Continuous development of world economics which was aimed solely at maximizing profits, and was not based on any other fundamental groundings has led to serious deterioration of the natural, social and spiritual environments.
The War in Ukraine, together with the pandemic, food supply threats, abnormal heat and drought, massive floods and other extreme weather conditions are not a coincidence. All of them are the combination of mutually reinforcing geopolitical, economical and technological jeopardies that are able to shake socio-political stability in the world and weaken our capability to oppose and overcome the main global problem - climate changes.
These risks have made the world elites reconsider the global views on the planet and become aware of the importance of sustainable development. Socially responsible political leaders are becoming more and more conscious of the fact that not only energy production and industry, but also any other aspect of humans' activity influences the environment.
"As a representative of the development business, I cannot feel indifferent about the impact which building industry (generally responsible for 40% of the total annual CO2 emission) has on the world. Moreover, new geopolitical reality and constant growth of the cost of fuel and energy sources forced the civilized world to, as fast as possible, reach its independence in the sphere of energetics, liberating themselves from the reliance on irresponsible fossil fuel providers. "
So, implementation of sustainable city building will have a leading role in these processes. This task appears especially vital in the light of the forthcoming post-war reconstruction in Ukraine. It is obvious that renovation of the destroyed housing, as well as critical infrastructure rebuilding should be fast-going; however, such renovation does not have to reproduce the approaches that were used in city development in the pre-war period.
Reconstruction efforts in the post-war time need to become our investment into sustainable future. So, it is essential to consider not only the costs and speed of the process but also long-term efficiency of re-building, including its economical aspect. What is more, as a EU candidate state, our country needs to meet the requirements of the EU goals in the sphere of sustainable development and conform to the international obligations of appropriate management and accountability reporting.
In order to guarantee maximum sustainability of buildings and infrastructural objects during the reconstruction of Ukraine, the principles of sustainable development should be taken into consideration at its earliest stage:
However, only "green" buildings and energetic independence are not sufficient for the city to be seen as sustainable. Sustainable cities require crucially innovative approaches to services and functional potentials. It is about convenient modern living spaces in which all daily routine processes are automatized, complicated systems are interconnected and the use of public services is feasible even for children. The key components are the following:
It is important to understand that implementation of sustainability practice into Ukrainian business is a complicated process that involves complex transformation of the business model and investment into enterprise reorganization, personnel training and others. At the same time, after the Russian invasion, internal opportunities to stimulate sustainability transformation in Ukraine have been reduced, and budget priorities have been shifted to military, defense and social programmes.
It means that without massive programmes of external financial support Ukraine will not be able to cope with the challenges of sustainability transformation. Involving investment funds, state agencies and public organizations into cooperation might help import modern technologies into our country and attract the interest of western investors to our development.
The existing and potential western partners, in their turn, are becoming more and more responsible in their approach to investments. According to Ernst&Young, more than 72% of investors carry out structural evaluation of ESG-indexes and for 9 out of 10 respondents non-financial results had a crucial role in investment decision-making.
A no less essential condition for making decisions concerning western investment is a transparent business environment with zero tolerance to corruption. In this aspect, the key principles of the ZEZMAN company in combating corruption is accountability, honesty and responsibility to society. In order to maintain these principles, the holding has created a special department - Compliance.
Another landmark in reaching high non-financial indexes is the membership in the global UNO treaty. On becoming the member of this organization, companies promise to guarantee business transparency and are obliged to publish annual non-financial reports that will testify their steps taken and achievements completed.
Being accountable today means making your contribution into the formation of a beneficial investment climate which will stimulate sustainable economical, environmental and social progress of the country. We are sure that this is the point from which any progressive and socially responsible business should start its way towards sustainability.