Optiven; Promoting Sustainable Business in Kenya.
I recently attended the 2022 sustainability summit organized by KENCTAD at Nairobi’s Western Heights in the Westland area. The theme of the summit was the role of businesses in promoting environmental sustainability.
The objective of this high-level meeting was to enhance the aspect of responsible interaction between businesses and the environment so that the effects on the environment by these entities are kept at the bare minimum. Depletion and degradation of natural resources due to business activities have been largely due to the pressure meted on the business to meet the needs and demands of an ever-increasing population.
But, the call is becoming louder and these activities should be done in such a way that yes, they meet the needs of the communities without hampering the environment and jeopardizing the future of this planet. When sustainability goes out of the window, then the future generations don’t have a future per se.
One of the speakers for that Day was George Wachiuri of Optiven. In his presentation, George spoke passionately about matters of environmental sustainability. The tone in his presentation was in such a manner that hinted, “this is who we are as Optiven. And this is how we do things at Optiven.”
Given that Optiven is in the property space, there is no better place for them to practice environmental conservation other than making part and parcel of their day-to-day operations. For instance, George hinted that their ultimate dream is to walk the talk hundred percent.
In other words, he looked forward to making sure that from what they used in their office, to the means they used in commuting to the properties they sold; all should be in one way or the other contributing to promoting environmental sustainability.
For instance, as a company, Optiven is already going paperless. George noted by cutting down on paper in the company, he was able to save a good amount of money. I smiled and wished I was one of the investors of the company because you know what it means to cut down on operational costs.
He hinted that they would be buying electric buses to take their clients to their sites and as such contribute to their organizational efforts in cutting down on their carbon footprint. For your information, the effects of global warming are projected to be dire shortly unless everybody takes up an effort to carry out their actions in such a manner that they cut down on their carbon footprint.
For now, Optiven participated in community sensitization to help people understand the effects of their actions on the environment. Part of that is carrying out community mobilizations to do clean-ups and understand proper ways to handle waste, especially plastics which threaten life on the surface and a greater deal of life underwater.
They also ensure proper planning is taken into account in providing proper safe disposal of waste from the properties they develop. They also plant trees and thus help in afforestation and reforestation efforts; two critical components that every individual and organization should participate in promoting to secure our future. They also ensure that the materials used for construction are environmentally friendly. For instance using material for roofing of whose rain water can be used for drinking purposes.
By fostering networks, Wachiuri believes that we can as well alter people’s attitudes and behavior regarding environmental conservation. Instead of us looking at government and other agencies solely, of course, they play a big role, there is a need for all of us to understand that we have a responsibility at a personal level to make a change.
We can do this by instilling in our children the discipline to dispose of waste properly such as plastics for example. Through their foundations, they are working to ensure that that evangelism gains traction for the younger generation as well as the older people.
At the end of the day, it is those people from families and the children who grow up that run the business the world over. So working to promote business practices that bring about environmental sustainability, we must understand that it all boils down to us. Individual efforts such as those of George Wachiuri and the Optiven fraternity to ensure they play a role in conserving the environment.
I hope to do an interview with George Wachiuri in the near future and post it here to know what he is and why must discuss sustainability matters in their totality. Keep tuned!!!