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Profile

UNISON Group is a professional think tank civil society organization specialized in providing sustainable solutions in areas such as energy governance, sustainable and renewable energy supply, energy efficiency, ‘green’ technology, green finance, climate change mitigation, and water and environment making it one of the leading organizations contributing to climate change in Central Asia. Established in 2002 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, UNISON Group advises governments, finance institutions, donors, and civil society organisations on the most critical issues and promising opportunities for green/climate and sustainable development investment opportunities at the national, regional, and municipal levels in Kyrgyzstan and the region.

 

UNISON Group is made up of a national, international and multidisciplinary team of experts composed of environmental scientists, engineers, legal experts, financial specialists, and experienced project managers. Our team has expertise in the fields of energy efficiency, resource-saving and climate resilience technologies, renewable energy sources, and green finance.

UNISON Group’s dedicated team of seasoned professionals has worked both at political and practical levels and has successfully managed over 40 multilateral projects on sustainable energy, renewables, energy efficiency in buildings and other sectors with leading European and American partner institutions. In addition, they exhibit extensive knowledge and experience with conducting technical assessments, energy audits, preparation of feasibility studies, market surveys, capacity building at local and national level and performing activities and pilot projects.

The experts of the UNISON Group’s team are certified specialists on developing Energy Management System based on ISO 50001, and internal audit of implementation of Energy Management System, qualified on Energy Performance Assessment of public, residential, administrative and industrial buildings in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia.

There are several aspects that make UNISON Group a competent organization for the implementation of the project. These aspects include the utilisation of a holistic and systemic approach covering all aspects – organisational, technical, financial, legal, and social – at all project implementation stages. The organization uses a comprehensive strategy exploiting all available tools and methodologies to raise awareness, establish links and facilitate communication and networking between government and municipal authorities, civil society, the business community and technology suppliers. UNISON Group centres on the hands-on, localised approach with a focus on the end beneficiaries, comprising direct assistance and personalised support, reflecting the needs of specific group of stakeholders.

 

UNISON Group is considered as one of the leading organizations in Kyrgyzstan with a long track record of almost 20 years of successfully cooperating on climate, energy efficiency and environmental agenda with state authorities and international donors. Some of the main donors include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank Group (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Commission (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and other international development organizations together with the Kyrgyz Government agencies such as the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Emergency situations, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Industry and Melioration and others.

 

Some of the UNISON Group’s main projects include:

  • Implementing partner of the project “Promotion of energy security and sustainable growth through increased energy and resource efficiency in tourism SMEs in Kyrgyzstan” (PERETO), financed by the EU Switch Asia (2020-2024);
  • Implementing partner to Kyrgyzstan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KYRSEFF), USD 55 million dedicated climate and energy efficiency credit line of EBRD, blended with EU IFCA grants, Local Project Consultant to support local PFIs, sub-borrowers from SME and households with EE solutions (2013-2022) (http://www.kyrseff.kg). UNISON Group provided climate technology market surveys in 2013, 2016 and in 2020. The purpose of these technology market surveys was to identify and assess eligible technologies as well as to assess market penetration of these technologies in Kyrgyzstan and advise EBRD about these for climate finance under KyrSEFF. The first market survey was conducted before the launch of KyrSEFF in 2013 and has supported the Bank on setting up KyrSEFF eligibility criteria at the right level and for impactful technologies. Further market surveys were conducted in 2016 and in 2020, allowing the Bank to monitor the progress and market dynamics for all eligible and impactful technologies. This have allowed the Bank to identify new technology opportunities for investments as well as to calibrate further eligibility criteria for climate finance and reflect the progress achieved on the market. UNISON Group has ensured that the projects implemented in the framework of KyrSEFF have resulted in effective reduction in energy and water consumption, and of carbon emissions – most of the time exceeding the expected results defined in the Programme’s objectives. Since 2013, 2,595 projects have been implemented in both residential and commercial sectors in the framework of KyrSEFF (phases I and II). The total investment of more than $46.4 million has resulted in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 55.9 thousand tons per year.
  • Implementing partner of the project “Kyrgyz Republic: Heat Supply Improvement Project - Detailed Energy and Seismic Audits of Selected Buildings”.  Detailed Energy Efficiency and Seismic Stability Feasibility Studies of the 15 public buildings in Kyrgyzstan (2017-2021), financed by the World Bank.
  • Urban Development Project of Kyrgyzstan, local consultant (2015-2018) on supporting Energy Efficiency investments under the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP). Assistance provided to 4 Kyrgyz cities on development of a Municipal Energy Efficiency Plans, preparation of Pre-Feasibility Study for municipal Street lighting, local capacity building in implementing of energy efficiency investments in municipal services, infrastructure, and buildings. Project financed by the World Bank.
  • Kyrgyz Republic: Heat Supply Improvement Project, local consultant of the World Bank since 2018 on supporting Energy Efficiency investments. The Projects included: i) Energy Audit of 15 public buildings; ii) Development of Road Map and Market Survey of Energy Efficient and RES technologies; iii) Building Inventory Data Base of public buildings.
  • Enhancing Regulatory Framework for Built Environment in Kyrgyzstan and technical assistance on transposition of the EU Directive 31/2010/EU with new legislation on energy efficiency of buildings in Kyrgyzstan, Policy dialogue, supported by EBRD (2009-2012). Lead Project partner, supporting the State Agency on Construction and Architecture on development of a new set of policy and regulatory framework for energy efficiency in buildings upon provisions of the EU Building Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings. The assignment included development of an entire set of new primary legislation (Law on Energy Performance of Buildings), secondary legislation (Government decrees and regulations providing implementation procedures), adaptation of 8 technical standards, and harmonisation of  other laws and regulations, related to implementation of the new legislation;
  • Implementation of the Energy Policy Dialogue on Good Governance in Kyrgyzstan (2009-2015). Project supported the Kyrgyz Ministry of Energy on establishment of Fuel Energy Sector Transparency Initiative. Project financed by the Open Society Institutions, USA.

