The Human Resource (HR) fraternity joined the rest of the world in promoting the growing international trend on Green HR, with an aim to promote sustainable use of resources in business organizations to make eco-friendly policies.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary, Mohammed Elmi, during tree planting exercise at Uhuru Park grounds to mark the official launch of HR Month celebrations, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko called upon HR professionals to put in place strategies that can create greater efficiencies but reduce carbon footprint.
Tobiko said the launch comes at a time when the world has committed to address the triple interconnected global environmental emergencies, climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste.
The CS added that there is need to manage cost, enhance employee engagement while promoting sustainable business practices.
Tobiko said the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration was launched on 5th June 2021 to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean, with an aim of ending poverty, combating climate change and preventing mass extinction of species.
“This launch also coincides with the Covid-19 disruption that has affected social economic and environmental tenets of development. The impact of the pandemic is huge, with millions of deaths, illnesses and job losses,” he stated.
He added that the environmental challenges have brought to the fore discussions regarding Kenya’s unsustainable consumption and production as a threat to human health, prosperity, and equity.
The CS further added that this year’s theme “Going Green: HR Strategies for Business Success”.
Tobiko also urged the HR units to contribute towards mainstreaming of the circular economy and sustainable development policies and legislation at all levels of institutional operations and governance.
The Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM), National Chair, Joseph Onyango, said that HR is championing green practices in offices, a call that requires all organizations in government to switch to the digital platform in order to promote environmental and economic sustainability.
Onyango said that IHRM aims to provide its members and the citizenry with a clean, secure and sustainable environment by planting 4.7 million trees across the Country by engaging it’s over 14,000 members to plant at least 100,000 seedlings in every County.
He said the planting of the seedlings will ignite a movement where professionals proactively promote sustainability in their communities.
“We are also looking for ways of initiating a multi-agency team, to be led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to implement the concept of, ‘Underutilized Labour in Kenya’ in increasing the forest cover in the Country,” he said.
Onyango said IHRM identifies prisoners, retirees, and unemployed youth as underutilized labor in the villages and counties, whose energies are idle and should be tapped through tree planting and environmental conservation.
Ms Quresha Abdullahi, Executive Director, IHRM, urged the government institutions responsible for quality control to ensure that imported products into the country meet the required set standards to reduce carbon footprint.
Quresha, however, expressed concern over the mismanagement of resources by the public, saying that switching off electronics and lights reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps save the environment.
By Hamdi Mohamud