Business rallies for sustainable development practices

By Wellington Zimbowa
THE Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ) is optimistic over its achievements in the year 2020, in its drive to achieve sustainable development and business operations by corporates in the country.
“The year 2020 has been successful in mainstreaming sustainable development in industrial operations since 1993.
“In the year 2020, the association carried out activities and capacity building in Chemical Leasing – a new business model of selling functions of chemicals rather than quantities. We also offered technical training to our members in the areas of COVID -19, risk assessment and stakeholder engagement. We have been able to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, safe chemicals management, waste management and efficient water utilization,” said BCSDZ president and Schweppes Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Charles Msipa.
He said the organisation hosted its annual conference that was graced by international experts in sustainable development.
BCSDZ is a ceo-led organization focused on attaining sustainable development amongst Zimbabwean corporates and is affiliated to Switzerland based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Renewable energy and responsible management of the environment are very key issues to sustainable business operations and BCSDZ is happy about its progress so far in advancing such aspects.
“We have been able to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, safe chemicals management, waste management and efficient water utilization. Apart from our yearly activities in 2020, we have over the years delivered projects in Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), energy auditing of our members, inclusive business and greening the supply chain. Our members have also led the way in installing renewable energy projects in the premises,” said Msipa.
The BCSDZ has embarked on enhancing the mainstreaming of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in industry, mining, construction and service industries, while also scaling-up sustainable education, clean water and sanitation, as well as, gender mainstreaming at the work-place, according to its chairperson.
On climate, Goal 13 guides businesses on climate action as well as Goal 7 on clean and affordable energy.
SDGs are diverse; hence, their priority depends on the member’s products and services.
Sustainable development, according to BCSDZ, is the development, which meets the present without compromising future generations and for business sense referring to balancing profits with environmental and social equity.
Notwithstanding the COVID -19 impact, the council’s 2021 programme outline championed by its secretariat includes new strategies such as green procurement, chemical safety, environmental law, waste management and eco-innovation.
BCSDZ’s interim engagements for the year will largely remain virtual, though, but benchmarked against international standards.
A number of local companies have embraced the global sustainability phenomenon largely through the adoption of solar energy, partly to curb ozone layer depletion as well as to cushion themselves against erratic energy supplies.
Companies such as Schweppes Zimbabwe, Zimplats, and BNC among others have pursued green energy through erecting solar grids at their companies.

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