By Ednah Kiarie

The Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB-K); the

knowledge Centre at the Kenya Private Sector

Alliance (KEPSA) and the WWF Kenya, a leading

independent conservation organization,

partnered to host a private sector dialogue on

environmental sustainability.

The event that was held in the capital Nairobi

brought together various business leaders to

discuss the contribution of the private sector

towards the conservation of the environment,

and start to explore how to collectively tackle

the ecological crisis.

In her remarks during the opening of the event,

the Director, Sustainable Inclusive Business

Karin Boomsma noted that the partnership with

WWF Kenya is anchored on the premise that

the private sector has an important role to play

in driving a resilient and sustainable economy.

“We are part of nature. It’s our home among

other living species. For this reason, businesses

must improve their impact on the planet, not as

the nice thing to do, but as a responsibility to

positively impact the planet and people. The

future proof business DNA is green,” Ms.

Boomsma said.

“To scale sustainability initiatives, there is a

need for those organizations making efforts to

communicate their actions and enable key

decision-makers and business leaders to see

the considerable social and economic benefits

of positive climate action.

This partnership is part of our efforts to

facilitate the business community to tackle the

looming climate and ecological crisis and in

doing so help secure the future of business

itself,” added Ms. Boomsma.

In Kenya, several leading organizations have

already set-up the structures and frameworks

as they focus on transitioning to a more

sustainable society in the wake of climate


Under the Paris Agreement, Kenya committed

itself to tackle climate change. Its Nationally

Determined Contribution (NDC), which builds on

the 2013 Kenya Climate Change Action Plan,

pledges to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions by 30% by 2030.

WWF Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mohamed

Awer noted that the event provides Kenyans

and especially the business community with

the opportunity to have a conversation about

the topics raised and the possible solutions.

“Efforts to engage the private sector in

adaptation to climate change are beginning and

we are happy to partner with Sustainable

Inclusive Business to accelerate this

discussion,” Mr. Awer highlighted.

The highlight of the event was the virtual

screening of the ‘Our Planet: Our Business’ film.

The documentary, which is an adaption of the

popular Netflix series

Our Planet, reveals how we could create a

future where people and nature thrive together.

The episode focuses attention on the urgent

need for collaboration between businesses and

scientists on behalf of our planet. The

screening of the film and discussions aim to

trigger a conversation and action by

organizations to incorporate environmental

sustainability as one of their strategic focus


Key speakers during the event included Karin

Boomsma, Director Sustainable Inclusive

Business, Isaac Awuondo, Board Chair WWF-

Kenya & Chairman NCBA Kenya; Emily Waita,

Coca-Cola Central, East & West Africa Public

Affairs & Government Relations Leader; Vimal

Shah, KEPSA Foundation Trustee & Chairman

BIDCO Africa; Arnolda Shiundu, Kenya

Breweries Head of Sustainability & Community

Engagement; and Julius “Juliani” Owino,

Kenyan HipHop Artist & Entrepreneur.

In his remarks, Isaac Awuondo challenged the

business leaders to take the lead on climate

mitigation and adaption initiatives: “I urge all

business leaders in Kenya to pump in more

investments in order to create a positive

change to our environment and treat nature

much more kindly,” Mr. Awuondo said.

Similar views were echoed by Vimal Shah the

Chairman of Bidco Africa, who underscored the

role of the private sector on climate mitigation


“We need to accept the reality that we are

responsible for the cause of damage as

humans and we also must take responsibility to

heal the planet by reducing our contribution to

the damage.

Both corporates and individuals must align with

nature and its needs for a sustainable and

healthy future,” Mr. Shah noted.

On her part, Arnolda Shiundu said that climate

change presents an existential threat for

humans and a looming crisis for the economy:

“For businesses to thrive, they must be


This is because our continued existence as the

human race is dependent on the planet’s

survival. Thus, we must go all in, leaving no one

behind, to inspire new ways of working that can

be adopted not only at industrial level but also

at community levels,” she said.

While Emily Waita emphasized that climate

challenge is now a development challenge and

involving the private sector is essential for

multiple reasons: “The private sector has a

clear and vested interest in environmental

sustainability. We are well-positioned to deliver

solutions for the world’s biggest challenges

while we protect the planet and unlock new

business opportunities.”

Julian called on the business community to

reimagine the people, planet, and profit nexus.

“I see the world as a home not just as a

resource. And I believe that for businesses to

become sustainable, they should not just see

customers but see them as people. Because a

business is as strong as its connection to its

people and surrounding,” the popular artist


Environmental degradation is on the increase

with the disposal of plastics not only affecting

the cities but also posing a risk to the soil and

marine life. The different speakers therefore,

unanimously underlined the need to act and

find synergies between sector actors to drive

the desired change.

Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya is a

knowledge Center established under the KEPSA

Foundation through a fruitful partnership

between KEPSA Foundation and MVO

Nederland with the support of the Embassy of

the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya.

Sustainable Inclusive Business is driving and

catalyzing change through inspiration, initiative,

facilitation and connection. We bring

companies and their stakeholders together to

share knowledge and good practices and set

goals to create a sustainable and inclusive

economy and future proof businesses with

positive impact on People and Planet.

World Wide Fund for Nature Kenya (WWF-

Kenya) is a locally registered non-governmental

conservation organization; an affiliate of World

Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF).

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