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Slovenia’s Focus On Preservervation And Sustainability Is Inspiring Award-Winning Entrepreneurs

Slovenia is a country that puts sustainability at the top of its agenda. In 2016, Green Destinations named it the first ‘green country’ in the world – a standard that gives global recognition for sustainable management, covering everything from the environment and tourism to business and the economy.

With a pristine environment, from alpine peaks and extensive forests to the stunning Adriatic sea and the rolling Pannonian plains, it’s no wonder Slovenia has a focus on preserving natural and cultural treasures. It’s part of the country’s identity.

This green ideology is reflected in the leisure activities on offer in Slovenia, such as skiing on the award-winning slopes of Cerkno to the vast verdant cross-country trails of Kranjska Gora. But its business practices have also adopted the sustainable mindset. The country’s ample success in green indexes and direct foreign investment (FDI) is a testament to this. According to the European Investment Bank, Slovenia has managed to double its investment in sustainable development and, in January 2022, received a total of €100 million funding to create a new source of affordable financing for investments in small green infrastructure projects promoted by Slovenian municipalities.

An inspiring green business environment

Slovenia’s economy is among the best in the world for environmental health and was ranked fifth in the world for ecosystem vitality in Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index 2020. This is made possible not only thanks to the green investment the country receives but the talent and entrepreneurship of the businesses that call Slovenia home.

A prime example of this is the country’s Ambassador business, a cohort of innovative, green organizations that demonstrate how an inspiring environment combined with entrepreneurial spirit can foster success, encouraging companies to thrive. This includes the sustainable manufacturing specialist Plastika Skaza, low energy house firm Lumar IG, and the Planica Nordic Centre – a place where young Slovenian athletes can train to become the next generation of world ski champions.

However, leading the way is Slovenian ski and outdoor footwear outfit Alpina, a company that sits proudly on the cutting-edge of its industry. With a drive to discover new technologies and materials, Alpina has supplied boots to some of the world’s top winter athletes and Olympic medal winners for over 50 years. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, competitors wearing Alpina boots won 35 medals.


A recent green project that’s proven fruitful for Alpina is the design and construction of the Elite 3.0 range of Nordic ski boots. According to the company, it’s the first of its kind to be made without the use of PVC materials. Instead, it’s developed using more eco-friendly solutions while focusing on kinder production cycles – an attribute that earned Alpina a Red Dot Award for design in 2020.

According to Alpina, they were made using textile hydro-treated materials, which are not only PVC-free but more breathable than their plastic counterparts as they don’t attract water.

It’s not an easy task balancing an environmentally-friendly design with top-tier performance for elite athletes, but we made it possible.

Slovenia’s green merits have had a significant impact on the design decisions of these eco ski boots, which extends, generally, to a drive to be a more sustainable business.Design decisions driven by the nature we live in can be a very good inspiration to experiment with more sustainable ideas, even in the boot business.

Performance is as important as design, especially when it comes to sports apparel. “Alpina’s Elite 3.0 brings many attributes that make it an easy choice,” says Austrian Biathlete and Winter Olympian Simon Eder, who uses Alpina’s Elite 3.0 Nordic ski boots. “Being lightweight, tight-fitting and overall great performance offers a big advantage when it comes to finding the perfect push on the snow. The stiffness, haptic, and surface feel are just incredible.”

Green Slovenia: making work and play possible

It feels only natural that Alpina has been able to craft such a ingenious pair of sustainable ski boots; this innovation plays to the strengths of the business community and the beautiful natural surroundings that inspire so many of the country’s inhabitants.

It’s also Slovenia’s sustainable business environment that helps set it apart from the rest of Europe – not only as a place for leisure, but one to invest in for the future.

Through its green customs and lifestyle, Slovenia is constantly developing solutions that prioritize a responsibility for future generations. Its focus on sustainability, green technologies and corporate social responsibility mean it can make a serious commitment to reducing the carbon footprint and caring for the natural and social environment.