Firms must cope with environmental issues

October 18, 2011

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Environmental management is proving to be a major issue for locally operating firms that are finding it increasingly difficult to dispose of their waste responsibly.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers Head of Corporate Affairs Damaris Kimilu said companies operating in Kenya need to do more on the environmental compliance front to ensure better management of waste disposal.

“Environment is at the top of things, especially when you look at irresponsible disposal of solid waste. Out of that solid waste we can single out plastic or polythene waste. We’re aware of the discussions between industry and regulators, namely KEBS and NEMA discussing how to we manage polythene waste,” she said.

With existing waste disposal facilities for major cities nearing or at capacity and no location designated for the destruction of hazardous waste in Kenya, Kimilu says responsibility lies is on the government to create new disposal sites to improve waste management.

Kimilu was speaking following a forum, on Monday that drew top firms in the region to discuss the adoption of responsible sourcing practices involving labour standards, environment management and business integrity, among other issues.

Coca-Cola President for East and Central Africa Nathan Kalumbu said such a forum was necessary to promote ethical responsibility and accountability in the business world.

“In the area of human rights and workplace rights we’re talking about the areas of child labour, discrimination, forced labour; all these areas need to be clean within our supply chain. So we brought together our suppliers to share ideas and best practices to uphold ethical purchasing policies,” he said.

The forum is part of a global initiative facilitated by AIM-Progress, an association of 24 fast moving consumer goods companies that seek to enable and promote responsible sourcing practices and sustainable production systems.

Established in 2009 the AIM-Progress initiative has conducted over 10,000 audits globally, covering more than two million workers.

Consequently, over 150 cases of malpractices, such as discrimination, forced labour, child labour and hazardous waste dumping have been identified and corrected.

“We have engaged in activities that have created productivity gains of over $100 million across a number of countries, so we’re seeing significant progress. What is most important is for a supply chain to be aware of the need for ethical and responsible sourcing,” Kalumbu stressed.

Nestle, which is also a member firm of AIM-Progress, has taken steps to implement responsible sourcing programs in all its locations, which the Group’s Region Head for Equatorial Africa Pierre Trouilhat said is meant to create shared value for all players on the supply chain.

“In Africa we have the cocoa program and also the coffee program that looks at the supply chain, ensuring best practices and that we are dealing fairly with suppliers, especially farmers who are at the beginning of the supply chain,” he said.

Other AIM-Progress member firms include Diageo, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Unilever.


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