Catherine Gichungu, the CEO of Kenyan-based Caly Flora, has received international recognition from the United Nations for her contributions to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She was honored at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York for her commitment to implementing the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles. Ms Gichungu stood out as one of only two Africans to achieve this recognition in 2023.

Her company, Caly Flora, is known for promoting sustainability through eco-friendly flower wraps and indigenous tree seedling production.

She views this award as a validation of the role small and medium enterprises play in sustainability.

“This award is also a confirmation that Small to Medium Enterprises like ours have a significant role to play in carrying out their operations in a sustainable manner. Matters sustainability is not just for the big players but for everyone and we all have a role to play in promoting the SDGs,” she said.

This prestigious accolade, popularly known as the SDG Pioneer Programme, drew participants from more than 100 nations.

The search focused on professionals working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact.

Catherine-Gichungu-CEO-Carly. Image: courtesy.
Catherine-Gichungu-CEO-Carly. Image: courtesy.

Through her company, Caly Flora, and its subsequent brands, Greenit Decors and Mizizi Eco Circle, Ms Gichungu has been spearheading educational initiatives and community engagement in promoting a sustainable way of life for Kenyans.

Caly Flora is the first in Kenya to utilise and raise awareness of eco-friendly flower wraps to reduce its carbon footprint. Last year, the company sold record-breaking bouquets in eco-friendly biodegradable wraps, saving numerous polythene floral wraps that would have had a detrimental impact on the environment.

Through Greenit Decors, Ms Gichungu is also addressing the rapid decline of indigenous tree species in the Kenyan ecosystem, which play a vital role in curbing soil erosion, protecting water catchment areas, providing food, and livelihoods, and promoting biodiversity in general.