Global concern is currently driven by Green Economy or go green. Kenyan companies are not in the dark and here we sample a few that have made headway:
One of Kenya’s largest sugar manufacturer’s, Mumias Sugar, decided to respond to the high energy prices in the country by embarking on an innovative green project. Using bagasse (a natural, industrial waste product in the industry), the company is able to produce biogas which powers their electricity generators. It uses only a third of the electricity it produces, and sells the rest to the national grid, earning the company revenue as well as carbon credits. Additionally, in a bid to support locals as well as conserve indigenous trees, wildlife and unique plants the company purchases tree seedlings from farmers and distributes them free of charge. Mumias Sugar has also installed scrubbers on the plant boiler to filter airborne emissions.
Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA
The Gura project is a green project started by the KTDA where a hydro-power plant is being constructed and will use the water of the Gura River to generate power. Four tea factories managed by KTDA will be going green by reducing their carbon footprint as well as reducing energy costs. This is a crucial development because the tea-manufacturing process requires a lot of electricity and produces high emissions.
Bilashaka Flowers Ltd
Started in 2001, Bilashaka Flowers comprises of 29 hectares of greenhouses that produce about 40 million roses annually. These greenhouses are heated by solar panels, protecting the plants from high humidity in the night. This in turn has reduced the occurrence of fungal diseases and thus the use of chemical fungicides is much lower. Water is also harvested in from rainwater which is collected in big basins situated in the greenhouses, lowering the demand for water from the lake significantly. The company’s green projects are further strengthened by hydroponic cultivation and recirculation of drain water.
Turtle Bay Beach Club
There is little doubt that Turtle Bay is one of the leading resorts in terms of its efforts of going green in Kenya. Working closely with Watamu Turtle Conservation, the resort educates its guests on turtle conservation and also implements turtle friendly initiatives like ensuring beach front lighting is minimal at night which can confuse the turtles and make them not nest at all. They also participate in the Mida Creek Boardwalk and Bird Hide, a green project that protects the waters, the mud-flats and mangrove forest of the creek. All the light bulbs in the hotel were replaced with low energy bulbs, thus minimising their carbon footprint. They have a small factory to recycle plastic waste and re-use glass in building works. It has been so successful that the hotel has purchased some land to set up a bigger factory that will be able to ingest plastic litter from the local community. Furthermore, they have a treatment plan to recycle all their water and use it for flushing and watering their grounds. Weekly beach clean ups are carried out once a week and there is a notice board that displays the amount of litter collected by weight after each clean up.
Through their Think Green, Go Blue campaign, Nakumatt engaged their shoppers to refrain from using plastic bags and instead opt for reusable bags. This green project encouraged their customers to become more responsible towards the environment and saw the leading retailer in Kenya take on a sustainable approach to create an environmental conservation culture. Additionally, to enhance paperless transactions, the company has partnered with MasterCard, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) to introduce the Nakumatt Global MasterCard prepaid card. It will allow customers to preload their cards before making purchases, reducing the need of handling cash.
Dubbed KenGen Schools’ Green Initiative Challenge, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) partnered with the education ministry to roll out an environmental conservation program targeting more 60 primary schools in Mbeere North, South and Masinga areas. It encourages pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff to participate in conservation by developing small forests and woodlots in their compounds to increase forest cover. The schools are given between 300 to 600 seedlings of two indigenous trees, which can survive in arid and semi-arid sub-counties. The pupils are encouraged to go green by developing creative solutions to ensure the survival of the seedlings.
With an aim to plant more than 100 million trees per year, Total Kenya has embarked on an ambitious program that engages people and organizations to preserve and sustain the environment. The Total EcoChallenge has created a national platform that helps to disseminate information and mobilise physical resources of seeds, nurseries and skills, as well as co-ordination of corporate sponsorship resources with low-budget urban and rural projects. To drive its national green project, Total Kenya has partnered with various stakeholders such as the Kenyan government; community based organisations, corporates, schools as well as over 2 million individuals.
Through a GSM-controlled lighting solution known as M-KOPA Solar, Safaricom has managed to provide quality lighting solution to thousands of people. This green project has allowed the company to reduce its carbon footprint as well as improve its customer experience. Kenya’s leading telecommunications firm also announced their plans to convert 34 sites that were powered by diesel generators to power cubes hybrid energy system in bid to seek energy efficient and renewable energy solutions.
Kenya Airways (KQ)
KQ is a participant of the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), an initiative started by the United Nations Environment Programme to support the movement of a global transition to low carbon economies and societies. The airline will implement its existing strategies towards reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, some of its successful green projects such as the Ngong Hills Reforestation Project ‘Plant a Future’ and the purchase of newer fuel efficient aircraft will be highlighted on the CN Net website. The company is also involved in the Kasigau Corridor Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project that protects over 500,000 acres of forest. Run by Wildlife Works, Kenya Airways is able to contribute to this project through funds collected from its customers through the Voluntary Carbon Offset Program. This green project secures the entire wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, providing a balanced ecosystem.