Harmonica’s mission is to be an example of responsible business

By Lyubomir Nokov, co-founder and manager of Harmonica. The reason for this text is the „Green Company 2024“ award in the Forbes Business Awards competition.

By Lyubomir Nokov, co-founder and manager of Harmonica. The reason for this text is the „Green Company 2024“ award in the Forbes Business Awards competition.

Lyubo at Forbes Business Awards 2024.

Last year at the Forbes Business Award we received an award for a socially responsible company, mainly because of our efforts to clean up the Struma River, and this year we are in third place in the Green Company of 2024 category. This is linked to our long-standing efforts to work with climate and biodiversity in mind. Reducing our ecological footprint is part of all the decisions we make – for products, production, transport, warehouses.

We are far from being a clean and green company, we cannot completely eliminate the effect of our operations, but we try to reduce it as much as possible.

The award is perhaps for the example we are trying to set that in Bulgaria it is possible to work with care for the environment and be successful.

Harmonica with care for the environment

The main impact we have is through our products. We try to work with farmers to preserve biodiversity by building on the high standards of organic production. Wherever possible, we now use electricity from greenhouse-emission-free sources. Our warehouses are on 100% clean energy. We measure emissions from all three scopes, looking for opportunities to reduce them. We are working hard on reducing waste from production. We are also working on optimizing our transportation, packaging, logistics and delivery organization.

Last year, we allocated 6% of profits, as well as time and products, to support various environmental initiatives related to climate and biodiversity.

Our Clean Struma project is now a separate association that is attracting a lot of support and achieving its goals.

Clean Struma

This way of working is not something peripheral, it is part of all processes and is clear to all people in Harmonica as well as most of our partners. All these efforts have allowed us to become a certified B Corp.

This, to me, guarantees that the right values are built in all aspects of Harmonica’s work.

The challenges facing the Harmonica

We will continue with interesting new products that present environmental solutions in different categories. What still hinders us is in the packaging solutions we use. We have a goal to be 100% either recyclable or compostable and largely made of recycled materials, but we can’t get there yet because there is not enough supply of that type of material in our region. Hopefully that will change quickly and we will be able to achieve that goal.

Our second big challenge is related to transport and the fuel we use. Not only from our trucks, but also from the hired transport we use to transport the raw materials and finished products. We cannot deal with this on our own, and there will have to be a general change, in infrastructure and in legislation.

We also plan to work with farmers to introduce higher standards and build on organic farming with regenerative agro techniques, methods such as no-till farming, use of cover, intercropping and growing different crops together to improve soil health, reduce greenhouse emissions and increase biodiversity.

We want to be more committed to education and awareness raising on biodiversity and good business practices. And continue to support meaningful environmental initiatives.

The choice for a better future is in our hands

More and more people are now aware of what is happening to the climate and to biodiversity and what the consequences of this will be on our lives.

My advice is not to wait, but to act for real change. And that „green“ is not just marketing, but part of everyone’s job in the team. Genuine responsibility for the impact of our work on the environment and society is a huge advantage in today’s world.

Sadly, I can’t say I’m optimistic about how we’ll deal with these crises. Certainly, the information about what is happening to the world around us is discouraging. But optimism does not mean turning a blind eye to reality. It is in believing that change is possible and that challenges are a spur to improvement. Optimism is a choice we make every day. It is deeply rooted in our ability to adapt and work towards a different future, regardless of the difficulties.

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