ECO style

Light energy of people: conscious consumption and personal social responsibility

Hanna Kozyr,
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, KNESS Group

Sustainable development is impossible without everyone's social responsibility. KNESS's peculiarity is that our corporate social responsibility harmonizes with the social responsibility of everyone working here. We are all different, we have different dreams and personal plans, but we are united by common values and faith in what we do every day.

CSR in KNESS is based on the principle of voluntariness. Each employee chooses the initiatives that are close to the soul and values. In KNESS everyone has the opportunity to offer their own initiative and receive support for its implementation. And although we cannot change the whole world and at the same time achieve all the goals of sustainable development, we can change our mindset, the attitude of people around us to certain issues and problems of society, and thus get closer to solving them.

Environmental initiatives, donor days, tours, races have become traditional. We share knowledge, energy, blood, do something on our own - create and multiply without losing our own resources, on the contrary - restoring them.

Regardless of the period of your childhood, I'm sure most of us dreamed of changing the world for the better. My dream looked like this: I will be so cool that one day everyone will wake up, and the world is different, and everyone is happy in it. I was not aware how to do it, but I was sure that when I grew up I would know for sure.

As with most, over time it became clear that I had become an adult, but I still did not know how to make the world happy. But I learned the meaning of the word «utopia». And it seemed that in the cycle of work-home-sleep to change the world for the better is a pipe dream. Shall I betray a dream? By no means. I decided to look for a way, assessed my capabilities and just changed my approach.

It is definitely possible to change the world around us for the better. I'm sure most have heard and know a simple recipe for these changes: start with yourself. People who work next to me prove it every day. And then these changes diverge and scale like circles on water. There is no need to be a community activist or a thought leader - you just have to start with yourself.

You can worry that the climate is changing and energy resources are depleting. Or you can get into the habit of turning off the water when brushing your teeth, and finally repair the leaking tap. So, the cost of a valuable resource will be reduced. You can turn off the monitor when taking a break and turn off the light when leaving the room - and energy consumption will decrease. I do not change the world by doing that, but I take a step towards positive change. Everyone can do it now - consume consciously. Conscious consumption is necessary in everything: shopping, cooking and even in daily travel. Think, plan, act here and now. Think meaningfully while solving specific tasks within your family, team, or community.

Each of us has the opportunity to change the world around us. Everyone has different opportunities, but here and now you can start positive changes that do not require investment. A simple example: garbage and its management are a well-known, global problem. What to do with it? Blame the government and wait until it solves the problem? Or you can just start sorting at home, plastic bottles at a minimum. At least start with yourself.

People who sort and dispose of waste for recycling are no longer uncommon. Someone started sorting waste at home. They taught their children to sort plastic, told their friends or relatives that it was necessary and possible to do it - so there were more people who sort and give raw materials for processing. Among such people was an «adherent» who suggested to colleagues in the office to start sorting waste paper or plastic, or both. So, the whole KNESS team started sorting. There were discussions, debates, mistakes were made (sorting is a kind of quest), but there is a pure fact: there are more people sorting waste. My personal observation: the one who started sorting will not be able to do otherwise. Therefore, from the office, this initiative began to spread to the employees' home lives. And the foundation was laid by someone who decided to change one of his/her habits. This is just one example, and there are many others.

We are different, but we have something in common. We believe in what we do. Working at KNESS gives you the opportunity to contribute to a clean and independent future on a daily basis, to change the world around you for the better now with your daily work. And CSR at KNESS is an opportunity to unite around social, environmental or ethical issues, to draw attention to them and to work together to address them. And the key word here is to unite.

Our team is a great example of how people come together to make the world a better place: it's not just our day-to-day work. Work takes up a third of our lives. So why not live it, leaving behind something for a secure, clean, independent future?

Andrii Yukhnovskyi,
Technical Security Means Engineer, KNESS Energy

KNESS Group is one of those bringing our country closer to energy independence. The direction we have chosen is quite diverse - it is the construction and development of the RES sector: solar power plants, development and production of electricity storage systems ESS, purchase and sale of electricity.

