Slovenian Cases

Chemical company and environmental responsibility

positive experiences of the partnership between a public sector and a profit organisation in preservation of water resources and raising of public awareness

Keywords:
public awareness
public-private partnership
sanitation of caves and wells
preservation of water resources

Problem
From the year 1998, the chemical company HELIOS earmarks 50 slovenian tolars (cca. 0,20 euro) of every litre of environmental friendly products sold into the Helios’ fund for preservation of Slovenian water.

At the beginning, the Helios’ fund for preservation of Slovenian water earmarked its finances for cleaning of many karst caves and abysses, which were executed by a number of chosen caving clubs. Between the years of 1998 to 2001, approximately 240 cubic meters of litter were cleaned from the caves. The litter consisted mostly of cadavers (leftovers of cattle slaughtering), plastic and thin packaging, broken household appliances and car-bodies, as well as of other domestic wastes. Cleaning of karst caves and abysses effectivelly reduced the risk of polluting drinking water resources.

The project even has another positive effect. It serves as a tool for raising public awareness about environmental issues within the area. Caving clubs report that majority of the caves have remained clean, and life is slowly returning to most of them.

In 1999, a different sanitation project started – the restoration and revitalization of Slovenian rural and municipal wells. The priority is given to wells with an important architectural, typological or spatial value. Another important criterion for the selection is the possibility of successful revitalization and integration of a well within the life of a local community. Besides the renovation of a well and its close surrounding, a great importance is given also to the protection of the area from where the well receives its water. Only this can assure clean drinking water in a particular well. In some places, renovated and revitalized wells with clean drinking water are now included in the local tourist offer.


Photo: Marko Simic
Who, where, results
In 1998, the chemical company HELIOS and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning set up Helios’ fund for preservation of Slovenian water. From every litre of environmental friendly products sold 50 slovenian tolars (cca. 0,20 euro) goes into the fund. Until the end of 2004, seventeen karst caves and abysses were cleaned and thirty three wells were restored all around Slovenia, while for the year 2005 restoration of additional eight wells is planned.

Photo: Marko Simic
Further information
www.helios.si/pregled.php

COMMENTS AND THEORY
A particular commercial move of a business company can have positive effects for the company as well as for the environment and public

QUESTION

How can a business company promote environmental issues?

 

Prepared by:
IIDE – Institute for Integral Development and Environment (Marta Vahtar, Maja Zdesar and Miran Rusjan)

 


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