LDaily decided to conduct a survey among the companies working in Ukraine to find out what social projects they support and why.
Anastasia Voitkevych, Head of Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility, Winner Group Ukraine
Winner CSR has two focus areas — Charity and Responsible Business.
Charity is philanthropy, Winner’s and its leadership’s charity projects focused on three main goals: supporting children and young people in difficult circumstances, helping local communities Winner does business with, as well as preserving Ukrainian culture.
Valery Krasovsky, CEO and Co-founder of Sigma Software
Sigma Software has been paying a lot of attention to corporate social responsibility for many years. The company has been publishing an annual CSR report since 2016 (https://sigma.software/about/csr). Among the most notable initiatives I would highlight building a strong IT community by developing IT education and sharing experience; collaborating with leading universities of the country, and also our own Open Tech Week and Sigma Software Labs projects.
From the very first days of the company’s founding, we realized the importance of effective collaboration between business and educational institutions. So, we launched training and internship programs; invested in equipment of computer laboratories in universities; developed and launched joint programs in trend areas (Big Data, Data Science, Cybersecurity, etc.). A few years ago, the company provided a scholarship for a student to study at Ukrainian Catholic University (now that young man has already joined our team in Lviv). Last year we supported an effective management program for university teachers in Lviv. We are currently cooperating with 16 universities in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro. More than 1 200 students annually study in laboratories equipped by our company, about 300 undergo Sigma Software internships; the company organizes and supports more than 50 events for students each year.
Apart from higher education, we also work with colleges and schools, as well as provide professionals who already have experience in the IT field with the opportunity to study. Based on our Sigma Software University educational platform, we develop and deliver workshops and training courses for junior to senior professionals, involving our top experts as mentors.
The company also supports the community development through collaboration with leading professional events (more than 75 in 2019) and holds its own each year. For example, the Open Tech Week charity held in 2017 in four cities — Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv. This is a series of five meetups in different directions — from software design, testing and development to project management, business analysis and HR. All the money from these meetups is donated to charity. The company has conducted 60 meetups in three years gathering more than 3 500 participants, 100+ speakers, and donating about UAH 350 000 to charitable foundations.
Another company’s community development project (this time a community startup) is the Sigma Software Labs platform. We invite young entrepreneurs to create software products and services on this platform. Sigma Software Labs not only provide the infrastructure but also help with investment search, training in all areas, as well as business development through Sigma Software’s client network.
Anna Derevianko, Executive Director of European Business Association (EBA)
As one of the largest and influential business communities in Ukraine, the European Business Association is continually working towards making the voice of business stronger, promoting transparent and equal conditions of doing business and, generally, making Ukraine a better place for doing business. Our mission and vision are also reflected in a range of our social initiatives.
One of our major initiatives is the project Unlimit Ukraine aimed at promoting small businesses in Ukraine. We offer unique networking and education opportunities for SMEs as well as information support options, consulting from gurus with extensive business experience in Ukraine and abroad.
Also, understanding that people are the heart of any business, we initiated the EBA Happy Nation project aimed to increase the wellbeing of Ukrainian people – responsible attitude to the health, environment, communities we are living in, the importance of work-life balance and how to lead a happier, more satisfying life.
Furthermore, we encourage businesses to play fair with the project Transparent Business – for Legal Salaries. We provide an open platform for companies who want to remind the market, their potential partners and employees that they support transparent business, guarantee safety and care for their employees by concluding employment contracts and paying all taxes.
Thus, each EBA social initiative is a part of the bigger picture of ensuring the long-term growth and development of our country. By taking up social commitments, we spread important values and release our vision of sustainable development.
