Poster Olena Maksymets

Reasons for and problems of introducing modern approaches and techniques in business education in Ukraine with regard to Sustainable Development (the case of forest sector)

At the bottom of this page, please find the article version of this poster.

Poster Maksymets
Poster Maksymets


It is impossible to underestimate the importance of Education in Sustainable Development (ESD). We all clearly see the effect of “informational attack” (in a good sense) on the progress in SD on the global scale. We don’t have to explain what does “sustainable development” mean, but still in many countries we must explain and educate how to reach the target on different levels with balanced benefits.

The focus has been set on the eight Baltic Sea Region (BSR) (Fig. 1) countries and their progress taking into the account the global development. In addition to other European Union countries twelve members of Baltic University Programme (BUP) (Fig. 2)  were incorporated into the research and presentation in order to compare different aspects (Table. 1). We have used methodical approach of HDI/E matrix to find out the progress in approaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The position of each country in correspondence to both parameters shows interesting peculiarities. Also we see that economic results are of the least influence (Fig. 3). Concerning Ukraine we observe the most significant ecological footprint for agriculture and mining industry (Fig. 4).

Research question

The hypothesis: New courses and changes in Business Education and Management are needed to facilitate new business patterns, achieve sustainable goals and change attitude of forest sector companies and other stakeholders,. As well, we see the importance of dual education for both universities and companies: future employers, current and future employees (current students) .

In order to achieve goals and change forest business for better we suggest to implement, motivate and promote SDGs on the micro-level. By micro-level we mean not only the changes on a company level or its unit, but also the preconditions to hiring staff with appropriate competences and viewpoint based on their skills and competencies.

The progress in achieving sustainable business is related to education of future managers and developing their attitude towards sustainable development. But this communication must have a feedback loop – it is important to understand the needs and current priorities of business in order to offer something really important.

Main method

It appears that changes in the majority of industries in the modern conditions are more or less dictated by the leading companies. For the best results, companies strive for greater integration and better incorporation of sustainable development in their annual reports and practice.

We see the solution of some problems in achieving SDGs via creating new informational and educational platforms, events and recourses for business representatives. It is obvious that every sector has its own features, problems and possibilities regarding SDGs.

We have studied one of the controversial sectors in Ukraine in terms of sustainability aspects – forest sector (NACE 02.2, 16.1, 16.2, 17, 31 or HS Codes 4401, 4403, 4407, 4409, 4411, 4412, 4418, 47-48 and 9403). Multiple surveys have been conducted as an integral part of different scientific research grants during the last 6 years:

  1. Study of the competitive advantages and main factors influencing the development of forestry sector competitiveness in the world and individual countries (statistics + survey results) - Sweden, 2013
  2. The study of competitiveness and main factors at the enterprise level as a basis for the implementation of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the forest sector (statistics + surveys) Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
  3. Survey of the business representatives’ attitude towards the KPI system development and implementation (various ownership and directions) in the forest sector - Ukraine, 2018-2020.

Before detecting reasons for introduction of modern approaches into educational process, we  have studied attitude of different stakeholders towards importance of courses (table 2). The interviews were conducted within STINT Grant program.

Main results

Several SDGs can be achieved as a result of implementation of the suggested incentives:

  • SDG4 “Quality Education” – without adequate educational background. It doesn’t mean that education is the only solution for all problems we are facing now, but definitely it is a key;
  • SDG8 “Decent work and economic growth” – forest sector companies’ managers (with proper background and understanding of SDGs) will be able to satisfy employees’ needs and provide with decent work conditions. Increase in productivity will have positive affect on economic indicators, as well as on employees’ satisfaction;
  • SDG9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” – this goal is challenging, but taking into account recent development in Ukrainian forest sector caused by the Log Export Ban in 2015-2017, we can definitely track the progress in wood-working industry performance as well as other value-added wood-related industries;
  • SDG12 “Responsible production and consumption” – responsible production in forest sector is linked to sustainable forest management and certification schemes. Consumption is linked with the responsible use of forest products, recycling and reuse. Also companies use C-o-C certificates to insure their responsibility for SD, Sustainable Development reports, Corporate Social Responsibility Reports, Global Reporting Initiative etc.;
  • SDG17 “Partnerships for the goals” –  Ukrainian forest sector is a complex structure of interdependent industries and thus it is impossible to evolve and reach goals without partnership and collaboration;
  • -SDG7 “Affordable and clean energy” – wood residues in different conformations are highly demanded as an alternative source of energy. It means that there are many interesting options for the forest sector – not only to be a direct supplier of the energy resources, but also become a change-maker on a market;
  • SDG5 “Gender equality” – the results of the interviews of Ukrainian forest sector representatives showed the lack of acceptance from the top-managers for this particular problem, but gradually the percentage of women in labor force is increasing. The problem is still urgent and further research is needed in the modern conditions;
  • SDG1 “No Poverty” – this goal can be assured if SDG8, SDG 9 and SDG2 are achieved. As we see it, local people and communities rely on forest as a resource for their support and ability to earn money. Forest companies give jobs with decent salary and also try to satisfy the needs of local communities;
  • SDG2 “Zero Hunger” – local people rely on wood and non-timber forest products (mushrooms, berries, herbs, game etc.) and these aspects should be reflected in Key Performance Indicators.

Main conclusion

The research proved that sustainable development aspects must be included not only into the formation of the KPI system for the forest sector, but first of all into the business courses as the educational background of future decision makers.

The problems in the Carpathians for many decades have been (and still are as we see – floods in June 2020, Fig. 6) the subject of concern and continuous debates. One of them refers to the deforestation (Fig. 5) influencing many countries in the Baltic Sea Region. In order to prevent further deforestation, promote sustainable forest management and give impetus to wood-working industry Log Export Ban has been introduced starting from 2015 in Ukraine. Nevertheless we see mere progress. That is why we are convinced that education of the future managers is more important.

It is clear that the world and behavior is changing every day and it is difficult to predict either natural or health (COVID-19) disasters. This means that extending the circle of communication and expertise is one of the priorities. Each year universities organize different venues for students and teachers in order to foster communication, improve educational process and get new ideas for scientific activities.

The changes must be induced, motivated and promoted from the lower level. It means that if we want to make progress in business, we should first think how to educate future managers and give them insight for the sustainable development. But this communication must have a feedback loop – it is important to understand the needs and current priorities of business in order to offer something really important


Olena Maksymets, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor, Department of International Business Management, Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv, UKRAINE

Inna Kuznetsova, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Management, Odessa National University of Economics, Odessa, UKRAINE


Maksymets O. Introduction and Use of Key Performance Indicators to Increase Competitiveness of Ukrainian Forest Sector Enterprises / Olena Maksymets, Sophia Antosevych // Scientific Bulletin of UNFU. – Lviv: UNFU, 2019. – Vol. 29. – Pp. 62-66

Maksymets O. Ukrainian Forest Sector Competitiveness ThroughIncorporation of Sustainable Development Aspects into MBA in Forest-RelatedIndustry Courses / Olena Maksymets // Studia Periegetica. − 1(15). − 2016. − Pp. 97-111

Human Development Index (HDI) Data available at:

Ecological Footprint (EF). Data available at:

The BUP network. Data available at: k

Floods in Western Ukraine. Data available at: