On November 7, the event “Innovations and Climate Solutions for Sustainable Development” was held, which united graduates of two UN Global Compact Network Ukraine accelerators: SDG Innovators for Young Professionals and Climate Ambition Accelerator. The event was attended by innovators, experts, and leaders of sustainable development, who presented the best cases of implementing innovative solutions to achieve climate and sustainability goals.
The Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Ukraine, Tetiana Sakharuk, congratulated the graduates of the accelerators on the successful completion of intensive training and fruitful work on the development of sustainable solutions for their companies:
“Both programs are important. Innovation is the daily work to improve processes or products, teamwork and leadership. The climate accelerator develops competences in the field of climate protection. When Western investors consider Ukraine as a potential market, there are always questions of security, guarantees, finance and human capital – who will they work with in Ukraine? Accelerator participants prove that they want to develop towards European standards and drive changes in their companies.”
The event featured a panel discussion “The Innovation Imperative: ESG Progress Through Non-Standard Solutions.” It was moderated by Alina Konovalchenko, Operational Director of the UN Global Compact Network Ukraine. Alina emphasized that ESG principles are not limited to the environmental aspect, but have a much wider range of applications in business, and reminded that companies participating in the UN Global Compact Network Ukraine now have a unique opportunity to prepare sustainable development reports that meet the standards of mandatory non-financial EU reporting.
During the panel discussion, Iryna Shynkarenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Epicenter-K, representative of Epicenter K in the Supervisory Board of the UNGC Ukraine, shared the experience of implementing initiatives that support the ecological component of sustainable development:
“Epicentr is the first company in Ukraine that, together with its partners, launched a battery recycling project. During its implementation, 110 tons of batteries were processed. This is a huge area of land that you and I did not allow to be polluted. We will continue to make every effort to take care of the Ukrainian environment, especially now, when it is suffering from the consequences of Russian aggression.”
Nowadays, the social component of sustainable development includes the responsibility of businesses to the defenders of Ukraine. 45 soldiers, employees of Interpipe, were killed by Russian aggression, 20 were missing, many were injured. Lyudmila Novak, Communications Director of the Interpipe, told how the company deals with the reintegration of veterans, employees of the company who completed combat service in the ranks of the Armed Forces. This case, which the company developed while participating in this year’s accelerator for innovators, was presented at this year’s Leaders Summit from the stage of the UN General Assembly in New York.
In 2021, the Pharmac company presented its case at the Leaders’ Summit, which this year again participated in the accelerator of the UN General Assembly in Ukraine. The company has developed a project for the collection and disposal of medicines, the entry of which into the soil and water is very harmful to the environment. Yevgeniya Piddubna, Pharmak’s Director Corporate Affairs spoke about this in detail.
Sustainable development is beneficial for business. Vitalii Vereshchagin, CEO of Caparol Ukraine, holds this point of view. He emphasized:
“In business, to increase profits, you can increase sales, increase prices, or reduce costs. In the short term, this can be easily regulated by making simple decisions. In the long term, this does not work, because you need to make investments in order for the company to develop. Investments in sustainable development are investments with the highest efficiency ratio. Even though it is sometimes difficult to make quantitative calculations.”
Yanina Olkhovska, Head of Communications, CSR and Engagement at UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, spoke about how the bank works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals:
“In 2020, our main shareholder, BNP Paribas Group, announced the strategy “GTS 2025: Growth, Technology, Sustainability”, and our bank joined it, launching its strategic direction “Sustainable Stream”. It now includes work on three components: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy, carbon neutrality and promoting general awareness of sustainable development.”
At the end of the discussion, there was a pitching of the projects developed by SDG Innovators for Young Professionals participants during 6 months of training at the accelerator. The projects were evaluated by an expert jury, which included:
The companies presented the following projects:
Among these powerful initiatives, the jury chose the winner – NPC “Ukrenergo” with the project “Security during the war”. Congratulations to the company!
The UN Global Compact Network Ukraine awarded participants of the Climate Ambition Accelerator, who studied in the program for 6 months to implement climate initiatives in their companies.
Congratulations to the companies that passed the accelerator: AVGUSTA LLC (Tolk Energy Group), EY Ukraine, Enamine Ltd., Elementum Energy (Ukraine) LLC, EpicentrK, Metinvest Holding, UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, Atmosfera Distribution, Asters, Interpipe, Shell Mobility in Ukraine, EPAM Systems Inc., Pravex JSC, ECOSYSTEM 4.0/operated as Treepilya, ZEZMAN Holding, SoftServe, LLC “OCTAVA CAPITAL”, DTEK, NPC Ukrenergo and ETG.UA.
The UN Global Compact Network Ukraine has already opened registration for a new program — Business and Human Rights Accelerator. Its purpose is to help businesses identify risks and implement a systematic approach to human rights compliance in the company in accordance with international norms. Registration for the accelerator continues until December 14, 2023. To participate in it, FILL OUT THE FORM.