As the world marked the 2021 World Cleanup Day, the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance and Sterling One Foundation held a webinar themed, ‘Beyond Clean up: Implementing Sustainable Actions for Achieving a Circular Economy’ aimed at raising awareness on the
significance and urgency to transition to a circular economy in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Ms. Nwokolo noted that businesses need to be seen as a force for good and that the planet is not just home to people and animals, but it is home to businesses too. She called on all businesses to unite and promote environmental sustainability adding that the most successful, impactful businesses are those that prioritize sustainability and responsible business.
“Nigeria can no longer regard environmental sustainability and circular economy issues with levity or unconcern. We have much to gain by developing new economic and business models which maintain and regenerate our environmental resources, while managing our waste effectively. As Sustainability Partners, the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, the FBRA, and Sterling One Foundation jointly task all stakeholders to make a just transition towards a circular economy that generates well being and prosperity for all our people, in line with the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles, and the SDGs.”
The Chairman of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bottling Company, Mr. Matthieu Seguin who also spoke at the event noted that as the Producer Responsibility Organisation for the Food and Beverage sector, FBRA enhances the operations of the waste management value chain for post-consumer packaging material into productive use by stimulating creativity, employment opportunities and innovation in Nigeria.
He stressed that the alliance has prioritized partnerships and invested significantly in the collection of recyclables to promote the circular economy of PET bottles. He added that the Nigerian Bottling Company had set a goal to collect and recycle 100% of their packaging materials by 2030 and that some of their packages are being redesigned to promote recycling.
The Group Head, Energy, Sterling Bank, Mr. Dele Faseemo highlighted the significant investments the Bank had made for over a decade in promoting environmental sustainability adding that about 70% of the 36 states of Nigeria have partnered with the Bank on excellent waste management practices including recycling and are benefitted from the Bank’s investments.
‘Apart from the social impact leg of the circular economy, there is a compelling business case for organizations to support the environment and create business models around it,’ Mr. Faseemo noted.
Multiple award-winning environmentalist, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, noted that the environment is our life support system and support for the environment was no longer a choice but a matter of life and death.
Speaking on the essence of the webinar, the Executive Secretary of the Alliance, Onaghise Agharese explained that it was organised to stimulate conversations among critical stakeholders in the industry to foster collaboration efforts among the value chain players this United Nations declared Decade of Action.
Onaghise emphasised the importance of continuous awareness of integrated waste management including recycling within communities and a commitment toward enhancing the sector by exploring the opportunities for contribution to the Nigerian economy with additional social and environmental benefits. She called on all stakeholders to play an effective role towards the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy in Nigeria.
CEO of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe noted that to build back strongly against the backdrop of the pandemic, it is important to prioritize partnerships across board as we strive to build a well-functioning socio-economy that guarantees well-being and prosperity for everyone. The circular economy tenets of new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate environmental resources while ensuring effective waste management are invaluable in achieving this. She added that the webinar is the first in a series as the nation gradually transitions to a circular economy.
World Clean Up Day is celebrated globally as the largest worldwide clean up event uniting 180 countries across the world for a cleaner planet. It is one of the biggest civic movements which aims to raise awareness of the mismanaged waste crisis by mobilizing all stakeholders in the waste management value chain to participate in clean up actions. It incorporates the implementation of several SDG goals with emphasis on the Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals to collectively achieve greater impact for people and the planet.
About Sterling One Foundation
Sterling One Foundation is driven by the unique challenges facing Africa and the need for progressive change. They are committed to be the benchmark of positive social impact in Nigeria by creating sustainable solutions for youth empowerment and job creation via impactful sectors which are Education, Food security, Renewable energy, Gender development and Health.
About The United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria
The United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria is one of the 71 local networks (country office) of the UN Global Compact. Guided by The Ten Principles and the 17 SDGs, we support companies and stakeholders in understanding what responsible business means within a global and local context and provide guidance to translate sustainability commitments into action. Global Compact Network Nigeria stimulates and facilitates the creation of local connections and serves as a catalyst to companies and stakeholders to achieve Agenda 2030. The UN Global Compact Network Nigeria mobilises a local movement of sustainable companies and
stakeholders with the aim of improving the lives of future generations. For more information, follow @globalcompactnigeria on Instagram, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria on LinkedIn or visit our website at www.unglobalcompactng.org
Registered in March 2018 as the Industry Coalition for the Food and Beverage Sector to serve as the Producer Responsibility Organisation to implement the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging material in Nigeria. The Alliance has membership drawn from responsible and forward-thinking companies which include Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Distillers Limited, International Breweries Limited, Tulip Cocoa, Prima Caps and Preforms, DOW Chemicals, Tetra Pak West Africa, The LaCasera Company Limited, Engee PET Manufacturing Company Limited, Omnik Limited, UAC Foods Limited, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Perfetti Van Melle, CHI Limited and Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited. For more on FBRA, visit http://www.fbranigeria.ng