After your engineering studies, in parallel with your distinguished sports career, you held many positions of responsibility in the field of construction and public services, how did this exemplary course lead you to your current responsibilities?
I believe that the journey which has brought me to my current position was a natural evolution founded on the experience accumulated with large multinational corporations and the Romanian public sector, driven by a certain entrepreneurial spirit and mainly fueled by the tenacity and determination achieved during my sporting life, especially rugby.
You chair the group “Vitalia Mediu” which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020, you become a shareholder in 2006 and take over the company in 2010. Can you after a first decade, present your group, its missions, its skills and its locations?
Vitalia is one of leading actors in the sector of municipal waste management, covering the whole cycle from collection, transfer, sorting, separation and treatment. Our mission is serving the communities where we operate, observing the national and European regulations and standards in this sector whose evolution could be essential for the future of the planet. We are present in two departments of Romania – Prahova and Bistrita-Nasaud, operating three non-hazardous waste treatment plants.
Your activity is part of the public service and must deal with environmental issues. What is your policy in terms of quality of service and respect for the environment?
One of our fundamental values is customer focus, always seeking to balance the service rendered with the cost to the community, maintaining a permanent focus on the quality of our services. We constantly strive to be at the forefront of the efforts to increase resource usage efficiency and adoption of a sustainable circular economy model. Further-more, we are trying to align our future projects towards the zero net emission goal, which becomes even more imperative given the increasingly dramatic consequences of climate change.
In the context of waste recovery, what are your major projects realized and to come? New technologies have an important role to play, where are you in this area?
In the Bistrita Nasaud county we have recently inaugurated the first stage of an investment in expanding the sorting capacity for recovery of recyclable municipal waste and in Prahova we are using the landfill gas as fuel in a co-generation facility for the production of electric and thermal energy.
Our development plans include the further development of our capacity to recover recyclable material from mixed municipal waste (considering the insufficient adoption of source selection) and even recovery of valuable recyclable material from landfilled waste (landfill mining), supplying even more recycled material to industry. Given the global challenges facing the recycling industry, we are focusing on the development of recycling solutions for critical components in the waste mix (especially plastics, bio-degradable and inert wastes). Establishing partnerships with innovative technology providers is a crucial factor in the success of our projects, whether it is pyrolysis of plastics, anaerobic digestion of biodegradable and food waste or production of mixes for civil engineering and construction projects.
Your sector requires significant investments, what are your current levers to develop and improve your business?
There are several directions we are pursuing when funding such advanced projects besides our own resources, ranging from partnerships or JVs with technology providers, funding under extended producer responsibility schemes, European grants for investment support or research in partnership with academic centers of excellence. We are also developing the partnership with local authorities who have specific financial instruments at their disposal (such as the Development and Maintenance Fund) to enhance the waste management infrastructure.
Do you have major sports responsibilities at the national, European and international levels, what added value do these activities bring to your entrepreneurial activities?
Sport is my passion and it has bestowed significant honors on me, so it is the time to give back to the sporting community, notably by assisting athletes in the development of their careers, much as others have done for me in the past. It is also a source of energy and balance which helps me a lot in my professional life, especially when it comes to analyzing and deciding in complicated business circumstances.
Also, the team spirit, which is extremely important in rugby, has helped me when building teams of responsible and passionate professionals to successfully execute the projects which we pursue together.
Rich and nourished by all these experiences, what are today your major expectations on the eve of European elections and what message do you want to address to Romanian and European citizens?
I wish these elections lead to a lasting conciliation for the whole of our continent, whose political life in particular is subject today to too many challenges that can undermine European solidarity, even the European spirit itself. I am looking forward to this opportunity to boost our confidence and hope, allowing us all to continue to move forward.
I have the firm belief that we can do this by keeping each one’s identity while respecting the identity of the other, because respect is at the base of any lasting political, social, economic construction. As an Orthodox Christian, I am strongly attached to traditions, respect and solidarity as core values, quintessential to our community life.
One of the teachings left with me from rugby is that every player has its place and responsibility in the team and that despite individual differences we are only strong by staying firmly together.
I believe, therefore, that each of us must shoulder our responsibilities and commit ourselves all the more firmly to the building of the Common Europe, while acknowledging that our differences are nothing but a formidable source of strength and wealth, at the base of our union! Long live Romania, long live Europe!
VITALIA SERVICII PENTRU MEDIU TRATAREA DESEURILOR
Str. Costache Sibiceanu, nr.20, sect.1, BUCURESTI
Str.Poligonului, nr.6, Boldesti Scaeni, PRAHOVA
CMID, Tarpiu, BISTRITA NASAUD
Tel: (+40) 021 224 13 34
Fax: (+40) 021 224 14 48