Yet another year has passed, and we have again the opportunity to briefly summarize the most important issues of the Annual Report for the year 2014 which you are holding in your hands right now.
In 2014, we had to adjust to the new legislation which was introduced due to the completely new Civil Code. At the end of the year 2014, there was an amendment of the Act on Waste. We got ready in time and since January 2014 EKOLAMP was in full compliance with the new legal regulations. In the last quarter of 2014, we only had to adjust to the changes in waste laws: for example, we had to establish collection points in each municipality and city district over 2 000 inhabitants.
Unfortunately, in all other respects the new waste legislation was a disappointment, as it brought no development. It was one of the reasons why in 2014 EKOLAMP had to face, in principle, an unfair competition, which the Czech legal order permits in the field of take back of electric waste. Ecology, unspoilt environment and increased self-sufficiency in raw materials of the Czech Republic are the cornerstones of take back. However, in this field of industry there are many companies which think only about the lowest possible price for the transport and processing of electric waste. They do not take into consideration the effects of such thinking and fail to realize that our system of take back of electric waste from households operates in all regions of the Czech Republic, we have thousands of collection points and a complicated system of logistics and the whole process is very sophisticated and its cost is not insignificant.
As a result, in 2014 in the course of the preparations of the new waste legislation, EKOLAMP continued to struggle for a better position of entities which have actual outcomes, and which do not just pretend activity while collecting recycling fees. Basic legislative parameters could be set up quite easily, such as the minimum targets of the collection, the density of collection point networks, the minimum requirements for the quality of transportation and processing of waste, etc. Then, the minimum prices could be established under which the system of take back of electric waste can be operated. Unfortunately, the Czech government seems not to be interested in transparent business environment and keeps deferring the introduction of unambiguous rules.
Regardless of the ambiguous legislation, EKOLAMP continues to expand its network of collection points for lighting equipment: in a single year we added almost 400 new collection points, and in total we have reached 4 500 collection points. In addition, there are about 2 000 municipalities where waste is collected by means of mobile collection points. This is a very good result if you consider the commodity which EKOLAMP collects and recycles, and in this group of electric devices no other collective system is even near attaining such network.
In all other respects, the year was affected by waiting for the new waste legislation which would clearly define the conditions of the operation of collective systems. EKOLAMP did not take any strategic steps and did not change its operation substantially. Our aim is still to have a long-term sustainable system of take back of lighting equipment and sufficient finance to cover future costs in the event of immediate changes on the market of lighting equipment which are to come.
We believe that in 2015 many issues will be clarified and EKOLAMP will be able to move to the next stage of its operation and we will keep providing high-quality services to producers of lighting equipment.
In Prague on 15 April 2015
Ing. Alexandr Hanousek, Ing. Oliver Čelko,
Statutory Representative Statutory Representative