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Ukraine Green Recovery Conference

Vilnius 28 November - 1 December 2023

28 November

Policy Segment, Day 1: Preparing the reconstruction

  1. 10:00 – 12.00

    Moderator: Pavlos Doikos, ELMEN

    • 10:00 – 11:00: Registration and welcoming coffee
    • 11:00 – 11:05: Opening and instructions for the day
    • 11:05 –11:15: Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania: “Opening message” (recording)
    • 11:15 – 11:30: Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment –Presentation of the Ukraine Green Recovery Conference and the EU’s commitment to this objective (recording)
    • 11:30 – 11:45: Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine –The impact of the war on the Ukrainian environment: key figures and challenges for post-war reconstruction (recording)
    • 11:45 – 12:00: Simonas Gentvilas, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania - Lithuania’s effort towards a green recovery of Ukraine cities and environment (recording)
  2. 12:00 – 13:30
    Session 1 “Ukrainian municipalities at the forefront of the reconstruction: state of play of the situation on the field and further challenges”

    Moderator: Maksym Vereshchak, Local Sustainable Development Coordinator, Covenant of Mayors East (recording)

    • 12:00 – 13:15: Presentation by Ukrainians cities
      • Galyna Minayeva, Chuhuiv
      • Volodymyr Shmatko, Chortkiv
      • Olga Velychko, Poltava
      • Yevhen Udod, Kryvyy Rih
      • Yurii Tretiak, Myrnohrad
    • 13:15 – 13:30:Q&A
  3. 13:30 – 15:00
    Lunch break
  4. 14:00 – 14:30
    Press point
    • 14:00 – 14:03 Introduction by the moderator
    • 14:05 – 14:10 Short statement by Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
    • 14:10 – 14:15 Short statement by Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine
    • 14:15 – 14:30 Q&A
  5. 15:00 – 16:00
    Session 2 “Sustainable, beautiful and inclusive reconstruction – the New European Bauhaus”

    Commission Fulco Treffers, Director, Ro3kvit Urban Coalition for Ukraine (recording)

    • 15:00 – 15:10: Video message from Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth 
    • 15:10 – 15:20: Rūta Leitanaitė, Artūras Žarnovskis: “Future School for Ukraine”
    • 15:20 – 16:00: Panel discussion
      • Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine
      • Rūta Leitanaitė, Board member of the Architects Association of Lithuania and the Architects Council of Europe (ACE), Head of the Ukraine Task Force in ACE
      • Veronika Valk-Siska, Head of Housing Policy at the Ministry of Climate of Estonia
      • Philipp Misselwitz, Executive Director at Bauhaus Earth
  6. 16:00 – 16:20
    Coffee break
  7. 16:20 – 17:50
    Session 3 “Supporting Ukraine”

    Moderator: Peter Polajnar, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate General Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission (recording)

    • 16:30 – 16:45 Peter Polajnar, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate General Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission: “The new Ukraine Facility and Ukraine Plan”
    • 16:45 – 17:00: Vera Winthagen, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre: “The NEB webinars”
    • 17:00 – 17:20: Atila Uras, Head of Response and Recovery Unit, Disasters and Conflicts Branch, United Nations Environment Programme: “Mainstreaming environmental sustainability into recovery plans”
    • 17:20 – 17:40: Domenico Tinto, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission: “Assessing the performance and sustainability of construction products”
    • 17:40 – 17:50: Q&A
  8. 18:30 - 20:30
    Standing Networking Cocktail

29 November

Policy segment, Day 2: Opportunities for sustainable reconstruction



  1. 9:30 – 10:20
    Session 1 "Opportunities for green recovery offered by the EU"

    Informing and communicating about the key EU funding programmes and other initiatives that may support the Ukrainian green recovery.

    Moderator: Pavlos Doikos, ELMEN

    • 08:30 – 09:30 Welcome coffee and registrations
    • 09:30 – 09:50: Jean-Claude Merciol, Adviser, Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission: “LIFE Programme and opportunities for Ukraine” (recording)
    • 09:50 – 10:10: Rosalinde van der Vlies, Director Clean Planet, Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission: “Research and Innovation for Ukraine’s green recovery” (remote, recording)
    • 10:10 – 10:20: Q&A
  2. 10:20 – 11:00
    Session 2 “Addressing key needs of Ukrainian municipalities”

    Inspiration and practical help for municipalities involved in the reconstruction and rebuilding of Ukraine; presentation of the results of the capacity-building initiative.

