Chairperson, Supervisory Board
To appreciate the importance and value of the Sustainable Development Goals, Dimitar Tsotsorkov says he looks to the words of his father.
“My late father, Prof. Lachezar Tsotsorkov, used to say that the meaning of human life is to leave a better world behind,” Tsotsorkov told the UN Global Compact.
“I think SDGs set the direction and provide us with an algorithm on how to do it.”
As Supervisory Board Chairperson at the Asarel-Medet JSC, Tsotsorkov puts his commitment into action throughout the strategies and programs of the Bulgarian copper mining giant.
The company’s long-term sustainable development programs correspond to SDGs, focusing on innovation, occupational health and safety, environmental care, carbon footprint reduction, energy efficiency and human development projects, he said.
Asarel-Medet, which has invested some $200 million USD in these programs in the last four years, welcomes innovation, and Tsotsorkov said he personally has initiated its digital transformation efforts.
For his accomplishments, Tsotsorkov was named by the UN Global Compact as the 2022 SDG Pioneer for Digital Transformation. The annual SDG Pioneer programme honors business professionals who advance and advocate for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is an honor and a recognition not only to me, but to my late father,” he told the UN Global Compact. “It is a world recognition that our strategies are exemplary, and we will continue for many years ahead.”
The company is involved in a scholarship project for socially disadvantaged high school students, and it invested $70 million USD in a modern hospital in the Bulgarian town of Panagyurishte. The facility enabled the municipality to face the COVID-19 pandemic with the second highest number of doctors per capita in Bulgaria, he said.
Asarel-Medet was among the first Bulgarian companies to join the UN Global Compact and adopt its 10 Principles in 2003, Tsotsorkov said.
“They became part of our company’s code of ethics because they are a set of fundamental values for business,” he said.
“I believe that this forms part not only of my personal DNA, but also of the DNA of our company, of our way of evolving in a sustainable manner with an insight in the long run.”
The company has been testing mining technologies to reduce the environmental footprint and waste at the stage of geological exploration drilling and ore sorting, he added.
“Transformation of attitudes is among our biggest challenges, because we are often misled by stereotypes from the past without taking into account the actual progress or the future needs,” he said.
“I believe that if we invest now in better education for children and adolescents, we will have the greatest added value in the future,” he added. “This also means teaching them how to live in a sustainable manner and building a strong value system which is to serve them faithfully and guide them like a compass in the future.”