We are Rightfully Expected to do Business not Only for Profit but for the Benefit of the Entire Community


Mr Vadim Smirnov, Deputy CEO of NIS, exclusively for “BIZLife, talked about meeting ESG criteria, maintaining stable business operations, and further developing the company in line with the improvement of our environment.

When it comes to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activities, how does your company plan and align them with its general objectives?

Socially responsible companies such as NIS shape their corporate strategies and policies in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. This implies our commitment to align our business goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are embedded in all company business processes. We also consider it extremely important to inform the public in a transparent and comprehensive manner about the results of our activities in the field of sustainable development. I will remind you that NIS is a pioneer in Serbia in reporting on sustainable development as we published the first such report back in 2011. The preparation of our Report is in compliance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a leading world organisation in the field of sustainable business, and this, among other things, enables us to make comparisons with the results achieved in the previous years and to monitor progress in all segments of sustainability. This is certainly important information for us in the process of further planning of ESG activities, which we approach with utmost responsibility in order for their implementation to give maximum contribution to the wider social community in the future.

How do you cooperate with other departments in the company to achieve ESG goals?

Each business segment of the company contributes to the achievement of ESG goals in its own way, through activities aimed at the modernization and development of the company and the overall sustainability of its business. It should be noted that almost EUR 4 billion have been invested in the development of NIS since 2009. For example, today we have one of the most modern refineries, as well as one of the largest retail networks in the Balkans. Over EUR 800 million have been invested in the modernization of the Refinery since 2009, of which more than EUR 95 million have been invested in environmental projects. Being aware of the importance of the company for the economy of Serbia, all our business activities are focused on preserving financial stability, which is also a key prerequisite for the achievement of our ESG goals. I would point out that in the process of planning and implementing projects that contribute to the achievement of ESG goals, cross-sectoral cooperation is extremely important. Thus, this synergy contributes to meeting ESG criteria, maintaining stable business operations, and further developing NIS, as well as the entire community.

In your opinion, what is the role of media with regard to ESG projects?

As a society, but also as individuals, we influence forming and shaping true social values with our actions. I believe that we all have an obligation to work on raising awareness about the importance of ESG goals, which should comprehensively contribute to improving the quality of life in the community in which we live and work. Education, especially at a younger age, certainly has great importance in raising awareness, which was the motivation for us in NIS to organise educational workshops on the significance of environmental protection, intended for children of different ages. Accordingly, I think the media also have a great responsibility in raising awareness of the importance of this topic through the promotion of ESG goals.

And how does the company measure (and/or report on) sustainable development and what metrics do you use to assess progress?

In order for the reports on sustainable development to achieve their full effect and purpose, they must be made to certain standards. However, NIS reports also include additional indicators that are relevant to the company operations and provide answers to potential questions of all stakeholders. These additional indicators exceed the requirements for the basic reporting level according to the GRI guidelines. Finally, the assessment of compliance of the NIS Report with GRI standards, as well as the accuracy of the listed information, is verified annually by an independent auditing company. It is always important to remember that we are not only employees of NIS but also citizens who want to improve the quality of life of the community in which we live and work. This is supported by the slogan of the NIS Sustainable Development Report for 2022, which is expected to be published soon, which reads “Our Sustainable Community” and which states that companies and individuals should make every effort to fully contribute to the achievement of the goals.

How do you see the role of ESG evolving in your company and the wider business environment for years to come?

In its reports, NIS recognizes 12 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to which it contributes, which is more than some global oil companies. The very fact that we are able to contribute to general progress and that we are improving it year after year clearly speaks about the importance of ESG. These areas are becoming imperative in a modern business environment. We are rightfully expected to do business not only for profit but for the benefit of the entire community because the needs of the community have never been greater and more complex. To meet them, we must first ensure good business results and the long-term sustainability of our operations, while at the same time, we want to set an example for others on how they can share their success with the community. Since 2009, we have invested more than RSD 4.9 billion in the community through various socially responsible programmes. Further investment in this field will be a priority in the future as well.


Milentija Popovića 1
11070 Beograd