I am completing my week-long tour of Europe on the theme of green construction (my work holiday). And although I have been interested in this for a long time, about 15 years, I have learned so much from this trip. Experience in private equity & strategic management makes it possible to draw parallels and draw certain conclusions.
Along with the creative economy (theaters, fine arts, cinema, music), green construction is a huge industry in Europe. This time I felt its scale. And it's not about the solar panels and windmills, but about the trees.
Everyone, from ordinary citizens to big businessmen and statesmen, is very clearly aware of the basic benefits from landscaping of territories - both urban and rural. First of all (although everyone's priorities are different) the benefits are ecological, and, secondly, commercially profitable. There is no need to discuss ecology; here everything is clear. However, not everyone realizes it clearly. Commercial profit means increasing the value of any real estate and territory (from private to public) in all senses (in terms of money and intangibles). The price of a house in the forest and another in the steppe may differ vastly. People want to walk in parks with large trees, not in the open field under the scorching sun.
At first, I had thought that the green cities of Europe are a gift of nature. In some respect, they are. On the other hand, it is the result of incredible efforts given to maintain this god-given wealth.
Virtually 99.9% of plant nurseries are family businesses in Europe. I tried to understand - why is this so? It is because only the personal operations management of the owners makes it possible to keep this business in good shape.
I visited a Dutch company which produces about 250 million plants per year. A man of 65 spoke with us. I looked at his huge hands. The blackness of humus soil and substrate was worn into the fingers on his hands. After a lengthy discussion, I ask:
"Are you in charge of this department?"
"I am the owner, director and worker."
Corporate governance, franchise and licenses do not work in this business at all. In this I became convinced. And if the only purpose of this business is to make money, then it will not work. They need to be very sick. All nurseries that I know personally are family businesses in the third or fifth generation, 50 to 150 years old!!! Advocates of optimizations do not even have to think about this. Coca-Cola can be produce according to a recipe. However, it is not possible to grow Picea Pungens Edith according to instructions only.
As I have said before, the green industry in Europe is huge. Therefore, specialization was developed there. Some make one-year seedlings; others grow 50-year-old trees. Our country is huge. Unfortunately, we are located in the depth of the continent. This affects the climate. Yes, Almaty is warmer, Astana is colder, but the air is dry everywhere. And this is the main problem. Our salvation is forests. Concerning the reversal of rivers, this can be forgotten for the next 200-300 years.
The construction industry has more or less formed in our country. And now, I believe, it's time to form the green industry. Houses, residential complexes, public areas, suburbs should not be concrete jungles, but surrounded by flowering gardens. 50 floors can be raised in two years. A tree will grow to five meters of height in 10-20 years. And nothing can be done to accelerate growth. Believe me, all these advertised stimulants are fiction. Nature can not be fooled.
Trees and shrubs do not grow on their own. They need to be planted and cared for at first. At first glance it may seem very simple. But we also have different housing complexes; we can already distinguish them. We choose the developers, we look at the plans. To be clear, the situation with trees is similar, even more difficult. In any construction estimate, the items pertaining to "Improvement" are like orphans, the last items on the list.
Even the largest tree begins its life with a small cut or seed. And so it is necessary to think about what we will leave for our children and their offspring.
Anastassiya Novikova heads the united editorial staff of informburo.kz web portal and Informburo TV program on Channel 31