Viktor Shevchenko, Co-owner of ZAMMLER Logistics Group
Apart from creating and multiplying values, you should share and store them as well. This is my position as a citizen. I am lucky that the ZAMMLER GROUP team shares my vision and we realize our social responsibility. As a result, our staff has implemented dozens of charity projects. We helped some seriously ill children, anti-terrorist operation fighters, provided equipment for hospitals, and took other measures. At present, we are focused not so much on charitable projects but on systemic social initiatives. We work with a number of non-profit organizations to implement a corporate mentoring program for orphans and teens from difficult families because it is important for them to see positive examples, gain necessary practical skills and realize the power of their own abilities. We also cooperate on a regular basis with higher education institutions involved in the preparation of future logisticians. Our motivation is simple —we want to work with the best professionals, and therefore, we must invest in their training. For instance, we are the first in Ukraine to set up a Logistics Laboratory based at the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics where students will be able to practice theoretical basis. Of course, we have environmental projects. We care about conserving natural resources, for example, we minimize paper and plastic use in our day-to-day activity, try to use electricity with care, and our trucks meet all the environmental standards we need. I am convinced that in addition to raising financial capital, business must also generate social capital — only then we can call it truly successful.
Vitaliy Bulda, CEO of Robert Bosch Ltd.
Social projects have become part of Bosch’s life. Our staff is the driving force behind their implementation. These projects were launched six years ago and they became systemic. Over the last year, we have implemented about 11 projects that are not very large, although they are extremely important. Every year we support a boarding school for children with disabilities in Zaluchia (Ivano-Frankivsk region). Over 900 diapers and over 1000 pairs of socks were collected last year. In August, we built a cinema hall for a geriatric boarding house in Pereyaslav (Kyiv region). Today we continue to support it providing protection and disinfection products against COVID-19. From time to time we organize workshops and lectures for students from regular and special boarding schools in our office. Like many other companies, we support charity sports runs, organize charity fairs and cooperate with charitable organizations. The Bosch Ukraine office is quite socially responsible as well. There are separate waste bins for waste sorting, energy-saving lamps, and other technologies. We collect garbage from the waterfront near the office and transfer it to the sorting station every spring. This year, together with the Malta Relief Service, we are preparing a very important new project that will help socialize children with cerebral palsy by running. Yes, these children cannot participate in marathons on their own, but we can help them. To carry out the initiative, a specialized professional trolley was purchased so that a child can comfortably overcome their first running distance with us. The first participant began training in February, but it was temporarily paused for quarantine. However, we will definitely continue as soon as it is safe.
Social projects have great power. On the one hand, they unite the company’s team, and on the other, they make the world a bit better. If we don’t do this, who will?
Vitaliy Sedler, CEO and Co-founder of Intellias
Supporting sustainable urban development is a key focus of our CSR strategy. Intellias specializes in automotive software and navigation systems, including experience in developing software solutions for electric vehicles and self-driving cars. Moreover, Intellias has long been known as a bicycle-friendly company. In 2018, it was recognized as the Bike Seller of the Year. All the experience gained creates unique expertise we want to apply to the development of ecomobility in Ukraine.
However, the current pandemic situation creates new challenges for the whole society, and business cannot stand apart. As a responsible company, we are also involved in the fight against the disease spread. Intellias has provided funds for the purchase of 10 000 express tests, which will be used to organize rapid population testing.
We generally pay considerable attention to social projects, including charity development and corporate volunteering. For example, last year, as part of the Intellias Time for Charity campaign, we raised funds to repair one of the hospital buildings for war veterans. In addition, at our colleagues’ initiative, a corporate charity fundraising platform for socially important projects was created on St. Nicholas Day.
Learn more about the initiatives of Intellias in our 2019 CSR Report – https://www.intellias.ua/events/social_responsibility_report_2019.
Yaroslav Nitsak, CEO of Ericsson Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia
Ericsson is committed to the sustainable development of society. For us, sustainability is a long-term social justice, economic prosperity, and environmental performance improvement. Our social development promoting activities are focused on sustainable development goals. To achieve these goals, we use our technology and rich experience.
Ericsson constantly develops, manufactures and realizes sustainable development products, services and solutions.
