Kakuzi, an agribusiness firm, has become the first agricultural counter player at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) to release its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report.
The firm released its ESG report as listed firms begin to adopt NSE guidelines requiring the annual publishing of such disclosures.
The ESG report aptly titled Future-proofing agriculture confirms that it is part of the surrounding community. On an average day, Kakuzi employs 3,000 people, with more than 5,000 school children attending public school learning facilities within its boundaries. Local suppliers, the report adds, have been servicing procurement opportunities valued at more than Ksh. 484 million annually.
Speaking at the ESG Report’s launch, Kakuzi Managing Director Chris Flowers stated that the firm had invested more than Ksh. 1.6 billion over the last four years. The investment is expected to help the company to enhance its operations, mitigate governance risks and ensure global standards are maintained.
“This ESG report represents our holistic approach to measuring our Economic, Social and Environmental impact across our business. The report also highlights our commitment to sustainability and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. Consistent with ESG standards, we have put money and human capital resources where our mouth is, and have over the last four years paid out over Ksh. 900 million in dividends to our 1,300 shareholders and Ksh. 260 million to smallholder avocado farmers,” said Mr. Flowers.
As per the tenets of ESG reporting, Kakuzi has adopted a broader outlook on sustainability matters beyond climate action. The firm, he confirmed, is actively adhering, monitoring and making ESG disclosures.
Kakuzi is also the first organization in sub-Sahara Africa to establish a functional Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC), chaired by former Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai.
The report outlines a broad scale of corporate social investment programs from sanitation and water for schools to health and social welfare programs, focused primarily on girls and women. The firm’s latest Jiko Kisasa initiative has constructed over 300 energy-saving stoves within the surrounding villages and aims to reach 1,200 by 2023.
According to the NSE and following the recent publishing of ESG reporting guidelines, listed companies will soon be required to report publicly on their ESG performance through an integrated report or a separate sustainability report. This is intended to encourage uniformity in ESG disclosures even as a comprehensive ESG legal framework is awaited.