Personally, I like the principle of electricity accumulation in battery cells the most. In my opinion, this technology is the future. I think so, because balancing the energy system now is a rather difficult and «painful» process. This is what is currently perhaps the main problem of Ukraine's energy system. The ESS system can significantly mitigate this problem. And in the presence of large capacities in general to reduce it to a minimum.

I am currently working on video surveillance and fire alarm systems at solar power plants and high-voltage substations. Technical means of safety are an important link for the normal operation of such facilities, as safety must always come first.

Socially responsible business is the work of a company that not only works to earn money, but at the same time benefits society, the state, the community where its activities are deployed. This is exactly what we, the KNESS Group, are like.

Daria Viediernikova,
Administration Specialist, KNESS Group

Corporate social responsibility for me is an interaction, dialogue with society, responsibility for the environment, participation in solving social problems. CSR is the responsibility, the actions able to make our environment better. For me, CSR is a system of measures aimed at improving all areas of responsibility, because without a systematic approach it is impossible to achieve certain results in any area. Socially responsible business is a voluntary participation of a company in maintaining an active social position, in the development of the economy, in the development of the external environment of the company, a responsible attitude to the product it manufactures.

KNESS is a company that motivates me, inspires and gives a great opportunity to be socially active. It was here that I became more involved in social initiatives. Exactly here I became more involved in social initiatives.

Bohdan Bondar,
Dispatcher, KNESS Service

Educational activities motivate our county for the energy transition the most. Our company «sheds a light» on many myths about «green» energy. This is what I and my colleagues from the Dispatch center do every day, we refute stereotypes about RES. Energy transition is possible only on the condition of a favorable climate in the country, and it will not be possible without people's knowledge and understanding of where the energy industry is going to.

Socially responsible business is an opportunity to share corporate values and ideas with the whole world, not to impose, but to explain, to enlighten.

Ilona Lysiuk
Head of Administration and Document Management, KNESS Group

Our state is growing up and becoming more conscious, just like us. We feel responsible to ourselves and to the world. My dad used to install power grids in villages that had never had electricity before. For people, it was like the first fire. My dad taught me to appreciate energy, turn off unnecessary appliances, later we switched to energy-saving lamps, always gave used lamps for recycling. If we can make the world a better place, we should start with ourselves. Now electricity has become more accessible, but the question of ecology has arisen today and in the future. KNESS's top priority is to help Ukraine in transition to electricity generated entirely from renewable sources.

Participation in socially useful activities is when you simply cannot do otherwise, when you cannot stand aside, when you are a role model for your child, you are an example for your loved ones. When you do not think that «it's nothing to do with me», when you get rid of the thought that nothing depends on you alone, when you do care.

Nataliia Fialkovska,
HR Manager, KNESS Group

To my mind, socially responsible business is about mature people and «mature» values. When a company in the process of creating its product also contributes to the improvement of society and the environment, helps to solve social and ethical problems - it shows indifference at all levels: from company owners to employees at facilities. Moreover, the products of the KNESS Group are created in order to solve energy and environmental problems that our country will face in the near future. So, these problems will affect each of us, regardless of whether we want to recognize them or not.

The example of KNESS makes it clear that you may be not «afraid of the problem», but actively search for solutions. Personally, I am motivated by the opportunity to be involved in the work of the company, as well as in initiatives related to social responsibility. It's an opportunity to be the best yourself and make the world around you a little better than it was yesterday. It is an opportunity to think ahead and feel responsible for what this world will be like tomorrow. I believe that these things depend on the vector of thinking and action of each of us.

Stanislav Yaroshenko,
Head of the Planning and Production Department, KNESS Product

From my youth I realized the fact that renewable energy is an indisputable future for the city, the country, the continent, the world. Ever since I first saw a solar-powered industrial power plant. 2 years ago, I joined the KNESS team. Here these beliefs became even more ingrained in my consciousness.

The modern world and modern ecology have a very important and global challenge - the accumulation and preservation of «clean» energy. The main prerequisites for the use of such technologies are decarbonization, digitalization, decentralization of energy production and the development of renewable energy. Now the Energy Storage System is being produced with my participation.

