It’s time to up Kenya’s green cre­den­tials

Business Daily (Kenya) - - THE EDGE -

Eco­nomics used to count the en­vi­ron­ment and so­cial im­pact as is­sues with­out com­mer­cial value or cost: nice to con­sider, but ir­rel­e­vant to ex­penses, rev­enues or prof­its. How times have changed, with com­pa­nies now demon­strat­ing in ever greater num­bers that en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial costs drive through as a straight line to higher busi­ness costs, re­duced prof­itabil­ity, and sub­op­ti­mal sales growth. For, in this EDGE, we visit the state of the ‘Green Cor­po­rate’ na­tion to find that com­pa­nies are now di­vid­ing into those who are go­ing green and re­port­ing sharp and in­stant ma­te­rial gains, and those that have not yet ap­pre­ci­ated green as key to efficiency and suc­cess. Right from the cor­po­rate of­fice space - where build­ing de­signs that of­ten costs lit­tle or no ex­tra at the start can de­liver years of sav­ings in elec­tric­ity and wa­ter bills - green has emerged as the new smart. Com­pa­nies are re­port­ing dra­matic sav­ings on get­ting staff to walk to meet­ings less than 2km away, car­pool­ing, shift­ing to more fuel-ef­fi­cient cars, elec­tronic pay­ments, e-con­fer­ences, and e-com­merce. The pa­per­less of­fice truly has be­gun to ar­rive, with pa­per con­sump­tion fall­ing in yet one more saved cost, and re­cy­clers now is­su­ing calls for more ef­fi­cient col­lec­tions of ap­par­ently dwin­dling sup­plies. And a new green ser­vice in­dus­try has been born, of­fer­ing car­pool­ing Apps, green build­ing de­signs, elec­tric­ity au­di­tors, and resource sav­ing gad­gets that run from move­ment-ac­ti­vated light­ing to hand-sen­sored wa­ter taps that turn on only for hands be­fore them. More­over, as Kenyan cor­po­rates now move up the pro­duc­tiv­ity and efficiency lad­der driven by more mea­sured resource use, Kenya, it­self, has be­gun a march to a con­sid­er­ably greener fu­ture. This year’s plas­tic bags ban has thrown one small sec­tor into shock, but al­ter­na­tives are swiftly emerg­ing, and cleaner streets beckon. Re­cent years have also seen Kenya emerge as one of the world’s lead­ers in green en­ergy, far out­run­ning even the green­est of the in­dus­tri­alised na­tions, with their older in­fra­struc­ture, in its de­ploy­ment of re­new­able en­ergy onto the na­tional grid. Kenya is no longer talking green, it’s walk­ing green, and, some­times, greener than most of the rest of the world.

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