The maiden Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) awards, which is meant to recognise innovation and excellence in the environmental sector has been launched in Accra.
Dubbed a go-green initiative for productivity and sustainability, the award is on the theme “Transformative and sustainable change creates a healthy and wealthy nation.”
The brainchild of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Maximum Growth Africa, the programme scheduled for October 22, would honour about 15 corporate organisations for their roles in promoting sound environmental practices.
Dr Heloo Adiku, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who launched the programme in Accra yesterday, said the objective of the awards was to recognise individuals and corporate bodies who were pursuing innovative programmes to promote the environment.
She lauded the Maximum Growth Africa for initiating the idea for the country to honour individuals who had initiated programmes to promote the environment.
“The government gives recognition to public-private partnership and encourage practitioners who make deliberate efforts to ensure environmental sustainability while promoting corporate social responsibility in society,” she said.
Dr Adiku called on corporate bodies to integrate EHS in their operations to help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the programme, she said a logo had been developed to emphasis on the need for individuals and corporate bodies to pursue programmes that promote the environment.
The Chief Executive of MGA, Francis Kwaidoo, told The Ghanaian Times that aside honouring individuals for promoting environmental sustainability, the programme was to create two million jobs in the next five years through skills training, technology and innovation.
He said there was huge opportunity for job creation in the environment and stressed the need for more investment in the sector.
Mr Kwaidoo said each of the awardees would be required to plant and nurture hundred trees in a bid to promote the environment.
Among the categories for the awards, are the Best Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly, Best Foreign sustainable Innovative Organisation, Excellence in Innovation Construction and Environmental Safety, Best Multinational Organisation in EHS, Best Telecommunication company in EHS, Excellence in Climate Change Mitigation.
The others, are Best Manufacturing Company in Health and Safety, Best Aquaculture organisation in EHS, Best Upstream Petroleum Company in EHS, Excellence in Green Estate, Best Renewable Energy Company in EHS, and Best Bank and Financial Institution in EHS.
Mr Emmanuel Asiedu, the Chief Executive Officer of the GRATIS Foundation said skills training, technology and industrialisation held the key to unemployment in the country.
He said western countries such US and the emerging Asian Tigers had managed to overcome unemployment through industrialisation and development of new technologies to address the challenges facing them.
Mr Asiedu said GRATIS could produce the machines and technologies needed to address the developmental needs of the country and called on government to push more resources to technology and industrialisation.
By Kingsley Asare