For the first time, Ukrainian business was represented at the Private Sector Forum. This private event brings together the most influential business leaders in the world. Andriy Zdesenko, Founder and CEO of Biosphere Corporation, attended the event. The topic of this year’s event was “Mobilizing Business Ambition and Investment towards the Sustainable Development Goals”. The event featured speeches by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Sanda Ojiambo, Head of the UN Global Compact and Assistant Secretary-General.
The UN Global Compact hosted a Leaders Summit. This high-level event brought together business leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges facing the world on the road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. One of these challenges is Russia’s war against Ukraine. Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK Group, spoke at the panel discussion Raising the Bar on Leadership Amidst Crisis, where business leaders from different regions of the world shared their experiences of working on sustainable development in times of crisis. The CEO of DTEK explained how the company is moving towards decarbonization in the face of daily attacks on energy infrastructure:
“While missile attacks were destroying our thermal power plants, we were building a wind farm. During martial law, we managed to build a wind farm with a capacity of 114 MW, just one hundred kilometers from the front line. This solution is not only green, it is sustainable – in the special, Ukrainian sense of the word. Stable, because it is less vulnerable to Russian missiles than a large thermal station, which is much easier to disable. Our plans are to increase the capacity of this new wind farm to 500 MW – and we can do this in just 2024. We hope that this will serve as an example for other investors and show that there is no need to wait for the end of the war to implement such projects – moreover, these are the kind of projects that are needed to win the war”.
A separate session of the Leaders’ Summit — SDG Innovation: Disrupting Business As Usual — was dedicated to the best projects developed within the SDG Innovation Accelerator for Young Professionals program. Vira Bilonozhko, technical content specialist at Interpipe, spoke from the stage of the UN General Assembly about the company’s program to support the reintegration of veterans. Vira said that 1000 employees of the company were mobilized in the armed forces. This is every tenth employee. The reintegration program for veterans includes a comprehensive and individualized approach at various levels and is a separate ecosystem. To date, 41 employees who returned from the front to civilian life have completed the program.
The Leaders Summit was attended by an EPAM System representative, Oleksandra Chudner, Head of ESG, Social Impact and Inclusion, and Kateryna Pretkel, Head of Leadership Development, DE&I and ESG Programs.
We are proud of our participating companies, which represented Ukraine with dignity at the global event and once again reminded us of the great difficulties that all Ukrainians are going through due to Russia’s military aggression.