Educational Projects and Green Recovery in Ukraine

How Ecolabels Contribute to Climate Change Mitigation

Since 2020, the NGO “Living Planet” has been implementing an educational project called “Climate and Environmental Education for Primary School Students” (with the support of the Finnish Embassy in Ukraine, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, regional institutes of postgraduate education for pedagogical workers, etc.).

This year, the project concludes with a Teacher Competition for those who have prepared educational and methodological materials and conducted thematic lessons in various subjects (mathematics, reading, Ukrainian language, “I Explore the World”).

Special attention was given to ecolabelling, which allows consumers to choose more environmentally friendly products and thereby contribute their power in preventing climate change.

Out of the 124 entries submitted for the competition, the distinguished jury selected 11 winners, three of which were in the category “How ecolabelling helps prevent climate change.”

As part of the mentioned project, a game for schoolchildren was developed, which helps them acquire skills in sustainable consumption and differentiate the meanings of various ecolabels in a fun and diverse format. Our Green Crane, the main character, teaches how to be a smart consumer.


Fig. 1  Schoolchildren during a lesson within the project “Climate and Environmental Education for Primary School Students.”

Fig. 2 Svitlana Berzina, the President of the NGO “Living Planet,” presents an eco-game featuring Green Crane as the main character.


Supporting sustainable public procurement for the green reconstruction of Ukraine

The direct damages inflicted on Ukraine’s infrastructure during the war amounted to $63 billion as of March 24th (railway infrastructure, bridges and overpasses, civilian airports, highways, and main roads). Ukraine is already receiving support for reconstruction, including from the EU. In particular, within the EU initiative “Phoenix,” Ukraine is being provided with the urgent financial assistance of 7 million euros for green reconstruction until December 2023.

“Financial support within the ‘Phoenix’ initiative is crucial for rebuilding ‘green smart’ cities in Ukraine. Such an initiative is not only an opportunity to understand what is needed for Ukraine’s recovery but also to align approaches with European and international standards…” – Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

Within the UN Environment Programme – UNEP, Living Planet has developed methodological recommendations for defining the terms of reference for the reconstruction or new construction of highways based on sustainable building principles.

In March, after the recommendations were discussed with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economy, a training webinar on the application of sustainable public procurement in the field of road management was conducted.

Representatives from the Ministries, the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the UN Environment Programme, and international and national experts presented policies, tools, and best practices for implementing sustainable procurement approaches in road construction.

The recommended requirements for technical specifications in design, non-price criteria, verification methods, and life cycle cost assessment of construction projects are as follows:

  • align with the UNEP approach to SPP and the European Commission’s recommendations on green public procurement for road construction projects;
  • improve procurement efficiency and the sustainability of road construction projects and facilitate the attraction of grant support and investments.

Ecolabelling is a reliable tool for selecting more environmentally friendly building products, lighting fixtures, and renewable materials.

Fig. 3 The reconstruction of roads has already begun based on the principles of sustainable construction.

The seminar was organised and prepared within the framework of the project on the “European Union for Environment Action” (EU4Environment), funded by the European Union and implemented by the OECD, UNECE, UNEP, UNIDO, and the World Bank.

Standards for Green Reconstruction and Repair

As a member of the National Technical Committee for standardisation TC 82 “Environmental Protection” (representing Ukraine in ISO/TC 207 – Environmental management ), Living Planet has developed a new ecolabelling standard for public buildings.

The standard will establish criteria following ISO 14024:2018 and ISO 21929-1:2011 “Sustainability in building construction – Sustainability indicators – Part 1: Framework for the development of indicators and a core set of indicators for buildings” to assess improved environmental characteristics of public buildings and structures at the stages of design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, repair, and end of life.

The main objectives in implementing and reviewing the environmental criteria are:

  • energy efficiency;
  • balanced resource management;
  • reduction and prevention of environmental impact;
  • effective waste management and increased opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials;
  • preference for the use of environmentally superior materials;
  • improvement of comfort and quality of life for users. 

The basic set of criteria will ensure the sustainability of the building throughout its life cycle.

Memorandum betweenLiving Planet and Green Building Council Italy

Living Planet is actively engaged in international cooperation to foster partnerships and leverage the expertise of leading green building systems. During the KEY ENERGY 2023 exhibition in Rimini, Italy, a Memorandum was signed between Living Planet and the Green Building Council Italy (GBC Italia) to collaborate and support Ukraine’s green recovery.

We are always open to partnerships for peace, green recovery, and improving the ecolabelling system as a reliable tool for sustainable development.

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