Zornitza Hadjitodorova: Aptec’s green evangelist
In the first week of March 2011, Zornitza Hadjitodorova approached Dr Ali Baghdadi, CEO of Aptec Holdings, with idea of travelling with Robert Swan’s spring expedition to Antarctica. Aptec, an ICT distributor for Middle East, Pakistan, Turkey and Africa, was developing its three year environment protection program and this seemed to be a good way to kick-start the initiative.
Baghdadi agreed and Hadjitodorova was on her way to the Antarctica for a three week scientific tour of the world’s last wilderness. Hadjitodorova and other members were exposed to Swan’s dynamic personality where he inspired them to go back as environmental leaders and motivate and inspire people in the community to make a sustainable and long term change.
The returning team members carry with them Swan’s parting motto, “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. But a transformed and inspired Hadjitodorova now working full time at Dubai based Enviroserve, an IT and industrial recycling aggregator, has her own passionate take-away. “Sustainable inspiration triggers sustainable leadership”.
In a first of its kind in the region, Hadjitodorova and Aptec are working together to align business practices and social investments to create long-term value for stakeholders. The company is reviewing its internal operations to make environmental friendly changes and is increasing awareness levels amongst its employees and customers on the need for a lower carbon footprint.
From an early age Hadjitodorova was exposed to the idea of recycling at her home. The turning point for her was when in China on an official tour she broke away and visited an animal skinning plant. “I cannot accept it when people litter or kill animals for fidgety things like fur. The way I was raised, you don’t just use and abuse and take as much as possible.”
She feels there is another side to an individual or community’s general apathy towards the environment. “If you are negligent about your environment chances are you are negligent about a lot of other things.”
Hadjitodorova studied at John Cabot University, Rome and is enrolled to complete her MBA starting 2012 at INSEAD in France and Singapore.