I was honored to participate in the SDG Panel on Business and Development – German Industry and the SDGs“ at the Hannover Messe 2019. #HM19 #IndustrialIntelligence
The panel topic “Sustainable Success – Business and the SDGs” is part of a series BDI ;The Voice of German Industry have been organizing on Businesses’ role in achieving the SDGs. Smaller workshops have been held in various cities throughout Germany (Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt) and this was the first event during the Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair.
The event was highlighted as an occasion to underline the successful partnership between Businesses, Industry Associations and the German Development Ministry in the various projects, one example being the joint initiative “Creating Perspectives” in which BDI and the EABC have teamed-up to promote economic exchange and investment between Germany and the countries of the EAC.
The panel consisted of representatives from the two business associations BDI (Mr. Matthias Wachter) and EABC (SG Peter Mathuki), member companies of the associations (LinePlast Group), K+S (Mrs. Britta Sadoun) for the BDI side, plus the winner of this year’s Entrepreneurship Award for Sustainability (Anja Lehr, Hawe Hydraulics).
From the vibrant panel discussions, each of the different actors shared their organizations’ contribution to the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals and how the partnerships between business, business associations and development cooperation help to further this aim.
The Line Plast Group contributes to 10 out of 17 SDGs. Here are some key contributions that we have noted as a result of this:
Goal 4 = Quality Education
DELIVERABLE – Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.
Our workforce is mostly made up of Kenyan women and men educated to primary and high school. A few have acquired diplomas from technical institutes. With every machine procured from Taiwan, Japan or India we have brought in engineers from those companies to train and mentor operators and technicians in Kenya (apprenticeship training).
Every year we have 22 Apprentices (graduates, diploma holders in engineering and basic machine operators without much educational background). This covers for succession planning for possibilities of growth and assimilation of some of these trainees within the organization. Despite our ventures being small and medium enterprises, they pay the industrial training levy which is maintained by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) which is a state corporation established under the Industrial Training Act of 2011.
Goal 5 – Gender Equality
DELIVERABLE – Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
We are very intentional about bringing women to work in manufacturing production floor which is often dominated by male workers. Our enterprises are equal opportunity employers with over 40% female in the production area which is traditionally considered a male dominated area.
Goal 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth
DELIVERABLE – achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
I was honored to be celebrated as UN in Kenya Person of the Year (Runners Up) 2017 for Line Plast Group’s role in “Changing Lives through Promoting Skills, Decent Jobs and Enterprises in the Manufacturing Industry”.
The Line Plast Group provides decent employment/work to 183 staff and also outsources work to about 80 workers per month when large orders are made. With each employee supporting at least 3 to 5 dependents, this translates to over 200 households and over 1000 Kenyans directly benefitting from Line Plast Group.
We have created a work environment that is conducive for all employees, providing breaks during the work day and one healthy free hot lunch daily as well as with plenty of water for hydration. We recognize that a majority of Kenyans working in the industrial area are barely able to afford 3 square meals a day. This has tremendously boosted the productivity of these ventures.
The employees additionally have a robust staff welfare system that has set up its own SACCO to lend money to employees and provide them an opportunity to save and be bankable.
Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
DELIVERABLE – Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets.
I am one of the champions of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Women in Manufacturing Programme that was launched early 2018 as a mentor and industry champion keen on increasing the participation of women in the manufacturing sector as part of the drive to industrialize for a stable and sustainable economic future for Kenya.
Open Door Policy – Centre of Excellence. We partner with beginner/startup enterprises that are mentored to actualize their business ideas. The young entrepreneurs are not only provided with packaging solutions ideas, but also with information that help them network for more business ideas and development. One of the key partners in this is the Kenya Industrial Estates who use the Line Plast Group as a show case for entrepreneurial acumen in the manufacturing sector.
Goal 12 – Responsible Production & Consumption
DELIVERABLE – Achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. Take full responsibility of environmental awareness of our carbon footprint and practice sustainable practices like recycling.
Part of our community responsibility across our business enterprises is the duty of care towards the environment. Line Plast Group has laid out procedures of how to deal with industrial waste that contribute to climate change and have a negative impact on the health of employee and Kenyan citizens at large. We have made plastic, water and paper recycling a priority in all our plants.
Taka Taka ni Mali Initiative in collaboration with the First Ladies of the County Governments of Kajiado and Taita-Taveta have embarked in the preparation and implementation of an innovative pilot project which would support the creation of green jobs and entrepreneurship development in the untapped field of solid waste management.
County Waste Management Entrepreneurship Hubs (CWMEH) shall be established, positioned as a symbiosis program where linkages would be made between waste generators, waste users and recyclers, thus creating opportunities for employment whilst contributing to the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and the related health risks caused by mismanagement of solid waste.
Goal 17 – Partnership for the goals
DELIVERABLE – Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries.
Regional Integration Policies are a key determinant of the growth of business for the Line Plast Group which is an active member of the East African Business Council (EABC), the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP).
Our companies collaborate not just locally but internationally with organizations like the International Labor Organization (ILO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), Strathmore Business School (SBS) and German Development Agency (GIZ).
Through these associations we are able to know, participate in, prepare for and influence policies that direct the growth of business.