PanAfrika Trading Co. is a wholly owned Zimbabwean company that provides brokering, consulting and international trade services in sustainably sourced commodities, grains, herbs, blended spices & instant mixes, cigarettes, cigarette rolling papers, hookahs, wines and coffee.
Environmental Manager and Sustainability champion Charlene Noble, a former Low Carbon South West intern, runs the environmental department, who are tasked to give back to the environment and society and accelerate the “Going Green” agenda. This includes market research and provides supplementary services, like advise and support, seminars and workshops, competitions, and other functions to raise awareness of the social responsibilities that existing companies owe to the environment.
The company also have a green team, who fight for injustice that has been done to the environment. The green team includes university students on six month placements, which promotes empowerment amongst the Zimbabwean youth. The team includes:
- Clive C. Manhize – a graphics and web design student, who does all things I.T.
- Mercy Kanonhuwa – school coordinator and a Strategic Management masters student and Agricultural graduate.
- Tanyaradzwa A. Rukuwah – school coordinator, and a Business Management and Information Technology student.
- Ancillar N. Dick – the cooperates coordinator, and a Business Management and Information Technology student.
The Go Green Action Plan at Pan Afrika Trading Co.
The Environmental Department has adopted the Go Green Action Plan that was designed by Go Green Bristol. It is focal to the company and sets an example for other businesses in Zimbabwe to do more towards environmental protection in the communities they live in. These include large steps like solely renewable energy and small steps such as reusing office equipment.
A ‘switch it off’ campaign has been implemented, where throughout and at the end of the day, electrical appliances are turned off to save energy. The employee who has participated the most in this initiative receives a box of sustainably sourced tea and chocolates as an incentive to get more staff involved.
The office also separates all of its waste and has gone paperless by working mostly online through the Google Drive. Staff only print when necessary and use recycled paper for any documents printed.
They also have incorporated a ‘carpool’ initiative, whereby managers use one car to and from work to reduce air pollution in the city of Harare. All other staff travel by public transport as the company provide a ‘Green Transport Allowance’ to anyone using an environmentally friendly travel method.
From adopting the Go Green Action Plan, the company have started new initiatives with the hope to lead change in Zimbabwe. These include:
Launched to encourage businesses in Harare to tackle the issues of waste in the city centre, particularly the use of Kaylites, as well as the general environmental degradation in Zimbabwe. They’re also a place for networking where businesses can share ideas and help each other in the drive to be more environmentally friendly.
At the first seminar on the 1st of July 2016, the company partnered with the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe (EMA), and discusses all the environmental issues facing Zimbabwe and how companies can play their part to minimise impacts on the environment and society. Speakers included:
- Mr. Mtono (S.A.Z) – Efficiency in the workplace.
- Charlene Noble (PanAfrika Trading Co.) – What it means to be green in a business.
- Kevin Matutu (E.M.A) – Waste Management.
- Derek Mpofu (Harare City Council) – Awareness in an unaware generation.
- Councilor Mutizwa (Guest of Honour) – A holistic approach to environmental issues in Harare.
Some of the companies that attended the seminar included: British America Tobacco, Green Resources Company, Frampol/Helping Zimbabwe, Middleport Freight, Fullfire Africa Energy, Recycle Today, Helens refuse collections services, and Itachi.
The company are in partnership with Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environmental, Water and Climate, as well as Harare City Council, who have taken the initiative of approaching the society as a whole, including Churches of Harare and Schools (primary, high school and tertiary education).
Green Student Competitions
A Green student competition 2016 has been set up, where schools from all over Zimbabwe are being invited to produce arts and culture acts with an environmental message/element, along with a school ‘Green Fun Day’ to display the acts. Students are judged on their creativity, uniqueness and overall environmental message. With 75% of Zimbabwe’s population consisting of youth, the Green Student Competition seeks to identify green ambassadors within Zimbabwe and to create an environmentally aware generation to safeguard the lives and well-being of future generations.
Activities like music competitions, drawing competitions, poems, role-plays, exhibitions of environmental issues are all part of the ‘A Step in the Green Direction’ theme of the competition. The idea is to find an innovative way to engage youths in schools and take action against environmental degradation, along with information sharing of contemporary environmental issues through arts and culture.
It is hoped that schools will adopt a Go Green action plan (e.g. renewable energy options, recycling projects and awareness campaigns) through edutainment music.
Environmental Church Council
The Environmental Church Council is in its early stages, which has been set up with all religions on board. This initiative involves a clean-up of the city of Harare in July 2016. All satellite churches will clean up a particular street, and set up sorting bins, and by the end of the week encourage waste separation and the message of recycling amongst the public.
These are just a few of the projects that PanAfrika Trading Co. environmental department is working on with more to follow and we’re looking forward to hearing how the Go Green Action Plan can continue to drive sustainability at PanAfrika.