To mark the annual World Environment Day, the Alumni Unit of SMC organised a special episode of her Meet The Expert series with the theme, ‘Value Co-creation and Environmental Sustainability: The Enablers, Challenges, and Opportunities’. The World Environment Day is a day set aside to focus on the environment by creating awareness and to enhance attention and action.
Thus, during the Meet the Expert event, a panel of four discussants spoke about how their organisations have been able to adopt the Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for the Human Environment. The panelists were Amaka Onyemelukwe – Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company; Ginikanwa Frank-Durugbor – Head of Corporate Communications, Lafarge; Oge Udeagha – Manager, Media and Communications, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; Foluke Michael – Chief Innovation – CYCDI – Trees From Art.
It came to light during the discussions that a waste code was signed for the first time in Nigeria in 1988, and by 1992, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency was formed. This was eventually followed by the creation of the Ministry of Environment which was created in 1999. It was made clear that though a lot is yet to be put in place, the country has come a long way since the discovery of the toxic waste dumped by an Italian company in Koko, in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
Today, not just the ministries, but also organisations are involved in the business of environmental sustainability. It used to be about dividends, shares, cash flows, profit, and loss but things have changed. Slowly but gradually, investors are beginning to look at things like sustainability reports and what organisations are doing in the environment they are operating in.
The conclusion of the panelists was that though the nation is very much behind in environmental sustainability it can still achieve the desired outcomes with the right advocacy.