Green energy, which principally includes solar energy, hydropower energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and bioenergy expanded by 7.6% in 2019, adding 176 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity globally. This is according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA).
The beauty about green energy is that it is produced with little-to-no environmental impact and does not dispense greenhouse gases into the air that contribute to global warming, the way fossil fuels do. Here in Africa, green energy is in abundance, yet not properly tapped into.
This is perhaps the reason why Optiven has been intentional about green energy in all its projects across Kenya.
This leading real estate firm has been purposeful on both being ecofriendly and on its implementation of Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal No. 7 that seeks to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by year 2030 and SDG Goal No. 11 that seeks to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by the year 2030.
What Actions has Optiven been taking to walk the Green Energy talk?
Optiven believes in sustainability of our resources through a number of well-thought-out initiatives. These include:
- Installing Solar Street Lights on our streets: We have done over 130 Kilometers coverage of solar powered streets.
- Increasing air purifiers in our projects: We have done this through planting of trees in all our projects including; Victory Gardens Phase 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Kitengela, Gardens of Joy in Machakos and Amani Ridge the Place of Peace in Kiambu.
- We have set aside over 40 acres of green spaces in our various projects: This means that this acreage is not available for selling and has thus been set aside for the benefit of the communities living in these estates.
- We have consistently been engaged in advocacy on the need of going green: We have been directing this message to the local communities and both local and central governments. In this regard, we have been constantly involved in advocacy and sensitization of all our customers through all our channels such as our Facebook Live shows that create mega awareness on such topical issue. Watch our recent discussion on Green Energy here: https://web.facebook.com/watch/?v=2728594400742816
- We have been making use of water recycling technology: Specifically, we have adopted the use of Bio-digesters as a preferred method of managing waste (toilet water, Kitchen and bathroom water) in our projects.
- We have established an effective waste management plan in all our developments: Besides doing this, we have been sensitizing all those living in these developments to strictly abide by the set policies, which has in turn made these estates to become environmentally friendly.
What are the benefits of Going Green?
- Improve society’ Health: The use green energy means better environment, reduced pollutants and more happiness in the communities. Our initiatives to increase air purifiers in our project has consistently enhanced improved health for those living in these projects. So far, we have done over 1 Million trees across 10 counties where we have our projects.
- Saving of Energy: Over the years, we have installed over 2000 solar street poles, an initiative that helps to save over 3 Million worth of electricity bills per month in our projects. We have encouraged our customers and Kenyans at large to use green energy, including building houses that have more natural lighting.
Our Request to our customers, Kenyans and our Government
- We all need to adopt green energy by going green: Let Kenyans tap resources such as roof water by installing the right water consumable roofs. We thank the County Government of Kajiado for enforcing a policy for every home owner in this county to gutter their houses and thus take advantage of natural rain water.
- We request all home owners to use water recycling technologies such as bio digesters, which has many benefits and massive savings. You do not need septic, no paying of sewerage services plus it is easy to install for standalone homes. This is always our number one recommendation to our customers in all our developments.
- Let us plant more trees in our gardens, our shambas and our public spaces such as schools and public land. Let us be more intentional on protection of our forests and prevention of soil erosion.
- Let us seek to use solar energy on our streets and on such daily tasks such as heating our water for domestic use. We also urge our government to scrap all tax on solar products. This will make such products more affordable.
- Let us manage our electronic wastes: We have been sensitizing our communities in Amani Ridge, Garden of Joy and Victory Gardens on the need to manage electronic waste through our communication channels, including FB live plus one-on-one through our project managers on the ground.
- Recycle biodegradable waste: We have been sensitizing communities that live in Optiven projects to recycle biodegradable waste in order for them to save on both environment and cost.
- Eat organic food: Consumption of organic food means more of such food will be produced in our farms, and by extension boost both the environment and human health.
- Reduce paper consumption: We advocate for and practice the habit of going paperless where possible.
Let us all purpose to go green and to become ambassadors of going green in order to save our planet.