Press release

Ljubljana, 12 April 2024 – SIJ Group employees yesterday contributed to the communities in Jesenice, Ravne na Koroškem and Ljubljana by working together under the slogan "Steel Bonds Between Us" as part of the 5th Community Partnership Day.  286 volunteers, including athletes from clubs sponsored by SIJ Group, donated more than 572 hours of volunteer work. Together, they rolled up their sleeves and contributed to a tidier, more sustainable, and more beautiful environment, and with open hearts they strengthened the close bonds of coexistence and mutual trust with the local community.

Yesterday, employees of SIJ Group companies SIJ Acroni, SIJ Metal Ravne, SIJ Ravne Systems, SIJ SUZ, SIJ ZIP center, SIJ Storitve, and SIJ d.d. were again active as volunteers in the local community as part of the 5th Community Engagement Day. With their time, work, commitment, and warmth, they brightened up the day for their fellow citizens or beautified the environment where employees and their families work and live. They were also joined by athletes from SIJ Group-supported clubs: HDD SIJ Acroni Jesenice, PK Fužinar, OK Fužinar, OK Prevalje, and NTK Fužinar.

"Almost 580 participants - volunteers, athletes, school and community users and staff - have woven bonds of steel with each other in this beautiful volunteering campaign, the most ever. Every year, our volunteer work makes a difference in the local communities where SIJ Group companies are located. I am delighted that this coincides with the moment when SIJ Group expects to officially receive the ResponsibleSteel certificate. This recognises steel companies that effectively engage with local communities as part of the social aspect of their business, helping to improve the quality of life in their communities. I am proud that the rigorous external evaluators recognised our efforts in this very area and awarded us the highest rating for the activities we carry out," said Tibor Šimonka, Senior Vice-President of SIJ Group, who was a volunteer at the Koroška Bela Primary School.

In Jesenice, volunteers and staff from the Koroška Bela Primary School worked together to tidy up the green spaces inside and outside the school - trimming shrubs, removing weeds, replanting potted plants, sanding a small additional car park, and taking used furniture to the recycling site. They played chess, bowled, and sang along to the sounds of the accordion with the residents of the Dr France Bergelj Retirement Home. The Lepa si (You Are Beautiful) Association, which promotes active inclusion of people with disabilities, knitted key rings and bracelets from used shoelaces, and competed their accuracy on a darts game donated for the occasion.

"SIJ Acroni's facilities are surrounded by an outstanding natural heritage. This gives us the greatest responsibility to preserve nature for future generations. That is why we at the SIJ Group companies have decided to engage with the local community in beekeeping. The purity of bee honey is an indicator of the purity of the environment in which SIJ Acroni operates. Our first shared hive is located right here at the school. Last year's first analysis of the honey, carried out by the Slovenian Beekeeping Federation and the Jozef Stefan Institute, showed that the honey from this hive is within the limits expected for honey of Slovenian origin," said Mag. Branko Žerdoner, CEO of SIJ Acroni.

The efforts of the volunteers from SIJ Acroni and SIJ SUZ were also praised by Sanda Zupan, the headmistress of the Koroška Bela Primary School: "We are looking forward to the traditional Community Partnership Day, because together we always do something good and useful, and it is also an opportunity to network and connect even more." Tina Siega, from the Lepa si (You Are Beautiful) Association, welcomed our cooperation by saying: "Lepa si Association users are happiest when they are integrated into wider society. We see the essence of the association in connecting healthy and disabled people in the local environment because together we can do more, overcoming barriers and prejudices. Today was a relaxing, bonding, collaborative, fun and, we hope, educational day."

"Within SIJ Group there are two companies for people with disabilities. One of them is SIJ SUZ, which includes vulnerable groups in the work environment. Through our own experience and awareness of the importance of everyone's inclusion, this year at all three locations we have involved in our activities almost 120 children and adolescents and adults with physical and mental disabilities, with whom, in addition to steel, we forge special, cordial ties," said mag. Andrej Pogačnik, Director of SIJ SUZ


In Ravne na Koroškem, volunteers worked with children from the Juričev Drejček Primary School to create sustainable key rings from used shoelaces and played sports and fun games. They helped the users of the VDC Ravne na Koroškem to make sustainable Mind of Steel bracelets from used shoelaces and recycled steel tiles from SIJ Group. As part of the work campaign, they painted the beehive with the Ravne beekeepers and cleaned and landscaped its surroundings.

"The municipality of Ravne na Koroškem, where SIJ Group's sustainable Carinthian companies operate, is a bee-friendly municipality. Last year, we worked even more closely with the Beekeeping Association of Ravne na Koroškem to implement our sustainability strategy, with the installation of a beehive in the atrium of SIJ Metal Ravne and our participation in the Ravne Beekeeping Route, of which our beehive is a part. That is why, as part of Community Partnership Day, we decided to come to their aid and jointly set up a beehive at the Ravne Secondary School," emphasised Jernej Močnik, CEO of SIJ Metall Ravne.

"Weaving social – in our case, steel – bonds with the local community are key to creating a positive and sustainable society. After all, we are not only compatriots and fellow citizens, but we are also neighbours, relatives and friends. Together, we create lasting memories that are painted on the smiling faces of children, students and users," said Matjaž Hudopisk, Director of SIJ Ravne Systems, who spent time with the students and teachers of the Juričev Drejček Primary School.

"At Juričev Drejček Primary School, we are excited and grateful to be part of the wider SIJ Group family, which shares our values, enthusiasm, vision and goals. For us, the Community Partnership Day is a day of joy and happiness, full of joyful experiences and loving acceptance. And it is moments like these that have the power to change, to perceive oneself and the world around us," said Mag. Vesna Lujinović, Headmistress of Juričev Drejček Primary School.

As in Ravne na Koroškem and Jesenice, similar volunteer, networking and sustainable activities took place at SIJ Group's headquarters in Ljubljana, strengthening the connection of SIJ Group companies and employees with the environment in which its companies operate.

In the total of five Community Partnership Day with the Local Community held so far, SIJ Group has donated 1,672 volunteer hours to the communities in Jesenice, Ravne na Koroškem and Ljubljana, and approximately 826 volunteers have participated in the actions at all three locations.



SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group is one of Europe's leading producers of stainless steel and special steels. We are committed to global and European climate goals and operate in line with circular economy principles. With our steel and steel products, we are the right partner for facilitating the green transition in Europe. We aim to confirm our sustainability credentials by achieving certification to the stringent ResponsibleSteel standard in 2024. This will position us as one of the world's most responsible and sustainable steel producers. Our two largest companies are modern recycling steelworks, and our steel is recycled because it is made from steel scrap. With 3,500 employees, we are one of the largest employers in Slovenia and a pillar of the Slovenian steel sector. We are one of Slovenia's leading exporters. About 85% of our revenue is generated in foreign markets.

Find out more at:

SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.

Mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications

Corporate Communications

Phone: +386 1 242 98 27

Mobile: +386 41 313 532

E-mail: sara.wagner@sij.si