Investing in environment increasingly becoming lucrative – Fanmilk MD

Investments into environmentally-friendly business models are becoming a haven in the country, Managing Director of Fanmilk PLC, Ziobeieton Yeo, has said.

Investments into environmentally-friendly business models are becoming a haven in the country, Managing Director of Fanmilk PLC, Ziobeieton Yeo, has said.

He said business ideas that put the environment first are not only sure to create a win-win situation but are increasingly becoming more appealing to investors and lenders, both local and international, in the face of global concerted efforts to slow down the effects of climate change.

Beyond contributing to protecting the ecology and keeping planet earth safe for future generations, he emphasised that environmentally-friendly businesses are among some of the world’s most resilient companies as they are either breaking-even or making profit even in the ongoing economic crisis.

“Investment in the environment reduces importation of production materials and saves the economy some foreign exchange, as well as adding value to raw materials for export and creating more employment opportunities,” Mr. Yeo reiterated.

He said this when a delegation from the France Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Ghana) paid a working visit to him.  He advised the French investment community seeking opportunities in Ghana to therefore channel their investments into the environment, especially sustainable agribusiness and renewable energy, among others.

“To investors, I will say as you settle into this country there is a massive opportunity in making use of what is available locally. We at Danone [a subsidiary of Fanmilk] have become advocates of using what is produced here in terms of raw materials. We have in abundance here – cassava, soya, millet, coconut, shea and cocoa. Let’s make industrial products out of those for the international market and the economy of Ghana.

“Investment in the environment is a good business. If you invest in a biomass boiler for instance, at the end of the day you spend less on energy bills and in less than a year you can recoup the investment. There are a lot of raw materials useful for so many things.  Let’s make good use of them as we invest,” he said.

He added that Ghana is the safest place in sub-Saharan Africa to do business, due to its relatively stable political environment and conducive ecosystem created for foreign investors to thrive.

Fanmilk Ghana under its ‘One planet, one health’ vision has made several investments in green projects; including a wastewater treatment plant, biomass boiler and solar power installation over the past few years.

The need for environmentally-friendly investment has become very important in recent times, due to global warming and related climate change issues. Climate-smart agriculture practices – which is the integrated approach to managing landscapes, cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries that address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change disputes – are among what Mr. Yeo is advocating.

Nonetheless, he said government must begin granting some form of incentives to businesses that are committed to environmentally-friendly operations as a way to motivate and drive investors’ interest in going green.

A World Trade Centre report shows 50 percent of countries highly affected by climate change are in Africa. This, it adds, requires an urgent pragmatic action plan to reverse and save the continent; therefore the adoption of an environmentally-friendly production process for sustainability is a call in the right direction.

The CCI France Ghana delegation expressed excitement with the green nature of the Fanmilk business model.

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