Accra Jan. 22, GNA – Government on Friday inaugurated the Ghana National Cleaner Production Centre of Excellence at Tema, to effectively reduce industrial impact and improve the environment and to maximize industrial profit.
If adopted, the Centre would help reduce cost of production through efficient use of resources, minimisation of waste; re-use and recycling, enhance competitiveness in the wider market place, improve satisfaction and increase environmentally conscious customers, insurers and bankers.
Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), inaugurating the Centre, said globalisation of the economy had compelled developing countries to remain competitive as greater importance was given to environmental aspects of trade policies and arrangements.
“This has created a situation where developing countries have responded to internal and international pressure to address environmental management systems,” she said.
Ms Ayittey noted that the interest of industry in self-regulation and proactive compliance approaches to environmental legislation at the local level needed commendation.
She said the Ministry had completed a roadmap for Sustainable Development Action Plan of which resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production were at the centre of growth in Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The Sector Minister noted that the policy would ensure the sustainability of the operation of the Centre in its coordinating role in Ghana, and the sub-region to contribute to the attainment of NEPAD’s environmental imitative.
She explained that the Centre would provide service to SMEs in meeting the national environmental legislations and improve on AKOBEN rating.
The AKOBEN programme is an environmental performance rating and disclosure initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Under the programme, the environmental performance of mining and manufacturing operations is assessed using a five-colour rating scheme.
Ms Ayittey called on SMEs to take advantage of the Centre and reduce production cost and be environmental compliant.
Mr Daniel Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of EPA, said the socio-economic development of the country, like many other African countries had led to continued environmental degradation, including, widespread land degradation, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and loss of arable and grazing land.
He said the facility the first to be established in the West Africa and being supported by the United Nations Industrial Organisation, would train people of sister countries to improve on their environment.
Mr Amlalo said: “It will also build and enhance capacities through improving technical and management competence of local consultants, financing institutions and industry players with interest in cleaner production,” he added.
Mr Eugene Adarkwa-Addae, Director of Quality Assurance, Ghana Standards Authority called on management of the Centre to identify new approach to the relationship between industry and the environment.
He appealed to stakeholders to support the Centre in its operations and patronise its training programmes.