On April 13th 2011, Narodni dom in Maribor hosted the festivity celebrating the 60th anniversary of Gorenje Surovina. The event was attended by many notable businesspeople, politicians, business partners, and employees. It included an award ceremony for the "Creativity Using Waste"contest with entries from Maribor's elementary schools, and a performance by the band The Stroj. In addition to Mr. Jure Fišer, head of Gorenje Surovina, and Drago Bahun, Gorenje Management Board member, keynote speakers at the evening were the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Maribor Mr. Tomaž Kancler, and Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Mr. Roko Žarnić.
A short introductory film allowed the guests to review or learn about the company's history. Managing Director of Gorenje Surovina Mr. Jure Fišer talked about today's operations: "Today, Gorenje Surovina holds a leading role in the field of collection, sorting, transport, and processing of secondary raw materials." 300 employees working at 20 collection and processing units across Slovenia, and three such units abroad, operate a total of 130,000 square meters of open and closed warehouse area."
To honour the anniversary, the company held a contest called "Creativity Using Waste" with participation from Maribor's elementary schools. The best entries were announced and awarded at the event. The purpose of the contest was to rouse creativity in showing that waste material can be transformed into beautiful products. In a difficult and tight call, the jury presided by the painter Mr. Gorazd Jordan, declared the Tone Čufar Elementary School as the winner. The event was rounded off by a performance by the group The Stroj, playing on instruments made of waste plastic and metal barrels, and obsolete or worn out machine components and tools.
60 years of Gorenje Surovina
Gorenje Surovina is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The company was founded on April 3rd 1951 when the municipal people's committee of the City of Maribor founded the Surovina labour organization with 18 employees. The company was operating at a local level, performing the task of collection, sorting, and reselling useful waste; in the first five years alone, they supplied 24,000 tons of secondary waste material to the industry. Through the years and decades, company activity was extended to all types of waste material and waste; moreover, the company also extended its territory of operations to many Slovenian regions and to Croatia.
Major development leaps
In the nineteen fifties and sixties, the company took major steps in development as turnover rose to 50,470 tons of waste and the number of employees rose to 442. Surovina acquired and merged with the Serbian company Otpad Subotica.
Modern Central Warehouse unit in Maribor was built in 1980. Five years later, the throughput amounted to 213,000 tons and the number of employees was at 700. Surovina teamed up with elementary schools and launched school waste paper collection campaigns.
As Slovenia declared independence in 1991, Surovina lost its business units in former Yugoslavia. The loss of the Yugoslav market resulted in a dramatic slump in turnover. Responding to such developments, all efforts were directed towards an improvement in productivity and quality of work and by 2000, the company bounced to the volumes seen in 1980, with a notably smaller team of employees. In 1997, Surovina was transformed into a public limited company, i.e. a stock corporation.
Since 2007, the company whose core activity is collection of secondary raw materials and fuels from waste, is owned by Gorenje and it is a part of the Group's Ecology, Energy, and Service Division. Last year, Gorenje Surovina extended its activities by opening a line for manufacturing solid fuel from non-hazardous waste.
Today and tomorrow
This year, Gorenje Surovina will allocate the largest part of its investments for new equipment and improvements to the environmental standards at units across Slovenia. Major goals also include implementation of a new IT system and successful completion of the research and development project that included the erection of the plant for solid fuel made from waste.
The strategy of the Gorenje Group and the company Gorenje Surovina is to expand the comprehensive range of services for controlling all types of waste. Currently, these services are rendered by a group of companies belonging to Gorenje's Ecology Division: Surovina, Kemis, Publicus, Econo, and Erico.