    Moderator: Oksana Kysil, Covenant of Mayors East (recording)

    • 10:20 – 11:00: Experience fromMayors of the Chernihiv region
      • Gennadiy Prymakov, Mena
      • Nataliia Rubel, Nosivka
      • Andriy Portniy, Sosnytsya
      • Oleksandr Medvediov, Snovsk
      • Dmitro Sakaliuk, STARTER project
  3. 11:00 – 11:30
    Coffee break
  4. 11:30 – 13:00
    Session 3 “Planning for the future of cities”

    Inspiring and guiding by showcasing effective sustainable solutions to plan for the future of cities, drawing from EU-funded projects.

    Moderator: Ben Delbaere, ELMEN (recording)

    • 11:30 – 12:40: Presentation of EU-funded projects
      • Zuzana Hudekova, Bratislava-Karlova Ves Municipality - LIFE DELIVER
      • Sarah Miller, Rediscovery Centre – WiserLIFE
      • Johan Verlinde, Municipality of Rotterdam - LIFE URBAN ADAPT
      • Katarzyna Jankowska, Radom City Hall - LIFERADOMKLIMA-PL
      • Tanel Mätlik, Viimsi Municipality - LIFE UrbanStorm
      • Cinzia Davoli, Metropolitan City of Milan - LIFE METRO ADAPT
    • 12:40 – 13:00: Q&A and wrap-up
  5. 13:00 – 14:30
  6. 14:30 – 16:00
    Session 4 “Sustainable buildings for the future”

    Presentation of technical solutions for a sustainable reconstruction of buildings and districts in Ukraine. Showcasing of best examples and solutions from EU-funded projects.

    Moderator: Lynne Barratt, ELMEN (recording)

    • 14:30 – 14:35: Introduction to the session
    • 14:35 – 15:50 Presentation of EU-funded projects
      • Lara Méndez, Susana Penado, Lugo City Council - LIFE LUGO + BIODINAMICO (remote)
      • Eddy Deruwe, Flemish Energy and Climate Agency- LIFE IP BE REEL!
      • Paul Van Roosmalen, Municipality of Rotterdam - LIFE @UrbanRoofs
      • Mónica Ruiz Roso, Lidia Lopez, Regional Government of Extremadura - LIFE ReNaturalNZEB
      • Eleonora Paris, University of Camerino - LIFE ECO Tiles (remote)
      • Andreas Sedlmayr, INSTAGRID GmbH - LIFE CLEANAIRMM
    • 15:50 – 16:00: Q&A andwrap-up
  7. 16:00 – 16:30
    Coffee break
  8. 16:30 – 17:45
    Session 5 “Green recovery in the wider EU approximation process”

    Informing about Ukraine’s progression on its European and practicalities related to its public procurement. 

    Moderator: Pavlos Doikos (recording)

    • 16:30 – 17:45: Svitlana Berzina, Head of the Public Council and President of the All-Ukrainian NGO Living Planet: “Solutions for the green reconstruction of Ukraine”
    • 16:45 – 17:15: Oleh Bondarenko, Chairperson of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: “Ukraine’s progression in approximating with EU standards on the green economy”
    • 17:15 – 17:45: Mykola Tkachenko, Director of Prozorro – Ukraine’s online public procurement platform: “Public procurement processes in Ukraine”;
    • Oleksii Riabchyn, Senior Research Fellow, Kiev School of Economics: "Common demands for the Green Recovery of Ukrainefrom key donorsand investors"
  9. 17:45 - 18:10
    Policy segment closure
    • 17:45 – 17:55: Video message from European Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra (recording)
    • 17:55 – 18:10: Closing speech by Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of DG Environment of the European Commission
  10. 18:30-20:30
    Standing dinner

30 November

Business segment, Day 1: Circular economy to build back better


PM - (re)Constructing Ukraine in a circular approach

PM - The circular economy in Ukraine: taking stock to look forward

This day focussing on the circular economy will bring together businesses, technical specialists, as well as NGOs and government to discuss specific challenges and industrial solutions available on the market, in the form of plenary sessions and break-out sessions.

All the sessions of the day will be web streamed.

