On October 27, the final event of the Climate Ambition Accelerator by the UN Global Compact training program took place. This year, for the first time, Ukrainian business had the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn more about the implementation of the GHG protocol, science-based targets (SBT), and the net-zero initiative by 2050.
From June 2022, 11 companies (JSC «Naftogaz», PJSC «Ukrenergo», DTEK, LLC «Ernst & Young» — Ukraine, Law Partnership «Asters», UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, LLC «Firma Astarta Kyiv», LLC «OCTAVA» CAPITAL», MHP, Carlsberg Ukraine, Limited Liability Company «Parimatch») conducted training with Ukrainian and international facilitators to gain knowledge for ecological modernization of their businesses.
According to the results, among which the largest energy companies in Ukraine are already planning the implementation of the GHG protocol.
«The Climate Ambition Accelerator course program is very rich and provides an opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge to implement decarbonization practices in production processes at the corporate level. Based on the results, we at NPC Ukrenergo are discussing: the creation of a working group on the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions; conducting a corporate inventory of greenhouse gas emissions under the methodology of the GHG protocol; preparation of proposals for the development of science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions», — share the representatives of NEC Ukrenergo — Serhiy Shmarin, head of group economic analysis of the department for assessing the responsibility (sufficiency) of generating capacities, and Iryna Pokotylska, expert on sustainable development of the department of corporate social responsibility.
Tetiana Sakharuk, General Director of the UN Global Compact Ukraine, shared the story of the launch of this project and announced the initiatives of our participating companies and our partners, which made this project possible. Thus, work on the launch of the Climate Ambition Accelerator Team of the UN Global Compact Ukraine began on February 21, and three days later a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine took place. But Ukrainian companies, for whom the work on the ecological direction was very important, showed a desire to undergo training in the program despite everything.
Tetyana Saharuk also noted that due to the crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world faced new questions in the field of sustainable development:
«Today there is a huge issue in the world: what should come first — ecology or human? Feed the world in any way or still take care of the sustainability of agriculture? Provide light at any cost or switch to new, more sustainable energy sources? These are challenges that the whole world is currently working on. And I am glad that we are participating in this at a decent level. I hope for the implementation of all the plans of our participating companies in the field of ecological modernization of business. Our country cannot be conquered with such people».
A business-led initiative to set corporate emissions targets will also empower the state to set a higher bar on environmental standards at the legislative level. This was emphasized by Svitlana Grynchuk, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources for European Integration:
«I thank my colleagues who make their work bigger and climate-friendly in all aspects. I am pleased that today we can see how everyone is working in the framework of the climate accelerator, learning and implementing new approaches to contribute to the global process of combating climate change. This is admiration and respect. We have a difficult road to recovery ahead of us, but it will have a «green» component. Today, the Ministry works with many international partners, and soon the first offers of climate financing will appear. Also, despite the war, we continue environmental reforms, we have to work on them, because this is exactly what we deserve!».
To work on reducing emissions, Ukrainian businesses must adopt the best global environmental practices. Olena Balbekova, adviser on the economy, energy, and climate change at the British Embassy, spoke about the country’s path to net zero. At the same time, from 1990 to 2019, Great Britain reduced emissions by 44 %, and the country’s economy grew by three quarters. Currently, 40 % of the UK’s energy comes from renewable and low-cost sources. In addition, the representative of the Embassy once again emphasized the country’s steadfast position in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s military aggression:
«The United Kingdom will support Ukraine as long as necessary. Great Britain has allocated £22 million for the early recovery of Ukraine through the URES fund, and another £45 million has been allocated for the next two years to strengthen the security of the civilian nuclear sector, and the proper functioning of Ukraine’s energy systems during wartime. Also, a £50 million EBRD guarantee was provided to Ukrenergo for the repair of power grids. The Just transition mechanism for the restoration of coal districts in Novovolynsk was restored a month ago. This is only part of the projects that are working today to support Ukraine. energy sector and green transition during the war».
Andrii Gunko, GIZ project coordinator, spoke about the update of the German Government’s project on the financial support of Ukrainian innovative businesses:
«Even in times of war, Ukrainian enterprises can implement measures to improve technology and provide co-financing for this. We held negotiations with the Ministry of Ecology in Germany to attract a financial instrument to support the environmental modernization of Ukrainian businesses in accordance with the best available technologies (BAT) under the 75 EU Directive on industrial pollution. A study by the UN Global Compact on the state and needs of businesses for environmental post-war recovery was useful in convincing donors of the importance of this program. And already at the end of November — beginning of December, a set of applications will be announced so that Ukrainian enterprises can receive a grant for the implementation of their ideas».
A constant guest of our events dedicated to climate initiatives, the ambassador of the ecological direction of the UN General Assembly in Ukraine, the editor-in-chief and host of Fakty ICTV, the host of the National Marathon «Yedini Novosti», Olena Frolyak, is convinced that people who during the war think about the country’s green future, deserve the highest respect:
«Right now, Russia is destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, and we will need to restore it. I am very grateful to those representatives of the state and business who emphasize that we should not just rebuild what was destroyed but totally modernize it. Among the participants of the climate accelerator, there are also many companies that stand in such a position and are ready to take real action for this. As scary as it sounds, this war gives us a chance. I am grateful to the businesses that are already working on the changes. Facty ICTV is ready to support stories of sustainable businesses that implement climate projects and reduce environmental impact».
The position of the business, which aims to keep pace with the best global practices of sustainable development, was highlighted by Kyrylo Bondar, partner, and financial director of Unit.City:
«Why will business continue to invest in climate projects? First, we do not have an alternative future. Secondly, doing business with such approaches is really profitable. We look at our Unit.City with today’s challenges in mind. We spent three years convincing our partners that our strategy is in line with global trends. But this path made us stronger. If you have a stable project, you will definitely find financing for it, reliable partners, and your brand will grow. Sustainable development is a necessary element in any business. And whoever learns to do it first will be ahead!».
Olha Yevstihnieieva, coordinator of the Climate Ambition Accelerator in Ukraine, summed up the results of the program.
«We can be called pioneers because the SBTi initiative and other climate initiatives are not yet general knowledge, but together we must understand this and implement it effectively. It is obvious that reducing emissions is not enough — they should be completely eliminated to avoid catastrophic climate scenarios. Ukraine should become a reliable partner of Europe to achieve climate neutrality. This is possible thanks to the gradual transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, which means the decarbonization of the economy not only of Ukraine but also of Europe through its exports to the EU. Therefore, those businesses that implement greenhouse gas accounting (GHG Protocol) and set science-based targets to achieve climate neutrality will become undisputed leaders in their industries in the next 30 years and will have access to investment capital to implement measures to combat climate change. I thank all businesses for the opportunity to learn together this year, and I look forward to fruitful cooperation in the future!».
You can read more about how Ukrainian businesses can get rid of emissions and save the planet, as well as step-by-step instructions for applying for SBTi, in this article.