Coca-Cola, through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) has recently provided a grant to the Initiative For The Advancement of Waste Management in Africa (W.A.S.T.E AFRICA), a non-governmental organisation, to promote waste as a valuable currency for social good and economic inclusion through the establishment of green recycling hubs across Abuja.
The NGO whose mission is to increase awareness of WASTE challenges and solutions specially targeted at women and at-risk youths in Abuja. The funding received will be used to build seven solar-powered recycling hubs in satellite towns such as Nyanya, Zuba, Bwari, Kuje, Gwagwalada, Jikwoyi and Galadimawa, communities where residents will be encouraged to adopt the habit of recycling and turn their waste into wealth, while the eighth solar-powered recycling hub to be built in a low-income suburb of Lagos.
Speaking on the NGO’s objectives with the recycling hubs, Olufunto Boroffice, Convener of W.A.S.T.E Africa explained, “Adequate financing for collection and disposal of plastic waste is one of the biggest issues impacting recycling in Nigeria. A primary challenge is the scaled recovery of plastic bottles. I am thankful to The Coca-Cola Foundation for providing the funds to expand our operations, enabling us to create eight green recycling hubs, empowering over 3,000 waste pickers and women, many of whom are living in indigent homes with little or no educational backgrounds”.
Beneficiaries of The Coca-Cola Foundation funding to W.A.S.T.E Africa will include over 1,600 women who will be recruited as waste pickers and sorters in these communities. For these women, knowledge about waste separation and sorting of recyclable material will provide an economic lifeline especially in this period where millions of Nigerians are losing their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The women waste pickers will be provided with financial literacy, safety training and as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The NGO will also be launching the Bottles for Books initiative. Through this project 800 out-of-school children will be enrolled in the educational system. Using recyclable waste as a currency, out-of-school children in Kabusa, Kpaduma, Gwagwalada and Kubwa communities will be enrolled in schools guaranteeing their right to quality education. In addition, Project Protect 10,000 (P10K) initiative will also be launched. Through this project, 1,000 waste pickers or ‘scavengers’ are going to be supported with genuine social inclusion programs with opportunities throughout the broader economy. The waste pickers will be provided with financial literacy, safety training as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). They will also gain access to financial inclusion and literacy training.
Speaking at the launch ceremony in Abuja, the Honorable Minister of State for the FCT, Hajia (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu remarked, “The scheme will empower the youths and at the same time clean the environment. This is an igneous way of getting money through trash. So, I want to congratulate Nyanya women and youths and also call on them to ensure that they use this scheme judiciously by picking up some litres that can be exchanged for wealth.”
Nigeria generates over 32 million tons of solid waste annually, out of which an average of 20% is collected. Many cities in Nigeria face serious plastic waste management challenges. With cities collecting less than half of the waste generated, inappropriate waste disposal practices have become rampant with plastic waste being dumped in our drainage systems or on our roads. Given the rapid rate of urbanization, plastic pollution has become a blight in our cities, harming our rivers and oceans. Now more than ever, the government, citizens and organisations need to rethink the country’s sustainability landscape, leveraging recycling as a means of job creation.
Speaking on the grant awarded, the Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, remarked “Plastic pollution is a problem that our company is committed to solving. Our vision for a World Without Waste focuses on recycling and behavioural-change projects. We believe projects such as the Cash 4 Trash initiative by W.A.S.T.E Africa are an effective means of working together to create shared value and deliver real change”.
Coca-Cola continues to work towards building a World Without Waste through the continuous funding of recycling initiatives in Nigeria such as the partnership with a private investor, Alkem Nigeria Limited, to set up a large scale recovery and buyback scheme for PET bottles which were recycled into synthetic fibre from 2005 to 2011 until the operations became self-sustaining. Coca-Cola’s outreach to other leading beverage companies led to the formation of the first Producer Responsibility Organization for the Food and Beverage sector known as the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA).
Also noteworthy is Coca-Cola’s funding to support several key projects across Nigeria such as the African Clean Up Initiative Recycles Pay and Clean-up Naija projects, RESWAYE by MEDIC and now Cash 4 Trash by W.A.S.T.E Africa. The company continues to lead the way by helping to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for everyone it sells by 2030, as part of its global World Without Waste vision.
Airtel Zambia, Ericsson to Drive Responsible e-Waste Disposal and Recycling
Airtel Networks Zambia Plc has partnered with Ericsson on a ‘Product Take-Back’ program to minimize the potential environmental impact associated with the disposal of decommissioned electrical equipment.
The Product Take-Back program is part of Ericsson’s Sustainability efforts geared towards taking accountability for environmental impacts of all products and services during their lifecycle. The program ensures that end-of-life material is treated and recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.
Airtel continues to be committed to ensuring that the beauty of Zambia is sustainably conserved and understands that environmental impact starts with its own operations.
