The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Mr. Temi Popoola, has called on businesses to adopt sustainable business practices and report sustainability performance to stakeholders to promote inclusivity in transformational initiatives for the economy and society. This call was made while speaking at the Digital Closing Gong Ceremony, organised by NGX in celebration of the 2022 World Environment Day, themed, ‘Only One Earth’ on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Popoola noted that the critical roles required of the private sector in actualising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement now enjoys some clarity and as such businesses would need to incorporate environmental and social factors into their operations and activities. In his words, “we have only one earth and we all have a part to play in preserving it. For this reason, NGX created the Facts Behind the Sustainability Report platform to promote transparency in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures by showcasing the sustainability performance and reporting amongst companies listed on NGX. In developing this unique platform, the Exchange’s objectives were to mainstream the adoption of sustainability reporting amongst listed companies so as to increase the availability of decision-useful ESG data that investors can utilize in making investment decisions”.
Speaking further on the reason for celebrating the 2022 World Environment Day with specific companies, the CEO mentioned that it was important to celebrate businesses that understand the strategic competitive advantage that sustainability creates as well as honour listed companies who are setting an example by disclosing their sustainability performance. “For this year’s World Environment Day celebrations, we have chosen to celebrate companies that have demonstrated leadership in sustainability reporting by leveraging the NGX Facts Behind Sustainability Report platform for good reason. Our commendation goes to the Boards and Executive Management of Courteville Business Solutions Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Seplat Energy Plc who have leveraged the Facts Behind the Sustainability Report platform since the platform was launched in 2019”, he added.
Group Managing Director, Courteville Business Solutions, Dr. Adebola Akindele, at the event, discussed initiatives embarked on to align his organisation with the SDG goals, such as setting up a social capital management team that trains stakeholders on sustainable business practices, workplace diversity, and cultural background and language. He further suggested the introduction of active carbon trading equipment for motorists to regulate vehicular carbon emissions.
“We are at the forefront of demonstrating sustainable behaviour at Lafarge Africa Plc”, said Mr. Khaled El Dokani, Country CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, represented by Lolu Akinyemi, Chief Finance Officer and Executive Director who highlighted some strategies deployed by Lafarge Africa towards providing sustainable building solutions, creating a zero-waste initiative, implementing sustainable manufacturing, utilizing renewable energy and deploying rail transportation for distribution of products to end-users, thereby reducing carbon emissions.
Mr. Michel Puchercos GMD/CEO, Dangote Cement Plc, represented by Mr. Guillaume Moyen, Group Financial Officer, Dangote Cement Plc, stressed the need for collective efforts in prioritising the environment, one that Dangote Cement through key initiatives, has unlocked. Additionally, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, GMD/CEO, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, represented by Mr. Sadiq Usman, Director, Group Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, identified initiatives embarked on by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc that promote sustainable supply chain management, where operations have been aligned with product sustainability themes. “Beyond installing capacity banks, sustainability initiatives around recycling to save N250 million in product packaging have been introduced to our operations”, he said.
In his closing remarks, the CEO, NGX, Popoola, reaffirmed NGX’s committment to fostering the growth of long-term sustainable finance, toward combatting climate change and environmental concerns across Africa as well as upscaling its platforms to advance sustainable development in new ways that reflect the risks and opportunities presented by climate change and the SDGs.