One of the various examples of a positive impact of our technologies (or our activities) is the environmental transport project implemented in partnership with Einride, Telia and DB Schenker in Sweden. The project is aimed at reducing emissions from cars. Their share of world carbon emissions is 25% while transport has leading positions by this indicator in cities. Cars that use natural fuel cause damage to the environment and also endanger road safety. Therefore, Ericsson and its partners are creating a safer and greener transportation ecosystem using 5G technologies to connect fully electric autonomous transport. As a result, switching to electric transport reduces CO2 emissions at the logistics stage by 90% making unmanned commercial transport less idle, more reliable and cost-effective.
Another example is an educational project in Italy where the Ericsson Digital Lab helps gain knowledge about information and communication technologies.
Up to 65% of elementary schoolchildren plan to master jobs that may not be required at the end of their education. Therefore, children need to learn more difficult skills. Digital Lab is an educational program for students focused on programming and automation.
Nowadays, industries are being transformed with the introduction of 5G, IoT and AI, and therefore digital knowledge is obligatory to succeed in the future. 23 students participated in free training in programming, job management and automation. The program provides jobs for all successful students.
In Ukraine, in addition to local eco-initiatives, Ericsson Ukraine has joined the European Business Association and Lugera Ukraine joint project called “Transparent Business —Official Salaries”. Improving the investment climate of the country and growing the economy possible in the context of paying taxes and adhering to the ethics of doing transparent business — this is the aim of the project. Doing business honestly and transparently, taking care of employees, feeling responsible to partners, customers, and the community is in our DNA.
Dietrich Treis, Director of UIFK-Agro LLC
In order to successfully implement ideas and effectively conduct business, it is necessary to make a lot of effort and have a sufficient knowledge background. However, it is sometimes even more difficult to get “behind the wheel” of an existing entity. This is true both for a successful enterprise (because in this case, the main goal is to maintain a market position and increase qualitative and quantitative indicators) and for a neglected one. In the latter case, considerable time and financial resources are required to overcome a number of macro and microeconomic issues. We will take the agricultural enterprise UIFK-Agro LLC as an example and tell you a story about German investors who coped with the legacy of previous owners and felt the “favorable” investment climate of the Ukrainian business environment.
In 2017, UIFK-Agro LLC (Kyiv region, Baryshivka district, Korzh village) was in a very severe crisis. Its main activity was crop production, in particular the cultivation of cereals and industrial crops: wheat, rye, rapeseed, corn and sunflower. The land bank size was 3400 hectares and covered the lands of Yablunivka, Hostroluchia, Semenivka and Korzhivka village councils. The company had a feed mill (rented), an elevator (put into operation with defects), a meat mill (also rented) and workshops for pigs remained from the Soviet era, so their use relevance equaled zero. It would seem that a powerful agro-industrial complex with a good location (70 km from the capital) and a sufficiently developed infrastructure (5 km to the Kyiv-Kharkiv highway, 10 km to the railway) is doomed to be successful, but a number of business processes no longer meet the requirements of modern competition. Physically and morally outdated equipment, lack of automation, inefficient management, difficult relationships with landlords (owners of land shares), and irrational use of material resources — all this was waiting for new owners.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt said. These words completely relate to the activities of the current director Dietrich Treis. An experienced German innovator, who has lived in Ukraine since the 2000s, has managed to believe and establish the company in two years:
Dietrich Treis pays special attention to the social needs of rural communities. The number of landlords of UIFK-Agro LLC is more than 1500 people. It is obligatory to pay them timely rent funds and provide one-time charitable assistance. In addition to this, the company provides:
In terms of social policy, UIFK-Agro LLC covers education, sports, culture, medicine, leisure activities of every community it rents land in. The implemented activities and projects occur regularly. Some of them occur spontaneously, but the main ones are permanent and systematic.
Thus, at the beginning of every spring, a children’s football tournament is held in Korzh where teams from surrounding villages and from Kyiv gather. The organization and prizes are taken over by the enterprise. The team of Yablunivka village council received a new set of football uniforms and equipment for the field in 2018; Korzh football players are provided with a bus from UIFK-Agro LLC for away games.
