The GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF) has been awarded the prestigious 2022 RJRGleaner Honour Award in the category of Science and Technology for its environmental sustainability work. The awards ceremony took place on September 19, 2023 at RJR’s offices on Lyndhurst Road in Kingston.
At the ceremony, the Foundation was recognised for its successful facilitation of the Kingston Harbour Cleanup Project (KHCP), which is working to prevent solid waste from entering the Kingston Harbour.
GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby, congratulated the Foundation, saying, “The Kingston Harbour Cleanup Project has been groundbreaking and is a critical part of GK’s efforts to protect our Kingston Harbour and raise awareness about solid waste pollution in Jamaica. GK’s 2030 vision of becoming the number one Caribbean brand in the world, is underpinned by our Environmental, Social, and Governance framework, which among other things charges GK with being responsible stewards of our environment.”
He added, “We are so proud of the GKF team and the stellar contribution they are making towards protecting our environment. Throughout its over 40 years in operation the Foundation has embodied GK’s We Care mantra, and we look forward to seeing GKF continuing to effect positive change in Jamaica. If it’s good for Jamaica, it’s good for GraceKennedy.”
A collaboration with the international non-profit, The Ocean Cleanup, and Clean Harbours Jamaica (CHJ) Ltd, the KHCP targets 11 gullies, which act as conduits connecting the entire city of Kingston to the Harbour, and together discharge an estimated 947,000 kg of plastic into the Caribbean Sea each year. Since it was launched in early 2022, KHCP has installed Interceptor Barriers at the mouths of five of these gullies. In 2022 over 84,000 pounds of waste was prevented from entering the Harbour by the barriers.
Under the project, over 900 students and community members living in downtown communities near the gullies have participated in workshops to raise awareness about how they can play their part in keeping the Kingston Harbour, their communities, and Jamaica clean
Commenting on GKF’s award, CEO of GKF Caroline Mahfood said, “We are pleased to be recognized in such a meaningful way for the work that we do. We are proud citizens of downtown Kingston, and it is our dream, along with that of our late Chairman, James Moss-Solomon Jr, to see the Harbour restored to its former glory. We remained committed to the dedication and preservation of the Harbour and the promotion of environmental awareness, and we urge our fellow citizens to join us in our efforts to reduce solid waste pollution.”
The GraceKennedy Foundation was established in 1982 in celebration of GraceKennedy’s 60th anniversary. GKF supports the Company as a corporate citizen by delivering environmental programmes, promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing access to education.