Find more about the speakers of the day

  1. 9:30 – 11:00
    • 09:30 – 09:35: Opening and instructions for the day
    • 09:35 – 09:45: High level opening by Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment (recording)
    • 09:45 – 10:00: Keynote speech by Vidmantas Janulevičius, President of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (recording)
    • 10:00 – 10:45: High-level panel discussion: “Circular reconstruction in Ukraine” (recording)

    The panel will address main policy barriers and enablers for Ukraine's transition to a greener and more circular economy. More specifically, it will discuss the necessary developments in key industrial fields to ensure a successful transition, notably in the areas of waste management, recycling, repair, reuse, product design, shared usage, and other circularity applications.

    Moderated by William Neale, Adviser for Circular Economy at DG Environment of the European Commission and with the participation of:

    • Oleh Bondarenko, Chairperson of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
    • Natalia Kozlovska, Deputy Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine (remote)
    • Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of DG Environment of the European Commission

  2. 11:00 – 11:15
    Coffee break
  3. 11:15 – 12:15
    • 11:15 – 12:15: Panel discussion: “How to translate cutting-edge circular economy expertise into affordable and sustainable reconstruction” (recording)

    Panellists will explore how to ensure that state-of-the-art circular economy practices can be successfully mainstreamed in Ukraine's recovery, despite unprecedented time and resource constraints. They will review the strategic, financial, and technical aspects while also considering the necessary ownership of local business actors. 

    Moderated by Mirjam Niemeyer, Partner at Helsinkizurich Architecture Practice, and with the participation of:

    • Jonas Byström, Lead Engineer, Waste Management and Circular Economy, EIB 
    • Matti Kuittinen, Professor of Sustainable Construction at Aalto University
    • Stephan Sicars, Senior Coordinator for Ukraine in the Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations, UNIDO
    • Timo Mäkelä, Senior Advisor at Sitra, Finnish Innovation Fund
    • Roman Zinchenko, Co-founder of Greencubator Ukraine
  4. 12:15 – 13:45
  5. 13:45 – 17:15
    Afternoon Session

    Participants will be able to choose their favourite presentations from two tracks running simultaneously, with the possibility to move from one track to the other. Each track will include four presentations with Q&A, with the final presentation in both tracks dedicated to an invited contribution by companies participating to the Conference. 

    Track 1: The circular economy in Ukraine: taking stock to look forward

    Room: Cousteau

    • 13:45 – 14:30: Cooperating with local government for a green and circular transition, by Maksym Vereshchak, Local Sustainable Development Coordinator at Covenant of Mayors East (recording)

    Drawing from established, hands-on experience in supporting Ukrainian municipalities' transition to a green and circular economy, the presentation will focus on long-term planning, procurement  processes, existing barriers, and bottlenecks for project implementation. This will be complemented by a focus on the indispensable involvement and ownership of local communities, as well as the imperative to create local job opportunities.

    • 14:30 – 15:15: Ukraine’s new legal framework for waste management, by Viktor Bukovynskyi, Chief of Division at the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine (recording)

    Ukraine's recently enacted Waste Management Law, which came into effect on July 9, 2023, marks a significant milestone toward aligning with EU standards and establishing a sustainable waste management system. It will expose its key principles, including the waste hierarchy, promotion of recycling, and extended producer responsibility. The presentation will also cover the specific implementation timeline and the expected role of businesses in this reform.

    Coffee break

    • 15:45 – 16:30: Open data in support of Ukraine’s market for secondary materials, by Andrii Hnap, CEO and Data Analyst at Waste Ukraine Analytics (recording)

    Obtaining comprehensive and clean data is an essential first step in achieving circular waste management. This data, in turn, becomes crucial for the development of a mature and efficient market for secondary materials. The presentation will demonstrate how the aggregation of open waste data can provide a fast and powerful means to enhance waste management, while also laying the foundation for matching business partners to harness waste as a new resource.

    • 16:30 – 17:15: Improving circularity in metallurgy – the Dnipro electric arc furnace case study, by Vladislav Varnavskiy, Director for Environment and Industrial Safety at Interpipe (recording)

    As one of the top 5 economic sectors in Ukraine, metallurgy must be a part of its green and circular transition. Among the least impactful on the environment, electric arc furnace technology for steel production paves the way for sustainability improvements in this industry. In presenting the largest electric steel melting complex in Eastern Europe, located in Dnipro, this session will focus on circular innovations, including scrap metal reuse, efficiency improvements, and closed-loop water supply.