Yana Kyianovska,
HR Inspector, KNESS Group

A sense of unity arising in the process of work motivates to be socially active. Examples of, at a first glance, insignificant actions creating a great result, as well as caring people around inspire not to remain indifferent. Supporting initiatives is an opportunity to change yourself and change the environment for the better, as well as to gain new experience.

Kristina Horchynska,
Graphic Designer, KNESS Group

Probably, on a national scale, my personal participation is not very noticeable. But together with the company, together with the team, I have an influence. Once a month I hand over a few kilograms of recyclables or help one or two animals in a shelter, but together with the company our concern for the environment, the planet is many times greater. KNESS provides an opportunity. The opportunity to have an impact with like-minded people and the support of the company, to make a contribution that can change the situation for the better, to postpone global warming, to make clean energy available.

That is all real, and every step in that direction is important.

About sorting. My family and I sort garbage into 9 fractions. I do not throw away clothes, I find another use for them. I strive to learn to consume correctly: not to purchase something so that you have to stack chests with «goods», and then look for companies disposing of this, once supposedly necessary lumber.

About charity. When I got a cat (I took a stray cat from a volunteer), I started to provide financial support for one of the cat shelters. This is a monthly payment for the treatment and vaccination of cats and purchasing their merchandise. Another good option is to buy gifts for your family and friends in such charities, because the funds are aimed to help animals.

I am motivated by responsibility for my future and what it will be like after me. It inspires me to be helpful and caring. We need to give the world more than we received.

Anna Krutchenko,
Administrator, KNESS Group

Life in one day is a philosophy practiced today by the lion's share of the inhabitants of our planet. Tempted by an instant desire provoked by attractive advertising, we buy extra, unnecessary things, without thinking about the personal future and the future of next generations. Such, at first glance, insignificant actions of an individual lead to significant consequences and create really dangerous epidemic of consumption for society. To avoid spreading it, I support the concept of conscious consumption and try to buy things only when necessary. When I go to the store, I always have a list of what I need; when buying clothes, I always choose quality materials that will last for several years; I sometimes «give a second life» to old things: I sew clothes from them for the cold season for my four-legged friend.

Lina Kukuruza,
Head of Credit Administration, KNESS Group

I consider myself responsible for the future of our planet. Individual humans are losing their greatness in today's global world, so we often shift the responsibility to politicians, companies and countries. But the world is a person, companies are a person, the future is a person. And the ecological problems can be solved only by an individual: by establishing a balance between their own consumption and the impact on the world.

When I throw away a plastic bag, I imagine that 7 billion people are doing the same thing at the moment. My family has been sorting garbage into several categories for many years, and this year we are going to increase the number of categories to 5. I understand that sorting is not enough - we need to reduce consumption: we plan to completely abandon the use of plastic bags.

Our lifestyle today is creating a future for our planet: either we will turn our planet into a pile of rubbish and poison our air, or we will do everything we can to leave the planet at least as it is today. Individual choice: I personally choose conscious consumption.

Victor Yakovenko,
Electrical Engineer-Designer of the 2nd Category, KNESS RnD Center

When you work in the sector of «green» energy, you begin to transfer its value component into everyday life. Energy efficiency starts with each of us. My family and I started sorting garbage. It is quite simple - add a couple more containers at home for glass, plastic, metal products and organic waste. Clear up what can be recycled and start sorting. It's a little harder to find recycling points, but here the Internet is useful, so you can deal with it. The most important thing is the desire to leave the world clean and comfortable for the next generation.
Oleksandr Sahdiiev,
Head of Project Management, KNESS RnD Center

I gained all my professional experience in large industries: heavy engineering, carriage production, food production, agricultural companies. As head of production and service departments, I have always aimed to increase production and reduce costs. Environmental friendliness was not the first priority. Having joined the KNESS RnD Center team, I got to know that you can do your job and at the same time contribute to the development of «green» energy both in Ukraine and around the world. My main goal is to help professionals achieve their goals with maximum efficiency, and if the goals are right, it brings maximum job satisfaction. I sincerely believe that the company is on the right track to ensure a clean future.

