ODD & The Kedgers|


During our journey in Zagreb (Croatia); ODD&THEKEDGERS has met organisations from different sectors: a private organization, a National Chamber of Economy and a NGO! Let’s continue our cross-sectoral meetings in the Croatian capital at the Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE in English = HGK in Croatian), where we have met Mrs Dijana Varlec, Expert Associate at CCE, Mrs Iva Soza, Professional Associate in the Industry and Sustainable Development Sector at CCE and Mrs Andreja Pavlovic, CCE CSR Affiliation’s President. Let’s dedicate this article on what our three interviewees have shared with us!

Organizational Overview of the Croatian Chamber of Economy

Established in 1852 under the name “Chamber of Commerce and Crafts”, the CCE is an independent professional and business organization for all legal entities engaging in business within the Republic of Croatia. Consistent with all chamber systems, its mission is to represent its Croatian economic members on the national market (with 19 county chambers) and on international markets (with representative offices in Belgium, Russian Federation, Republic of China, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in order to harmonize and protect its members interests before the state bodies, participate in shaping the economic system and economic policy measures, promote the National economy abroad, … To make it possible, the CCE operates in 17 sectors & departments, organizes a work through 63 associations and affiliations that gather companies from very different fields and topics. What a large panel of activities!

To make it easier for us in this wide range of activities that the CCE has, Mrs Dijana Varlec has chosen to focus on the CCE’s Industry and Sustainable Development Sector under which the Corporate Social Responsibility Affiliation (CSR Affiliation) is formed by inviting Mrs Iva Soza and Mrs Andreja Pavlovic. Why did Mrs Dijana Varlec choose to make us meet the CCE’s CSR Affiliation ? Obviously because it has a specific project (to discover below) totally linked to ODD&THEKEDGERS’ reason of being! Beside a number of value affiliations at the CCE, the CSR Affiliation is recognized to be the frontrunner in the area of the SDGs. Let’s discover the CCE’s CSR Affiliation and its commitments for sustainability in the next part!

Iva Soža, Andreja Pavlović, Célia Chrétien, Fabian Collinet and Diana Varlec


The CCE’s CSR Affiliation evolution

Firstly, following the need to raise the CCE members’ awareness on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the CCE’s CSR Affiliation was created in 2005 in order to accelerate the development of strategies consistent with CSR by promoting its principles and the good practices in all the Croatian economic sectors. They wanted to show that CSR was (and still is!) a valuable contributor to competitiveness of Croatia while the country was entering the EU.

Secondly, following the changes from the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) to new international directions taken in 2015 for the 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the CCE’s CSR Affiliation moved its reason of being on the SDGs and put these global goals at the heart of its activity.

Today, the CCE’s CSR Affiliation led by Mrs Andreja Pavlovic gathers 50 members, a wide range of companies: micro, small, medium sized and big companies from all sectors. Its mission? Help the companies to implement the SDGs in their activities. To achieve it, the CCE’s CSR Affiliation has different methodologies and tools to get a better understanding of SDGs and boost their implementation: here occurs the HGK_COR AKCELERATOR that we have focused on during our interview and that you will discover in the next part dedicated to point out its commitments for sustainability.

Focus on a specific project commitments for sustainability: the HGK_COR AKCELERATOR

First time for ODD&THEKEDGERS, a shooting during a meeting! In fact, the CCE has published an article of our meeting held the 28 of October, 2020 (Click here read the CEE’s article dedicated to our meeting). Both the CEE’s article and the ODD&THEKEDGERS’ article (that you are currently reading) are putting forward the HGK_COR AKCELERATOR.

As mentioned in the CCE’s Communication On Engagement (COE) of 2019 and reminded by Mrs Andreja Pavlovic during the interview, HGK_COR AKCELERATOR is a multi-stakeholders platform for SDGs promotion and implementation in Croatia. This interactive platform gathers different organizations and promotes partnership between the business sector, state institutions and the civil sector in achieving the SDGs in Croatia. Through education, workshops and conferences on SDGs’ implementation, the platform aims to strengthen the understanding and importance of SDGs in building an economically prosperous, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable society. To understand this project clearly, let’s discover the GOOD PRACTICE SHEET we have done, supported by 3 TOOLS !


Could the Croatian Chamber of Economy be your next experience ?

Beside the purpose to make Kedgers (Kedge Business School’s students) aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, ODD&THEKEDGERS aims to inform the managers of tomorrow of responsible opportunities abroad in the associative, private and public sectors. That’s why at the end of our interview with Mrs Dijana Varlec, Mrs Iva Soza and Mrs Andreja Pavlovic, we have not hesitated to ask some questions for you in order to know to whom this organization could turn for a professional experience abroad.

If the CCE does not use to have international students, our interviewees revealed to us that it could be a good idea for some project aside supported by the CCE! Concerning the type of position, VOLUNTEERING for the conferences, their communication and their organization. Precisely, our interviewees are thinking of volunteering possibilities for the upcoming We sustain sustainability_2021 conference! If you are interested in this activity area, it could be a great opportunity abroad!

Precious words of our interviewees for the students that we are at Kedge

Before leaving, let’s soak up our interviewee’s advice !

“Be yourselves, we need new generations, you have fresh ideas, fresh blood. You have to use existing knowledge in the business community to improve what you are doing. And business companies will benefit from this new and fresh look.” – D.Varlec

“What new generations have is so much more, so much more that we have [old generation]. And if you have the ability to combine your knowledge and use what we are leaving to you it will be awesome.” – D.Varlec

“You have to be open to take the experience that the business community has to offer.” – D.Varlec

“You need to understand the company’s values. They have written values and unwritten values. And young people, in order to understand companies, need to understand their values. You talk through people through your values.” – A.Pavlovic

“All reports said that generation Z and Alpha have very strong values and what they stand for. In order businesses to better understand the young generation, they [young generation] have to say clearly what they stand for.” – A.Pavlovic


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