    Track 2: (re)Constructing Ukraine in a circular approach

    Room: Columbus

    Moderator: William Neale, Adviser for Circular Economy at DG Environment of the European Commission

    • 13:45 – 14:30:Designing a circular (re)construction strategy: key building blocks, by Evert Schut, Circular Economy Expert, previously Senior Advisor at Rijkswaterstaat Netherlands (recording)

    Drawing from the experience of the Circular Construction 2023 platform in the Netherlands and on the work of Rijkswaterstaat (the Netherlands' National Roads and Waterways authority) on the sustainable construction for over 20 years, the presentation will cover key aspects that underpin a nationwide strategy for the post-war (circular) reconstruction of Ukraine. These aspects will include the re-use and recycling of demolition waste resulting from the war, and broader considerations on reconstructing with circular design principles in mind. The presentation will also address the importance of legislation and technical standards. The specific perspective of Ukraine, as a post-war Eastern European country, will be fully reflected.

    • 14:30 – 15:15: Establishing cost-effective debris management in Ukraine, by Martin Bjerregaard, Debris & Waste Management Expert, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine (recording)

    Drawing from the recent study prepared by UNDP, different scenarios for how debris from the war could be managed will be introduced, with a core preoccupation for reuse and recycling. Operational challenges will be reviewed, as well as key benefits with respect to decreased resource use, the avoidance of significant transport challenges and the saving of land space.

    Coffee break

    • 15:45 – 16:30: Challenges in concrete recycling for post-war reconstruction, by Viacheslav Troian, Professor at the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture (recording)

    A presentation on the latest state of knowledge about concrete recycling, which is an essential aspect of preventing unmanageable waste and resource shortages in Ukraine's recovery. The reuse of recycled aggregate recovered from old concrete will be discussed, shedding light on potential challenges, such as durability, workability, and mechanical properties, as well as the most pragmatic ways to expand the use of concrete recycling in Ukraine within the current legislative framework.

    • 16:30 – 17:15: Digital technology for debris analysis and reuse – the Hostomel and Mykolaiv case studies, by Kate Le Moignic, International Relations and Partnerships Lead at Neo-Eco Ukraine (recording)

    A discussion of how AI and other digital tools are mobilized to assess damages and costs in 70 settlements in the Mykolaiv area, as well as for the pilot circularity project that demonstrates the possibility of recycling war debris for reconstruction purposes in Hostomel. Attention will be given to the underlying processes and the necessary industrial partnerships to ensure the scalability of this innovation in Ukraine's green recovery.

  6. 17:20 - 17:30

    Room: Columbus

    Formal closing of the Conference by Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General at DG Environment of the European Commission (recording).


  7. 19:00 – 21:00

    Cocktail dinatoire offered to all conference participants.

1 December

  1. 09:00 – 13:00
    B2B Matching & networking

    After a welcoming plenary, participating EU and Ukrainian businesses will have the opportunity to deliver “elevator pitches”. On this basis as well as on the basis of preferences previously expressed by each participant, businesses will then be matched with other participants in a “speed dating” fashion (face-to-face meetings with quick rotation).

    • 09:00 – 09:05: Opening and instructions for the day
    • 09:05 – 10:30: Elevator pitch session

    Coffee break

    • 11:00 – 12:30: Business matching (pre-arranged meetings and networking)

    Lunch break

  2. 13:00 – 15:30
    Field visit

    Conference participants will have the opportunity to visit a site demonstrating exemplary practices in the circular economy in Vilnius, providing additional occasions for networking.

    • 13:45 – 13:50: Logistical briefing - Room: restaurant area of Holiday Inn Vilnius
    • 13:50 – 14:00: meeting at the busses for departure to the site visits
    • 14:00 – 15:30: Field visit
      • Plasta, one of Europe’s largest plants for plastic recycling and production from recycled plastic waste, with in-house developed technology and automated processes
      • Vilniaus Vandenys, the largest water management company in Lithuania, which developed a pioneering recycling of sewage sludge into forest fertilizer as an alternative to incineration (tbc)
    • 16:30: end of the day – Return to Holiday Inn Vilnius