Lorna Rutto, 37



Lorna is a World Economic Forum young global leader and the founder of EcoPost. Through her initiative to conserve the environment, create jobs, and uplift communities, Lorna has received multiple local and international awards and recognitions, among them the Safaricom, Youth Entrepreneurship Facility. The Enablis Award, the 2010 Bid Network Nature Challenge Award and South Africa’s SEED Award are some of the other honours under her belt. Founded in 2009, EcoPost manufactures posts for road signage, fencing, furniture, building, and construction support beams by recycling plastic waste.

Consequently, Ecopost has withdrawn more than 13 million kilogrammes of plastic waste from the environment since it was established 11 years, thus preventing an ecological disaster. ‘‘We convert plastic waste into products to prevent plastic pollution and deforestation and climate change.”

By providing alternative construction materials, EcoPost has also saved more than 4,500 acres of the forest whose trees would have been felled for timber. So far, her company has created dozens of direct employment opportunities for youth and women while more than 2,000 people, mostly from marginalised communities, have benefited from its activities.

‘‘I’m so excited that our company has been able to create sustainable communities and spurred economic growth.” Her ambition is even bigger. ‘‘I intend to change the lives of two billion people by creating opportunities through sustainable waste management practices which will also help to conserve our continent.’’ On her values as a professional, Lorna notes that there is no business success without integrity and compassion ‘‘which I strongly advocate for’’.

"‘‘My purpose in life is to do something about the poverty situation in our country and to conserve the environment.’’"

‘‘My purpose in life is to do something about the poverty situation in our country and to conserve the environment.’’

She adds that she derives pride from ‘‘making people’s lives better’’ by helping them to rewrite their stories of poverty to economic empowerment. To do this, Lorna is involved in community empowerment programmes and training women ‘‘to help them become entrepreneurs. She also provides incubation start-up kits for youth.

James Kahongeh