It is also a project with much lighter building density than previous urban projects in this area. This layout will include residential spaces along with park architecture. The block will not be closed off for residents but open to the entire neighborhood - adds Mikec.

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Engaging Local Artists

This project is a novelty in residential construction, and like the one completed last year on Buzanova ulica, it insists on sustainable construction. That project, which offers the benefit of a micro-community, will be taken a step further by the creators of the project on Branimirova ulica. Young artists have also been hired for the exterior of the building on Buzanova ulica, and will find ways to incorporate their art there, says Neven Mikec.

- We have never backed a housing construction project like this, and it will be the pride of our company and the city - he says.

The project will also include a kindergarten, which will be accessible to everyone, and offer plenty of outdoor space, and a playground for children, whom will be surrounded by greenery all day. Flower boxes will adorn the buildings and “green walls” are also in the plans. Rainwater harvesting will supply water for the greenery maintenance system. Plants will be cared for by VMD service, the company which maintains their other buildings.

On the ground floor there will be several townhouses with two stories with a garden. At the request of the investor, the project was conceived so that parking, garbage disposal and similar components will all be hidden underground.

- It would be great if our project inspires the further visual improvement of the neighborhood - Mikec adds.

The exact details, however, cannot be revealed yet, because this is still a conceptual design, he adds. The development and design will follow, so there is still no set price for the apartments, for example.

- We hope that we can start work in the spring - Neven Mikec concludes.

The completion of this project will certainly contribute to the development of this part of Zagreb. It will also create a very attractive space on the upper portion of Branimirova ulica, which has already improved to some extent with the renovation of the Branimir Center and Hotel Canopy. In the long run, it will be connected to the neighboring Gredelj zone, which is also undergoing revitalization.

For more information on Zagreb life, follow our Lifestyle section here. Also check out our sections: Made in Croatia here and Business here for the latest construction projects and real estate developments in Croatia.

For information on their upcoming architecture projects, check out the 3HLD website here.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Rovinj Weekend Media Festival Latest in Croatia to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

September 12, 2019 - The Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj is the latest event in Croatia to fight against single-use plastics.

Glas Istre reports that the 12th edition of the largest communications festival in the region, which takes place from 19 to 22 September in Rovinj, will feature specially designed washable cups for the first time to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Along with the festival logo, the glasses will display an encouraging message that 'by using this glass, you are saving the planet'. After use, visitors will be able to bring the glass home as an extra souvenir from the ‘best Weekend of the year’.

"The Weekend Media Festival always thinks green, which can also be seen in the visual identity and decoration of the festival space itself. We do not consider ecology to be just a trend, but a lifestyle. By going without single-use plastics at the festival, we want to raise awareness about ecology and take care of nature as much as we can,” said Tomo Ricov, director of the Weekend Media Festival.

Washable glasses will be available at the bars located inside the festival complex at the Old Tobacco Factory Rovinj. Visitors will be able to bring their glasses with them, but also leave them at designated places/points.

This year's Weekend brings more than 150 speakers and panelists, and over three days, over 5,000 participants from all countries in the region will be able to enjoy the vibrant festival program, which will take place in five parallel halls. A novelty is the Weekend Masterclass, which brings the legendary leader Tag Heuer and Hublot Jean-Claude Biver to the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj. The duo will unveil the secrets of running luxury brands on Thursday, September 19 at 11 am, thus opening this year's festival program. 

You can find out what current media topics and interesting lecturers and experts can be expected at this year's Weekend in the detailed program on the official festival page.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Green Organizations Gather for Earth Day Cleanups!

For the sixth time in Croatia, Saturday, April 22nd (Earth Day), will host the largest ecological national campaign "Green Cleanup - One Day for a Clean Environment", which will once again bring together volunteers from all over Croatia.

Monday, 6 March 2017

4th Good Economy through Good Examples Conference held in Zagreb this Month

For the fourth consecutive year, the Good Economy Conference will be held in the great hall of Matica hrvatskih obrtnika at Ilica 49 in Zagreb from March 23 to 25, 2017.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

VIDEO: Gorski Kotar, Green Heart of Croatia, Like You've Never Seen Before

Prepare to be "mesmerized" by this video of Gorski Kotar from a team of creative and passionate Croatian photographers and videographers.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Design District Zagreb Goes Green this Year

Design District Zagreb will take place this June.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sustainable Hotels in Croatia: Terme Sveti Martin

Total Eco Croatia continues our look at the sustainable hotels of Croatia with Terme Sveti Martin located in Sveti Martin na Muri in Međimurje County.

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