Environmental practitioners have implored Zimbabwean corporates to adopt climatic sustainable development practices while conducting business in their value chain.This was revealed at the Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ)conference held in the capital this week, which ran under the theme “Green Industry as a vehicle for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development — Upscale, Replicate and Sustain”.
Sustainable development is an economic progression that is conducted with minimal depletion of natural resources.
Zimbabwe is in the process of implementing sustainable projects focusing mainly on safe chemicals management in industry; renewable energy and inclusive business all aimed at reducing emissions by 33 percent in 2030.
Edgar Mugisha, managing partner at environmental consultancy firm Atacama Consultancy from Uganda, told the conference that local corporates should establish means of conducting business in a way that does not cause environmental damage adding sustainability was a vital cog in the realisation of vision 2030.
“Industry in Zimbabwe should wake up to the realities of globalisation and the need to embrace new Green Industry thinking around circularity. For example, traditional approaches for recycling plastics are failing and it’s estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. In light of this, a new plastics economy is now emerging to ensure that all the plastic that we need to use is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted. Therefore, in order for Zimbabwe to grow and realise its middle-income status aspirations in line with its Vision 2030, it must anchor its growth on Green industrialisation that adds value to its goods and services coupled with green jobs that will bring about inclusive growth that will translate into prosperity for all the citizens of Zimbabwe,” said Mugisha who was the guest of honour at the conference.
“I would like to encourage Zimbabwean industries to put Green Industry at the core of their business strategies, as that is key to continued resilience of the country’s economy as any industrial development agenda will be short-lived if it does not embrace principles of sustainability, sustainability is a never-ending journey that tries to pave the way for a better tomorrow for the world’s citizens and future generations that will follow in our footsteps.”
Toxiconsol Chief Sustainability consultant Tawanda Muzamwese, highlighted that markets worldwide were now seeking for green products therefore critical to adhere to sustainable development practices and consequently companies should conduct business sustainably to protect their corporate images citing Deepwater Horizon oil spill that led the company’s share prices to plummet.
“Stock exchanges and consumers in developed countries where most of our exports go to are now demanding footprint of the product throughout the value chain. For you to export to Australia, Europe and Scandinavian nations they are demanding to know how clean the production process is, therefore need for companies worldwide to adhere to the demands of sustainability by markets.
“Protecting corporate image is at play also, Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill case which involved fuel and oil leakage led to a slump in share prices of the firm, so companies are going green because they want to protect their image,” said Muzamwese.
Murowa Diamonds, Muriel Mine, Windmill Pvt Ltd, Cafca, Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company, Delta Corporation, Lafarge Holcim, Mimosa, Tongaat Hulett and Schweppes Zimbabwe were the 10 companies recognised at the conference for energy and water management efficiency. The two-day conference covered selected topics in sustainability for two days through participation of regional, international speakers and experts contributing in their areas of expertise.