Global Compact Network Kenya has named Mary Thuo the 2022 SDG Pioneer, a business leader who is championing socio-economic wellbeing and inspiring others to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Chosen from over ten nominations, Founder & CEO Cityscape Trends Limited, Mary Thuo has been named the  2022 Local SDG Pioneer. Ms. Thuo is using the power of advocacy to promote decent work and economic growth through a Cycling to Work program. Her company is an SME based in Nairobi offering cleaning and maintenance services.

Mary Thuo is an advocate for human rights, decent work and decent pay for marginalized groups in urban and peri-urban areas of Nairobi. She initiated the Cycling to Work program in a bid to enhance the socio-economic status of her employees and their families by providing better access to income, education and health.

Mary initiated the program following consultations with her team on how she could help improve their lives apart from offering decent work and a living wage. She is now using her voice to advocate for better, safer and accessible cycling lanes, and pedestrian paths that are inclusive of persons with disabilities in collaboration with the government, private sector and cycling partners in the marketplace.

“Seven years in, it is clear that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is much slower than it should be,” says Global Compact Network Kenya, Executive Director, Judy Njino “and there is no better catalyst for business action than the business leaders – pushing the boundaries in each and every company”.

The Kenya Network also named the first (1st) runner up, Rufus Mwenda, Sustainability Manager at Absa Bank Kenya for his contribution to environmental sustainability by crafting a pathway towards science-based targets supporting the Bank to become a net-zero company by 2040 and the second (2nd) runner up, Mark Kaigwa, CEO & Founder of Nendo Limited for steering the power of information to advance the SDGs.

“Business has a critical role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These exceptional professionals show exactly what can be done by business to make a difference that not only serves shareholders but also society at large. I hope they will also inspire others to join them in uniting in the business of a better world,” said the UN Global Compact, CEO & Executive Director, Sanda Ojiambo.

As the winner of the Local Round, Mary Thuo will now compete in the Global Round along with other candidates for the title of 2022 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers. The global winners will be announced this June 2022 during the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit.

Each year the UN Global Compact recognizes a class of SDG Pioneers, business leaders working at any level of a company, who are using business as a force for good to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Pioneers play an important role to drum up interest in the Global Goals and in how the UN Global Compact is empowering businesses to advance them. In 2022, the UN Global Compact will recognize professionals working at any level in a participating company of the UN Global Compact who are setting ambitious SDG targets, scale and impact across their companies through a principles-based approach.

Global Compact Network Kenya is the Local Network of the United Nations Global Compact that is working to accelerate and scale the collective impact of businesses in Kenya by upholding the Ten Principles on Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-corruption and delivering the SDGs through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.