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ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), a concept formerly considered to be a first-world phenomenon, is unquestionably a global one. It refers to a broad range of environmental, social and governance factors that businesses are progressively inculcating into their way of doing business. These factors have also been used to set the criteria upon which ‘socially responsible investors or conscious investors’ assess whether to invest in any given company.
It is undeniably the case that development finance institutions and many other financial institutions are imposing ESG conditions in their lending decisions. In Kenya, we have seen a gradual but evident shift in the conversation surrounding ESG issues. Over the years, it has slowly evolved from the notion of ‘nice to have goals’ to ‘apply or explain’ for many entities such as listed companies and financial institutions. The indications are clear – the incorporation of ESG considerations into a company’s operations strategy is becoming essential.
While there has been a positive reception on ESG considerations within business practices, implementation of the same has been rather slow. The deadlines for implementation of the guidelines issued by the NSE and CBK are fast approaching yet we understand few institutions have yet to comply with the requirements.
As the impetus on ESG measurement develops in Kenya, firms need to be careful that they have policies and strategies in place to ensure they are ready to comply. And as pressure on the country builds on its external debt obligations, it can only be expected that organisations like the World Bank, the IMF and others will continue to reinforce the ESG message.
We have put together a comprehensive article that provides an overview of the legal framework of ESG in Kenya
Click here to download and read the full article.
Should you have any questions on ESG issues within the debt space in Kenya, please do not hesitate to contact Sonal Tejpar.
1. Elizabeth Kiluu, Associate
2. Anne Mburu, Trainee Lawyer