Nestlé has partnered with NEMA, KEPRO and The Ministry of Education to launch the RE Sustainability Initiative in Kenya. This will be done through a school’s plastic collection program which aims to make a positive change in sustainability and circular economy.
The RE Sustainability Initiative is intertwined with Nestlé ESAR’s (East and South African Region) business strategy and value creation model, as it transforms ways of doing business and create positive change in the environment.
The initiative holds Nestlé accountable in minimizing their environmental footprint. To support efforts on reducing the effects of Climate change, it is an opportunity to drive collective impact alongside the various stakeholders to act quickly and reverse the damage caused to the environment. The RE initiative revolves around three important pillars namely:
- Rethink: The focus is to improve society’s relationship with the environment by helping people change their behaviour. This includes water conservation, recycling and supporting environmentally responsible practices.
- Reduce: Nestlé’s aim is to reduce their environmental impact to zero. This is part of Nestlé’s global ambition to strive for zero impact by 2030. They will do this by driving reduction across the food production value chain including food and plastic waste and operational efficiencies that contribute to waste.
- Repurpose: Nestlé encourages upcycling and reusing materials. This is where Nestlé shows their commitment to their circular economy business models and projects.
Mr. Ngéntu Njeru, Nestlé Kenya’s Managing Director, had this to say, “As the climate changes, so does the global availability of a healthy environment for us and especially for the generation becomes bleak. The impacts are apparent at a local level, with those in vulnerable societies feeling it most. It is our responsibility especially as business leaders to mitigate the effects of climate change through our business operations. That is why Nestlé is at the forefront of this change. Through the RE Sustainability Initiative, we have collaborated with likeminded institutions like The Ministry of Education and valuable stakeholders like NEMA and KEPRO, to create awareness of creating a circular economy and the part each one of us can play to protect the environment.”
The objective of launching a plastics collection program in schools is to raise awareness on the importance of waste management to the youth who hold the future and the need to protect the earth. The ten participating schools in Nairobi County will be engaged in a plastics collection program around their schools and its environs as they embrace the need for and importance of conserving the environment.
Monica Muriithi, Headteacher Thawabu Primary School remarked, “We are proud to partner with Nestlé and are thankful for the step they have taken to ensure that children are part of this initiative. Teaching them from a young age on the importance of environment conservation and upcycling and recycling for a better tomorrow, we know that our future will be in safe hands” she added.
The schools participating in the flagship plastic waste collection program are all in Embakasi Constituency, Nairobi. Some of them include Thawabu Primary School, Mwangaza Primary School, Komarock Primary School and Kayole Primary School just to name a few.
Catherine Mbasi, Deputy Director of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) remarked, “We are happy to be involved as partners in this initiative Nestlé is spearheading. Environment conservation should be a public responsibility to ensure that we have a clean and safe environment with the proper management and rational utilization of environmental resources, for the improvement of the quality of human life”
Akshay Shah, the KEPRO Board Chair of Kenya Extended Producer Responsible Organisation (KEPRO) “We hope to build knowledge through this sustainable approach to addressing the most critical needs of business operations and its impact on society. We are glad that for Nestlé, sustainability is an integral part of the way we they do business by formulating practical solutions to protect the environment to ensure it is safeguarded for future generations,” he added.