More than 30 000 UAH is allocated to repair the school in Yablunivka for the second time in a row, so that the classrooms are warmed, corridors are repaired and worn out buildings are dismantled. Every year, on September 1, first-timers receive stationery kits from UIFK-Agro LLC. Hostroluchia Educational Complex was presented with a laptop and refrigerator.
There is an Inclusive Resource Center in the Baryshivka district supported by UIFK-Agro LLC. A personal computer was purchased in 2018; a new gym carpet was provided in 2019; the center is provided with information booklets to raise public awareness of such an institution; at the end of 2019 educational games were purchased and a video of the center’s activities was created.
There are four schools in Berezan, one of which, Secondary School №2, is the smallest. In 2019, the company provided building materials to repair the tennis room, and presented a tennis table before the New Year holidays.
Each settlement celebrates its “birthday”. UIFK-Agro LLC does not stay away and actively participates in the celebration organization and holding. Traditionally, our program is aimed at organizing leisure and treats for children.
The greetings of all World War II veterans and people with disabilities with the provision of food kits remain traditional.
The variety of activities and projects becomes larger and much more useful every time. The social development strategy of UIFK-Agro LLC will continue to cover all categories of population with a long-lasting interaction effect.
Dmytro Aranchii, Founder of Dmytro Aranchii Architects
The motto of Dmytro Aranchii Architects is “designing the future”. It is impossible to imagine projecting the future without raising children and young people, without developing their critical thinking, desire and courage to create. That is why we are always happy to support projects aimed at educating our younger generation.
I have given numerous public lectures and workshops, including those for students. I was also a mentor at the Archikids Festival and a lecturer at the Robotica Festival.
I wrote a work on the computational architecture (which is gradually changing the concept of the profession and is constantly expanding in workshops around the world) called “Algorithmic Methods of Architectural Formation”, which is perhaps the only system monograph in the field of parametric architecture in Ukraine. We offer special discounts for students and we gladly donate the book to the libraries of profile universities so that more inquisitive young people have access to concentrated information on computing architecture. I teach architectural conceptual design at KNUBA (CA program, Computational Architecture), and my students always have access to all the knowledge from our workshop. Our office is open to them so that they can work as a team. Our staff is always happy to assist them with any questions they may have about their projects.
Not long ago, a girl from an orphanage who dreamed of becoming an architect visited our studio. We introduced her to this work, a range of tasks that a professional architect can perform. After all, teenagers often choose a profession without even knowing what a particular specialist is actually doing. Our employees are constantly volunteering at children’s architecture festivals or popular culture festivals. One of our colleagues, Iryna Hrebeneva, was the developer of the course called “Architecture” aimed at teaching young elementary schoolchildren basic architectural concepts, styles, architectural landmarks. Workshop architect Anhelina Hladushevska teaches this course at school and works with children on a full-time basis. She also gave a lecture to teachers from across the country in terms of preparation for the International Leo League Robotics Olympiad where these teachers’ students will present their “City of the Future” projects.
In the nearest future (due to recent complex events in the world in an online mode), we plan to hold a workshop for young architects to introduce them to parametric architecture. We are also waiting when students are able to take a new excursion to us after the pandemic ends.
We invest our time and skills in the future. We believe that we are joining the education of a creative and courageous generation able to think. We will change the future getting side by side very soon.
Nadiia Kuziv, Executive Director of Accountor Ukraine
Globally, the Accountor Group sponsors charitable foundations dealing with pediatric cancer in all seven countries.
In Ukraine, Accountor Ukraine has supported two organizations — the Leviv Club Kyiv Ecology Charity Organization having purchased art supplies for patients of the Children’s Oncology Unit of the Kyiv Regional Clinical Hospital, and the Tabletochki Charitable Foundation having provided targeted assistance to a cancer patient child.
For Accountor Ukraine, supporting such charitable projects is an opportunity to take an active part in helping the younger generation in our own country. Working and helping everyone hand in hand, we create faith in the future together.
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