Vision 2030 remains a long-term development blueprint for the country motivated by a collective desire for a better society by the year 2030. In less than eight years, the world will be eager to know the progress. The goal was to create a newly industrializing, middle-income country that provides a high quality of life to all of its citizens in a clean and secure environment. Climate change has been the most significant threat.
The vision’s main pillars included economic, social, and political with other enablers that would steer the country towards achieving the vision. The economic activity being the core pillar, there has been a need to develop a sound system for business, people, and the environment. Experts have come up with tactics for countering the menace, one of which is applying the circular economy framework.
A circular economy entails making use of waste to continue the production process. It ensures that the cycle does not end when products become waste; instead, production continues as waste is recycled and reused and nature is regenerated.
Environmental, social, and Governance (ESG) issues are also of great importance to businesses and the country to achieve a clean, sustainable and secure environment. The state of ESG today in Kenya looks impressive as more stakeholders in the business world embrace the criteria and adapt to sustainability measures for their organizations.
Today, investors are incorporating the ESG criteria into their assessments and evaluations as they are attracted to stakeholders, companies, employees, and employers who have put sustainability agenda at the forefront of their daily activities. Most organizations in Kenya have put sustainability at the forefront of their agendas.
Sustainability does not only include focusing on environmental issues but also on social, financials and products that the organizations are manufacturing. The focus should be put on how sustainable all these entities are. For manufacturers, they should focus on how sustainable their products are. Financial institutions like banks should track whether they are financing sustainable entities. Also, these institutions should watch their carbon footprint to achieve the net-zero goal, the efficient way to accomplish this is through a circular economy.
Edna Kimenju, Sustainability Advisory Manager at KCIC Consulting Limited (KCL), highlights the importance of a circular economy and the need to embed it into ESG. “Our consumption and production processes over the years have been quite linear. This causes a lot of environmental impacts and degradation. A circular economy comes in to resolve this problem as one waste gives raw material to the other. We should design businesses with circularity in mind,” she said.
The current environmental, social and governance focus is rightly dominated by climate change and sustainability. The financial sector, in particular, has been taking steps to engage financial institutions in developing and implementing strategies to support a low-carbon economy and provide sustainable considerations through models like the circular economy.
A circular economy comes in handy to resolve the human impact on the environment. It is time for institutions to embrace the model to enhance sustainability, hence propelling the achievement of sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).