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Canon’s Africa Frontiers of Innovation brings together some of Africa’s brightest minds, with an aim to unpack innovative solutions at a monthly seminar hosted by Kenyan broadcaster Victoria Rubidari

AdobeStock 283303632Sustainability can positively affect financial outcomes. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The panel included Arnolda Shiundu, head of sustainability and community engagement at Kenya Breweries Limited (DIAGEO); Charles Ojei, CEO of HYBR and Andy Tomkins, sustainability engagement manager for Canon EMEA.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report, the world’s top five risks facing the world are environmental. These include extreme weather events, natural disasters, climate change, human damage to the environment and major biodiversity loss, leading to the collapse of ecosystems.

The private and public sectors have a significant role to play. “Today, business and society are integral and go hand in hand. Doing good is good for business and it needs to be at the forefront,” said Ojei.

Canon is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). Shuindu believes this success stems from factoring sustainability into everything they do. “Embedding sustainability means understanding the core impact you are having and putting policies in place.”

Sustainability can positively affect financial outcomes. Tomkins highlighted research from Oxfam that indicates the economies of rich countries will shrink by half if greenhouse gases are not addressed. 

Positive investment outcomes have been shown, with sustainability investment funds outperforming traditional funds as financial markets endeavour to weather COVID-19, suggested companies with strong environmental, social and governance scores (ESG) are more resilient and attractive to investors.