 

In addition to the above projects on the expert assessments, feasibility studies, and assistance provided to climate investments, UNISON Group has been actively involved in policy dialogue activities since 2009. Unison Group has extensive experience of participation in the full cycle of law-making processes and policy dialogue facilitation. Partnering with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2016, Unison Group has developed a Roadmap for the implementation of the Law on Energy Performance of Buildings (LEPB) and supportive secondary legislation. In 2017, Unison has developed amendments to the LEPB to address bottlenecks and obstacles to its implementation, and ensured its harmonization with other State regulations. To streamline these processes, Unison Group has conducted and moderated frequent information sessions, public hearings, seminars and workshops for all involved stakeholders so as to collect their recommendations. Unison Group conducted the country’s first comprehensive electricity governance assessment.

 

UNISON Group lead the works on drafting and development of the Law “On the Energy Performance of Buildings", Law “On Energy Saving” and several regulations on minimum requirements for building’s energy performance and implementation mechanisms, all of which have passed all legislative stages of discussions, Parliament and Government approvals and have entered into force in February 2012. Kyrgyzstan is the first country in Central that has modelled its entire sector legislation on the model provided by EU Directives.

On regional and municipal level, UNISON Group is assisting municipal authorities in Kyrgyzstan to develop municipal energy efficiency action plans, and improve energy efficiency of municipal infrastructure and assists with implementation of a larger number of pilot projects for energy renovation of schools and kindergartens as part of World Bank’s Urban Development Projects (UDP).

 

On top of that, UNISON Group is a three-time winner of Energy Globe National Award (2008, 2011, 2016) and has also been awarded with the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation's International Award for Excellence in Consulting (2019) in Green Economy and Environmental Protection. For the period 2010-2015, UNISON Group was appointed Vice-Chairman of the ‘Fuel and Energy Sector Transparency Initiative’ that served as an advisory council under the Ministry of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Head of UNISON Group, Ms. Nurzat Abdyrasulova, has been awarded with the Kyrgyz Republic President’s Certificate of Honour (2017) and the Kyrgyz Republic Government Award (2019) for the conscientious work and great contribution to the sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan.

 

UNISON Group has initiated and co-founded the Association “Green Alliance of Kyrgyzstan”, which connects over fifty legal entities, including NGOs, the academic sector and the business community. The Green Alliance has built the biggest professional network in Central Asia, uniting more than one hundred experts specialised in energy efficiency, climate change, organic agriculture, green certification, renewable energy, etc.  Unison Group strives to achieve its vision of sustainable development advancement, environmental protection and social justice in Central Asia.