KENYA – In an effort to promote sustainability, Unga Group Limited, a listed food processing firm has announced the completion of a KES 300 million (US$2.06M) solar power installation project at its manufacturing sites that will see the company cut power costs by 27%.
Speaking to Capital News ahead of the most awaited Africa Climate Summit 2023, Unga Group Managing Director Joseph Choge said the firm has adopted solar power solutions as a part of an agenda to advance green growth.
According to Choge, installed at its five Nairobi (2), Nakuru (2), and Eldoret manufacturing sites, Unga has embarked on a transformative journey towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This solar initiative, he confirmed, is part of Unga’s innovative energy program, which aims to increase the company’s uptake of solar energy by diversifying the energy sources, boosting efficiency, and reducing operational costs.
According to Choge, adopting solar power units will help the total food company slash its power costs by more than 27%, occasioning more than KES 80 million ( US$550,000) in annual savings.
Further, he added, the move will enable Unga Group to reduce its reliance on the national power grid and reduce its carbon footprint by 2,454 tons of CO2/year.
“The solar installation at our five manufacturing sites underscores the Unga Group’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and embracing eco-friendly production.”
Choge explained that Unga Group continues to embed climate action and sustainability as a crucial part of its business strategy and is, among other things, investing heavily in green projects, including the solar energy project, as a way of diversifying our energy sources.
“At Unga Group, we are deliberately pursuing a green growth agenda by adopting environmentally friendly solutions in all our operating touchpoints”, Choge said.
However, the CEO revealed that the initial investment is undoubtedly heavy, but the company remains focused that the returns will be attractive in the fullness of time as they continue to prioritize climate action as one of their operating pillars.
He said that by solarizing the manufacturing sites, they are diligently diversifying energy portfolios in a bid to mitigate reliance on the national grid and enhance energy resilience.
Besides installing solar PV panels, Choge revealed that Unga Group also has other environmental sustainability efforts in place, which it is currently intensifying, including using energy-efficient bulbs and lights across all sites and installing low-energy LED lights with motion sensors to ensure that lights are on only when required.
Additionally, the group is implementing broader energy reduction initiatives through its Continual Improvement Program, eliminating waste, improving efficiency, and supporting reliability through robust preventative maintenance.
Last year, Unga Group emerged as the overall winner at the Energy Management Awards (EMA) 2022, organized by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in the Electricity Medium Voltage Savings category and also picked the first Runners Up award in the Overall Energy Management category.
This attests to the Group’s culture of responsibly managing resources and positively impacting the environment.