The newly built Mars Wrigley Confectionery factory in Machakos County has been recognised for adopting green building strategies and practices in its design and construction, becoming one of the few manufacturing plants in Africa and the first in Kenya to achieve LEED GOLD certification status.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It is run and managed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGB), a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. It is a prestigious rating for environmentally conscious buildings and sites.
“We are glad to have included many green initiatives in the design and construction of our new facility in Kenya. Just like the U.S. Green Building Council, we are keen to promote better, healthier spaces for people to work,” said Ms Wanja Mwangi, the company’s Corporate Affairs Director for the Developing Middle East and Africa market.
To receive LEED Certification, projects pursue credits that earn points based on their green building strategies and practices and after a rigorous review process, the projects are awarded a certification level based on the number of points earned. The new state of the art Ksh 7billion Mars Wrigley Confectionery factory in Kenya was awarded 62 points earning it LEED GOLD certification status.
The factory has been awarded for its efforts in reducing the impact on the environment by including a biomass boiler, highly efficient utility equipment, waste water treatment plant, the use of skylights and many windows in both the factory and office to allow the site to operate during the daylight hours with very few electric lights.
Additionally, the new factory has bicycle racks and showering facilities, as well as preferential parking locations for carpool and fuel-efficient vehicles to encourage alternative forms of transportation to the site.
“Through our global sustainability agenda dubbed ‘Sustainable in a Generation,’ Mars Incorporated looks to secure positive impacts for business, people, and the planet. The company aims to cut all fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 2040. This includes development of long-term water and waste targets to support this goal,” added Mwangi.
The new factory, which is constructed on a 20-acre piece of land in Athi River will replace the company’s old plant located in Nairobi’s Industrial Area. Its construction began in 2015 with the official opening scheduled to take place this year.
The company’s investment in a new facility was driven by the need to meet growing demand for the firm’s products in Africa, while improving capacity and technology. It is expected to serve a growing market that includes Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Djibouti, DRC and South Sudan.
Some of its local popular brands include Big G, PK, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, Skittles and Orbit among others