Valamar leading in ESG in Croatia

Published 26. January 2024.

Business media platform Bloomberg Adria and EcoVadis, a global agency for business sustainability, rated Valamar with the highest marks for sustainability and ESG practices in Croatia.

According to the latest Bloomberg analysis, Valamar Riviera achieved the best ESG rating in Croatia. Bloomberg Adria ESG ratings are based on data from publicly available sources for the most successful companies on the Zagreb Stock Exchange. Valamar stood out with the highest overall ESG score of 4.41 as the only hospitality company on the list and the only company with a total score above 4. Valamar achieved excellent results in all categories - environment, society and governance.

Concurrently, EcoVadis, a global agency that evaluates a broad range of sustainability areas, awarded Valamar a silver medal. Thus, Valamar became the first Croatian hospitality company whose sustainability practices have been recognized globally. EcoVadis rates environmental effects, workers’ and human rights, ethics and sustainable supply, and their mark has been recognized globally by international institutions, investors and banks. Solely the TOP 15% of companies evaluated by EcoVadis reach the silver level.

In 2023, Valamar continued its focused investing in sustainability. Consequently, the company covers 100% of its electrical energy needs from renewable sources, with solar power plants providing 6% of power in Valamar’s hotels and campsites. With EUR 65 million invested in renewables, energy efficiency, destination development, and numerous supporting programs for employees and the community, since 2015 greenhouse emissions have been reduced by 67%. Likewise, Valamar realized further investments in decarbonization aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2026. During 2023, the company reported on indirect carbon emissions footprint in the supply chain for the first time and developed sustainable procurement criteria that will become mandatory for all suppliers in the coming period. Through various initiatives to preserve natural resources and biodiversity, Valamar manages over 80,000 trees and plants thousands of new trees with guests annually.

“These excellent ESG ratings have once again positioned Valamar at the very top of sustainable business in the region and the world. Sustainable tourism creates long-term value for guests, employees, investors and destinations while preserving natural resources and contributing to the community's quality of life. The foundation of sustainable business in Valamar is continuous investment in hotels and resorts, quality of services, employee education and development of destinations. Our goal is to achieve a gold ESG rating by 2025 and thereby strengthen Valamar's recognition as a leader in sustainable business in tourism in Europe," said Ivana Budin Arhanić, a member of the Valamar Management Board.

Supporting the national economy and the development of local products and services are essential links in sustainable tourism development. Hence, Valamar sourced 78% of food and beverages from Croatia last year and employed as many as 83% of domestic workers. Some of the most important social projects in 2023 were the construction of a kindergarten in Poreč, increasing its childcare capacities, supporting the children's summer camp "Društvo naša djeca" and the donation of Valfresco's healthy meals for schools in Labin throughout the school year.

In September 2023, Valamar became the first Croatian hospitality company to join the UN Global Compact - the world's largest sustainable development initiative, and the global "Science Based Targets" (SBTi) initiative, which brings together companies that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and climate science. Two years in a row (in 2022 and 2023), Valamar received the Green Prix - a national award for successful green projects.