Businesses urged to incorporate sustainability issues in business operations

Businesses must incorporate sustainability issues in their operations to help protect the environment, Programmes Coordinator and Head of Secretariat of UN Global Compact Network Ghana, Tolu Kweku Lacroix, has said.

According to him, businesses must lead the effort to preserve and protect the environment since businesses could not survive without a healthy environment.

Mr Lacroix was speaking at the launch of the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy in Accra on Wednesday.

The UN Global Compact Africa Strategy outlines programmes, trainings and events tailored for local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to help them become competitive in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.

It was on the theme: “The Importance of Sustainability in the Decade of Action; Transforming Businesses to become more resilient and Competitive.”

Mr Lacroix said Ghana and the world were going through environmental challenges and businesses must help address that by adopting good environmental policies and practices.

He said businesses could survive and compete if they were sustainable, saying, “Highlighting the link between pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve livelihood, and create more sustainable companies in Ghana and beyond is essential.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how less sustainability oriented companies were at greater risk struggled,” Mr Lucroix, said.

Mr Lacroix said Ghana and Africa had only ten years left to achieve the objectives of SDGs and businesses must help achieve the goals.

“Now in 2021, the world is already in the Decade of Action where there are less than ten years to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Businesses have an important role to play to help the nation achieve these goals, but many companies do not have the resources or knowledge of where to begin,” he said.

Mr Lacroix said companies could turn to the UN Global Compact for sustainable corporate strategies to build their businesses.

“The UN Global Compact has developed a strategy with context specific value propositions for Africa, taking into account the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises that have their own needs and unique sustainable journeys to embark on.  The strategy will offer new programmes, trainings, and events tailored for local needs and context,” he said.

Mr Lacroix said the conference would discuss the African Continental Free Trade Area initiative. African countries could tap the benefits of the AfCFTA if they incorporate sustainable business principles in their operations.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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