O&L Group embraces environmental sustainability


O&L Group embraces environmental sustainability

Date: 2015-04-17 04:30

Patricia Hoeksema, chairperson of the Recycle Namibia Forum and corporate relations manager at the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, delivered a talk at the Environmental Compliance Conference held on 8 and 9 April 2015 in Windhoek and emphasised the fact that environmental responsibility was something that Namibians collectively needed to embrace – from the individual to corporate companies, SOE’s and government.

”Much more can be done if everybody embraces their responsibility to do the right things right as many institutions are not yet holding themselves accountable for their environmental impact,” said Hoeksema.

She said that globally many businesses realised that their ability to look after profit and people were increasingly dependent on the planet, and were therefore investing heavily in environmental sustainability not only because their production inputs were limited and needed to be managed sustainably, but more so because they embraced their responsibility on externalities.

“In Namibia however, long before this international trend started, many businesses already embraced their environmental responsibility with the view of managing our scarce resources and preserving our beautiful country for future generations. The positive change we are seeing is the incorporation of great new technologies that allow organisations to gain major traction in realising their environmental objectives.”

This has seen Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) members like Namibia Breweries install Africa’s largest solar rooftop plant in 2014, and MPACT innovated to use treated waste water to make glue for the manufacture of cardboard boxes. Companies like Namibia Dairies are exploring Bio Gas options while Rent-A-Drum has invested heavily in the establishment of a Material Recovery Facility to sort and contain recyclables, while Plastic Packaging and Namibia Polymer Recyclers manufacture locally and create jobs through recycling of plastics.

“These are but a few examples of how RNF members have embraced innovation to support their commitment to sustainable environmental practices. We however need all stakeholders in Namibia to do their part in preserving our country.”
Hoeksema elaborated on the conference participation and said that RNF participated in order to share the environmental successes members have achieved in their own capacities, and through their involvement with the Recycle Namibia Forum.

“There are a number of organisations that have proven their commitment to environmental preservation by actively promoting the 3R’s. It is vital in this industry that we exchange best practice while at the same time appealing to all stakeholders to do everything they can to realize their environmental responsibility.
“The need to look after our environment stems largely from the implications of modern day society and the impact of globalisation, population growth, shrinking agricultural production and consumerism. This creates the paradox of growing needs amidst a shrinking resource base, which is why it is in the interest of everyone to address the environmental dilemma,” she added.

She appealed to all Namibians to realise their responsibility in assisting with re-using, reducing and recycling and added that we all needed to create a culture of environmental care beyond our own organization.
“Through commitment and collaboration we can overcome the challenge of distances, low volumes, lack of sorting and containment, and transportation – to help make Namibia the African country with the highest success in Reducing, Reusing and Recycling,” Hoeksema concluded.