The introduction of these technologies will improve both the reliability of the United Energy System of Ukraine (UESU) and the economic criteria of industrial facilities. Therefore, this is a strategic innovative direction for Ukraine.

KNESS is serious about clean energy production, energy efficiency and energy security. The company has implemented a large number of projects in this direction. The creation of the ESS energy storage system will be an important step and example for all Ukrainian businesses.

Serhii Chertkov,
Ecologist, KNESS Group

I have never considered myself a volunteer, and I am often surprised when someone reacts too exultantly to the way I treat animals. I probably would never have talked about it as something unusual or unique if I hadn't been asked. After all, there is nothing special about not passing by and helping those who need it. This is our responsibility. We must carry responsibility for the actions of others, because no one is to blame for the large number of homeless animals on the streets, except us- humans. It happened that the company's social responsibility for the problem of homeless or «industrial» dogs manifested itself in my life.

Energetychna Street in Vinnytsia, where the facilities and the head office of KNESS are located, is rather an industrial part of the city. So, it is not surprising that there are many mongrels. At first, the workers fed them. Then several were taken under their care: dog- houses were built on the territory of enterprises, they were treated, even a few had to be rescued and sent for rehabilitation to a veterinary clinic. All the team raised funds, because we do care. Some have found caring masters.

I think we're showing that passing by – is not an option. It's just that when someone needs help and I see that no one else can help at that moment, I do everything I can and do my best. Normally, others indifferent also join me.

Andrii Bondar, Head of the Chemical Research Department, KNESS RnD Center, and
Volodymyr Holodiuk,
Head of the Power Electronics Department

Cycling in Ukraine - 550 kilometers in 5 days… It was a trip from Vinnytsia to the Carpathians. Usually, when the weather is dry outside, we cycle to work, so we did not need any physical training for the trip. So, in a week we gathered all the necessary things and set off. It was really incredible… We chose a mixed route to be able to stay in those places that were interesting to us. The first stop is Burbun Waterfall in the Khmelnytskyi region, which is truly a miracle of nature. When a photo of the waterfall was posted on the social network, our foreign friends confused it with one of the Indonesian ones. Then we stopped in colorful villages, near the mountains, interesting sights, tasted traditional dishes of Western Ukraine. We spent the night in tents. In short, we received the maximum emotional detox from such an eco-holiday.

Bikepacking is an opportunity to appreciate the local area, because the locations change slowly, so you can enjoy nature and recharge.

As soon as it warms up, we plan a cycling trip again, in search of new places and impressions.

Alina Tarnopolska,
Document Management Engineer, KNESS Group

The first idea to plant trees arose a year ago. Several waves of large-scale devastating forest fires in Australia, the East Siberian taiga swept the world then. The flames also affected Ukrainian forests. Polluted air is becoming an insidious enemy both for us and for many future generations. In addition, there is the uncontrolled logging in the Carpathians and the pandemic. I had the feeling that the planet was suffocating and needed an oxygen mask, it was begging for help. It is necessary to act, and posts on social networks like «I'm sorry» are ineffective.

I started looking for information on the Internet on how to plant young trees. I found contacts of forestries, found out the prices for various seedlings and the conditions for helping foresters. That's how I learned that they lack a labor force every year, and they are only happy when someone comes to help on a volunteer basis. And already during my search it turned out that the same questions confuse not only me and I have like-minded people. Just at the same time, the all-Ukrainian project «Greening of Ukraine» was launched, founded by the CEO of Club Ukraine, which aimed to set a record in Ukraine - to plant 1,000,000 trees per day.

I was convinced that KNESS's corporate values were a favorable environment for my idea, so one day I sent two letters. One - to the corporate «Prostir Idei», and the other - to the organizers of «Greening of Ukraine» to find out the participation conditions. My idea was approved and supported by the company's management.

And already this year, on April 10, 10 sharp-leaved maples decorated Energetychna Street thanks to the team efforts of conscious environmental KNESS activists and technical support of municipal enterprise «Vinnytsiazelenbud». I hope that on April 10 we started one of the outstanding corporate traditions in the company.