#SOFIA4CSR - Foresting is investing for a better city

Edited on 29/04/2022

Sofia, CITIES4CSR project partner, is the Capital of Bulgaria and the largest political, administrative, cultural and educational centre in the country. Featuring strong agglomeration economics and innovative business development, the City of Sofia’s economy accounts for over 42 % of national GDP and is a home of more than 1.3 million inhabitants, which is almost 20% of total population of Bulgaria. Like most large cities, Sofia also faces challenges related to the rapid development of the city and the need for this to happen sustainably. The sustainable development of the city is an important, but also a large-scale task for local authorities and that is why the involvement of all stakeholders is key to success.

The participation of local stakeholders in the sustainable development of the city is recognized in the newly adopted strategic documents of the municipality as well and in this regard, the participation of Sofia in the CITES4CSR project has an important role in improving dialogue and strengthening cooperation on corporate social responsibility. In the process of project implementation and a series of meetings with ULG representatives of more than 25 business organizations, NGOs and educational institutions, all participants reaffirmed their desire to participate in joint initiatives and their willingness to support initiatives with voluntary work or resources.

Thanks to this, the municipality decided to upgrade the largest afforestation initiative on its territory - the New Forest of Sofia. Sofia's new forest is an initiative that aims to afforest damaged areas, while creating a green belt around the city to improve air quality and adapt to climate change. For this purpose, the municipality provides land, saplings and the necessary tools, as well as care for the planted trees for the next two years, and the planting itself is carried out by volunteers - business, NGOs and citizens. As part of the first campaign, more than 7,000 volunteers planted over 80,000 trees, and more than 60 companies taking part. In April 2022, the second afforestation campaign was launched on new land with an area of 137 decares. Thus, with the help of volunteers within 4 seasons we will plant 86,000 oak saplings, which will restore the lost riparian forests in the area.

In addition, in order to encourage more active CSR activities, as an activity under the CITES4CSR project, on April 20, 2022, Sofia announced a competition for awards for responsible business and universities in the category of sustainable buildings - construction, operation, surrounding areas. The criteria for awarding the prize are divided into three main groups based on ESG - social, economic and environmental, focusing on users and workers in these buildings and the spaces around them. In this way, we aim to promote good practices of stakeholders and encourage others to adopt and apply them in their work.

Submitted by Alessia Dagradi on 29/04/2022
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Alessia Dagradi

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