A Rocha Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation with its partners, has since 2017 partnered the EMY Awards to introduce a Honorary Award to recognise business leadership in environmental sustainability.
The partners include; the Netherlands Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN Ghana, Friends of the Earth Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana and The Development Institute under the Green Livelihood Alliance and Shared Resource Joint Solutions.
The awards dubbed: ” Sustainability Business Leadership Award” is to recognise businesses and leaders whose deeds in planning and investments count for today’s society and economy and public goods and generations yet to come, through premeditated and dedicated attention to secure environmental sustainability.
It seeks to promote and harness the latent green development leadership potential of businesses in Ghana, which had emerged as a global paradigm shift to the definition of good business in recent years.
The award is also to highlight the need for business leaders and corporate agencies to promote environmental sustainability even as they work at their core business of making profit.
Commenting on the need for the award, Mr Daryl Bosu, the Deputy National Director of A Rocha Ghana highlighted the numerous opportunities that abound for businesses to engage positively and contribute to environmental sustainability.
He said there were many opportunities existing for society and individuals to patronise and invest across all sectors of the countries’ economy, but only in companies that had industry leading best quantitative and qualitative environmental, social and governance practices.
Mr Bosu said the partner organisations recognised that envisioning businesses that epitomized sustainability based on the triple bottom line criteria was easy, but the hardest part was to make that vision a reality.
These actions, he said was borne out of A Rocha Ghana’s long term commitment in supporting, enhancing and promoting the connectedness of our living space with the businesses around us.
He said there was the need to shine the light on business leaders and corporations that blazed the trail and made sustainability a key part of their corporate fabric and values not only in words, but in deeds.
According to Mr Bosu the deprivation caused by galamsey all over the country had the fingerprints and footprints of many companies all over them.
He said businesses in Ghana could re-invent the wheel and change the storyline to see several companies making commitments beyond Corporate Social Responsibilities (CRSs) to support government in restoring degraded landscapes caused by Galamsey.
The Deputy National Director said, A Rocha Ghana in collaboration with the IUCN Ghana established the Businesses in Environmental Stewardship Network (BESNet), which is currently serving as the nexus of businesses committed to promoting and supporting natural capital inclusion and security in business development and company production value chains.
He said the Network was opened to all private agencies and businesses, for collective actions towards working towards a green business environment in Ghana, and committing to achieving triple bottom line outcomes of economic, social and environmental equity.
“BESNet membership currently include; Guinness Ghana Brewery, Panbros Salt Industries, Accra Brewery, Blue Skies Products Ghana, Benso Oil Palm Plantations, Ghana Oil Palm Development Company, C Alade Enterprise, Ghana Water Company and Summit Industries Limited”.
Mr Bosu said investing in companies with sound corporate climate policies or those that disclose their carbon and water footprints as well as reduction targets over-time could also include; companies with better safety records and more diverse boards.
“Opportunities also exist for individuals and financial institutions to invest in clean farming, water purification systems or evaluating carefully, companies with operations tied to parts of the country where food or water could be scarce”.
He said the water shortage in Nsawam-Adoagyire in 2016 was due to the operations of several companies, big and small, individual and corporates.
“The devastation of scarce forests in northern parts of Ghana can be traced to the practices and motivations of several businesses, owned by prominent people in society”.
The Deputy National Director said there were opportunities existing for companies and businesses to invest in the operations of the many protected areas in Ghana and that companies could adopt a coastline and support livelihood and coastal management.
“Companies can also adopt nature trails and support the provision of logistics and equipment for forest guards and patrol teams and can invest in industries that empower the livelihood of communities who live close to and suffer the impact of conservation actions in Ghana”.
The maiden Green Corporate Star Award went to Blue Sky Products Ghana Limited at the just ended 18th Edition of the EMY Awards for their exemplary, dedication and commitment to commodities and value chains that promote and enhances well-being while promoting inclusivity and prosperity within the society.