The basic document on sustainability in Slovenia is the Slovenian Development Strategy.
There are other medium-term programmes which deal with future policies in this field. The basic conditions for sustainable development relate to the protection of the environment against overburdening, and this is regulated by The Environmental Protection Act. Its purpose is to promote sustainable development for society, which will make it possible to meet long-term conditions for people's health and the quality of life, as well as the conservation of biological diversity.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The conventional issues relating to social responsibility include an environmental policy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination or equal possibilities for each individual, occupational health and safety, the implementation of the principles of sustainable development for supply chain management, business ethics and the development of relations with local communities.
CSR initiative (DOP) is an initiative for Corporate Socially Responsible behaviour, and it includes all enterprises irrespective to their activities or size. CSR (Družbena odgovornost podjetja - DOP) is a concept where enterprises may voluntarily include social and environmental issues in their business activities, and in their relations with interest groups.
If a company has 50 employees or more, the employees have the right to participate in management, particularly if it concerns taking part in decision-making or exerting influence upon the contents and organisation of work. Workers may exert their rights to participate in management through the Works Council or a worker who acts in a trust capacity, a panel of workers and in the case of larger companies through workers' deputies in the Company's various organisational bodies. The means and conditions of this participation are regulated in the Worker Participation in Management Act.
The Reform of thepension scheme has introduced supplementary (voluntary) pension insurance which is divided into two types:
- individual insurance and
- collective insurance, which covers all workers insured by the same employer, who entirely or partly finances a pension scheme, and this brings him certain tax reliefs.
More information is available on the Ministry of Labour Website.
In accordance with the Corporate Income Tax Act, a taxable person may qualify for tax relief (a reduction of the tax basis) by the amount of the payments made either in cash or in kind for humanitarian, invalidity, charitable, scientific, educational, sports, cultural, ecological and religious purposes. This shall only apply up to the amount corresponding to 0.3% of the taxable person' s receipts, which are subject to taxation in the tax period concerned, but not exceeding the amount of the tax basis for the tax period in question.
More than 60 Slovenian companies with more than 28,000 employees are included in certification for the Family-friendly Company. The Certificate provides short- and long-term positive effects on the harmonization of the professional and personal life of employees, which result in a reduction in worker turnover, sick leaves, absence for nursing, the number of injuries at work etc., as well as growth in workers' satisfaction, motivation and loyalty.
The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the execution of programmes which give priority to renewable sources, which produce energy in a sustainable manner (so-called "renewable energy"), and to energy efficiency. For these and similar projects this Ministry offers financial stimuli.
One of the possibilities for a company to obtain a recognised reputation is to acquire environmental recommendations by participation in various competitions and winning prizes or certificates.
The responsible body for the establishment, management and maintenance of the national standardisation system, legally and actually similar and comparable to international systems, which is in a position to generate Slovenian national and other standards is the Slovenian Institute for Standardisation.
The ISO 9001 – this is a Standard which lays down requirements for the Systems of Quality Management, Boards of Management, Resource Management and carrying out activities relating to environmental performance and audit schemes. The ISO 9001 is based on the eight principles of Quality Management, which are fundamental for good business practices and help to improve a company’s results.
The ISO 14000 – is a Standard for Environmental Management aimed at enterprises which want to set in order their environmental issues and apply the existing regulations in a consistent manner, allocate their financial resources appropriately, specify responsibilities and provide for the continual assessment of management, procedures and processes.
The basis for the EMAS – ECO Standard is the ISO 14001 Standard, upgraded with requirements relating to the sphere of implementing legal requirements, communications with the public and the involvement of employees as well as internal assessment.
The OHSAS 18001 – is an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS) and is an international standard which helps businesses to manage their security risks and increase their effectiveness.
The Social Responsibility Standard – SA 8000 is established in particular for monitoring working conditions with regard to human rights. The Standard’s requirements include eight social principles, and additionally lays down requirements for a management system at corporate level following the model of the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Standards. It is applicable as the basis for carrying out an internal assessment, for the assessment of suppliers or for independent assessments, which is concluded by granting a certificate.
The law requires businesses to comply with minimum social and environmental rules.
Pursuing Corporate Social Responsibility
Enterprises can introduce the CSR principles voluntarily, and to the extent and in a form relating to the size of the enterprise and its strategic goals. A large company usually implements the CSR principles in its legal documents and it incorporates reports on these issues in its annual reports.
In most cases, micro and small enterprises need the help of a specialist in this sphere, who will give them advice or help in drafting a performance scheme.
The leading institutions in Slovenia for the assessment and certification of corporate management systems are the Slovenian Institute for Quality and Metrology and Bureau Veritas Slovenija.
Quality Management Standards
The enterprises which use the ISO 9000 Family Standard may increase their effectiveness and performance. Information on the Management System Standards of the ISO 9000 Standard group is available in the SIST – Slovenian Institute for Standardisation.
When an enterprise, in accordance with the requirements of various management systems, establishes a Management System it may apply for the certification procedure, from one of the authorised bodies; the leading authorised bodies in Slovenia are the Slovenian Institute for Quality and Metrology and the Bureau Veritas Slovenija.
Environmental Management Standards
The eco-labels ECO Label and EMAS are conferred by the Slovenian Environmental Agency with administrative decisions as prescribed by the EU regulations.
Standards regulating Occupational Safety
The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs is the authorised body for organising professional examinations for instructors in the field of occupational health and safety and publishes a list of authorised institutions for training and teaching the participants of courses on occupational health and safety; these institutions also act as advisers for companies relating to the organisation of a system for a safe and healthy working environment, and give advice on pursuing the provisions of the Rules on the method of drafting a Safety Declaration.
The Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility (IRDO) endeavours to connect all the key actors and perform common activities and campaigns, raising the awareness of the wider society of Slovenia. In October 2007 the Institute completed the project »CSR – Code to Smart Reality for SMEs« in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – Regional Chamber in Maribor.
The Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments organises invitations to tender and enables access to other Portals, such as the Slovenian Entrepreneurship Portal and National Entrepreneurship Fund, for example.
More information on Public-Private Partnerships is available on the Ministry of finance Website.
The Division providing support for renewable sources of energy and cost-effective technologies promotes the wider use of renewable sources of energy by subsidising investments in renewable resources and by subsidising the energy cost of households which use renewable sources. This Division also supports corporate activities relating to cost-effective technologies by subsidising the costs of energy inspections and studies on investment in introducing cost-effective technology and the use of the renewable sources of energy.
Information and advice relating to environmental programmes and awarding eco-labels are available on the Slovenian Environmental Agency Website.
The Slovenian Technology Agency performs professional, development and management tasks relating to promoting the development of technology and innovations in accordance with national programmes for research and development and other projects.
Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the implementation of programmes which give priority to renewable sources which produce energy in a sustainable manner (so-called "renewable energy") and to energy efficiency. It offers financial help for projects which deal with energy efficiency and projects relating to renewable sources. It also finances other programmes.