Saturday, May 25, 2024

Manufacturers Launch a Green Hub to Promote Eco-friendly Industrial Operations in Kenya


Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), a representative body for manufacturers in the country, recently launched a Centre for Green Growth and Climate Change aimed at promoting sustainable practices in factories.

Africa Sustainability Matters reached out to KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga to shed more light on the green hub.

Below are the excerpts:

Tell us a little bit about the new centre for green growth

I’ll start off by giving a little background to frame the picture properly.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers has consistently championed the adoption of critical tenets of sustainable development and green growth towards actualising a green economy that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability to meet those of future generations.

This has largely been achieved through our long-running Centre of Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC), which runs energy efficient and conservation programmes. This centre was established in 2006 in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy.

So, the newly created hub for green growth is an offshoot of the existing centre?

Sort of. Basically, we seek to deepen industries’ level of interventions through the centre for green growth and climate change. The one-stop centre aims to promote circular economy, import substitution, climate change actions and financial linkages. It will prioritise people, planet and profit to improve the manufacturers’ bottom-line while preserving the environment for future generations.

The hub will reach out to industries with value-added services and products with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, creating a circular economy, improving on energy and resource efficiency and enhancing human capacity at the factory level. The end goal is to collectively drive green growth and climate change initiatives.

What necessitated creation of the new centre?

The expansion of our capacity in championing green growth, sustainability and climate change has been necessitated by:

  • Technology advancement
  • The need to safeguard the environment
  • The changing market requirements
  • The need for more value add solutions to deepen firm-level interventions to industries
  • Frequent closure of industries for non-compliance

How will the centre operate?

We have built four main pillars around our new centre in our quest to promote green growth and climate change initiatives in Kenya. They include:

  • Resource efficiency services

This will include energy, water and wastewater audits, waste, and circular economy resource mapping. The aim is to improve the overall profitability of industries by focusing on efficient use of energy, water, raw materials, waste, as well as carrying out process optimisation and environmental compliance.

  • Capacity building

 Under this pillar, we aim to develop expert human capital in local industries. Trainings to be offered through our new centre will include energy efficiency programme—certified energy manager (CEM), certified measurement and verification protocol (CMVP), energy auditing, Solar T3 and performance improvement of boilers and steam systems.

Also to be offered as part of our training package is process optimisation programme—including circularity optimisation, resource management, carbon footprint analyst, and sustainable financing. Others are circular economy mapping, performance improvement of boilers and steam systems as well as pneumatic convey and compressed air systems.

And lastly, compliance programme will also be part of the training, including environmental compliance and electrical safety compliance.

That said, the next pillar of the centre is green financing.

  • Green financing

Through the green hub, we will offer financial linkages to increase implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects among industries.

  • Awards and expos

The centre will organise expos and awards to recognise and award the best performing industries. This aims at increasing awareness and promoting best practices around energy efficiency, sustainability, renewable energy and circular economy.

Is the government involved in this manufacturers-led climate action drive?

Indeed.KAM recognises the role of the manufacturing sector in combating climate change, in line with the government’s commitment to greening manufacturing under the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2018-2022.

In responding to the requirements and obligations under the NCCAP, our association has identified the following eight focus areas for action through the centre for green growth and climate change:

  • Sustainable use of energy and energy efficiency
  • Circular economy and resource efficiency and management
  • Water and water efficiency
  • Innovations and technology
  • Financing for green growth and climate change programs
  • Enhancing human capacity in climate change and green growth
  • Compliance to National Environment Management Authority (Nema) regulations
  • Monitoring and evaluation of achievement

What objectives does the centre set out to achieve?

There are quite a number. I’ll outline them.

  • To champion the drive of KAM members towards best practices in green growth and climate change initiatives.
  • Develop a strong pipeline of investor-ready green projects and work with green financiers to reach financial closure
  • Enable knowledge transfer. And also build a business case for climate change initiatives at the firm level in complying with government policies and regulations on climate change – including environmental compliance, alongside encouraging measurement and evaluation of operations to ensure high-quality standards are implemented and sustained.
  • Provide industries with best practices on environmental compliance through capacity building and compliance assessment in line with environmental regulations.
  • Link industries with technology providers towards achieving efficiency, environmentally-sound solutions and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and achieve sustainable manufacturing.
  • Reduce industrial carbon footprint by creating awareness on reporting mechanisms at the firm level. The centre will also provide assessment and identification of areas of carbon reduction.
  • Promote circular economy in the manufacturing sector for sustainability

Read also: Small enterprises at the wheel in green economy drive

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