Airtel’s CEO and Managing Director, Apoorva Mehrotra says: “Airtel is committed to being socially responsible. We believe that the adoption of responsible e-waste disposal techniques will help to manage the impact on the environment. We are collaborating with Ericsson in e-waste management to not only evacuate the waste but also educate the general public and all key stakeholders about the importance of the proper disposal of e-waste in the country.”
Ericsson provides free product retrieval and safe disposal services for equipment that has reached its shelf life, as part the company’s extended producer responsibility. Ericsson offers the program to all customers globally, which guarantees that e-waste does not end up in trade-restricted areas or landfills.
Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head of Ericsson East and South Africa says: “Ericsson aims to minimize the negative environmental impact of our own activities and products in operation, while delivering solutions to enable the low-carbon economy. Our partnership with Airtel in Zambia extends the scope of our Product Take-Back program to include creating awareness about e-waste and helping to ensure that end-of-life material is waste-treated in an environmentally responsible manner.”
E-waste, not recycled properly, is an under acknowledged environmental hazard around the world. Airtel Zambia’s initiative is geared towards creating awareness and minimizing the potential environmental impact associated with the disposal of decommissioned electrical and electronic equipment in the country.
IBM Research to Radically Accelerate Materials Discovery in 5 Key Areas
IBM unveiled its annual “5 in 5” predictions about five significant changes driven by innovation in science and technology that will take place in the next five years.
This year’s 5 in 5 focuses on five core areas of research that the company will tackle to enable a more sustainable future, coinciding with the first ever virtual UN General Assembly.
From a global pandemic to global warming, 2020 has illuminated the essential role of science — as well as clear actions based on that science — to combat some of the greatest challenges of our time.
The need to rethink how the world creates, consumes and disposes of materials has never been clearer, from storing energy more efficiently, to removing CO2 from the atmosphere to growing food more sustainably.
As part of the company’s renewed focus on the urgency of science, IBM is committed to dedicating its technology, talent, and resources towards advancing research and the discovery of new materials. It will do this by advancing technologies including AI, quantum, high performance computing and hybrid cloud to turbocharge science and address the discovery process in a fundamentally new way, including these five core areas in the next five years:
Capturing and transforming CO2 to mitigate climate change
In the next five years, we will be able to capture CO2 from the air and transform it from the scourge of the environment into something useful. The goal is to make CO2 capture and reuse efficient enough to scale globally so we can significantly reduce the level of the harmful CO2 in the atmosphere and, ultimately, slow climate change.
Modeling Mother Nature to feed a growing citizenry while reducing carbon emissions
In the next five years, we will replicate nature’s ability to convert nitrogen in the soil into nitrate-rich fertilizer, feeding the growing world while reducing the environmental impact of fertilizers. We’ll come up with an innovative solution to enable nitrogen fixation at a sustainable scale and help feed the world’s rapidly growing population.
Rethinking batteries before we have to rethink our world
In the next five years, we will discover new materials for safer and more environmentally-preferable batteries capable of supporting a renewable-based energy grid and more sustainable transportation. Many renewable energy sources are intermittent and require storage. The use of AI and quantum computing will result in batteries built with safer and more efficient materials for improved performance.
Sustainable materials, sustainable products, sustainable planet
In the next five years, we will advance materials manufacturing, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to improve the sustainability of their coveted products. Scientists will embrace a new approach to materials design that enables the tech industry to more quickly produce sustainable materials for the production of semiconductors and electronic devices.
Learning from our past for a healthier future
In the next five years, we aim to help facilitate the generation of treatments to aid physicians and front-line workers in combating novel, life-threatening viruses on a larger scale than is currently possible. A combination of AI, analytics and data can potentially help with the rapid analysis of real-world medical evidence to suggest new candidates for drug repurposing and speed clinical trials. In the future, these tools may reach widespread adoption across industries, effectively becoming one of the means of rapidly responding to global, life-threatening viruses.
Orange Debuts €500 Million Sustainability Bond
Orange issued its first sustainability bond for €500 million, seeking to finance projects aimed at driving digital and social inclusion, and combatting climate change.
In a statement, the group said the move would allow it to expand its investor base and optimise its funding structure, as the issue “was met with great success” from socially responsible investing (SRI) entities.
The larger pile of the raised funds (60 per cent) will be allocated to projects for energy efficiency and a circular economy. The rest will be put into plans for digital and social inclusion.
Orange delegate CEO Ramon Fernandez noted the company felt it was “necessary to drive our business with the objective to contribute to a more sustainable and fair world”, as the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis emphasised “the essential nature of telecommunications”.
The operator group stated the bond issuance was in line with its Engage 2025 strategy which Orange CEO Stephane Richard previously claimed needed social and environmental policies following the outbreak.
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