The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), in collaboration with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), has organised a sensitisation workshop for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on how to use sustainable reporting processes to drive productivity and growth.
About 50 beneficiary businesses were taken through interactive sessions to understand and adopt sustainable reporting as a tool to drive corporate performance and sustained growth.
The workshop formed part of activities leading to rolling out the next phase of Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business (CSRCB) — which is an initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
CSRCB’s sustainability reporting process guides companies, including SMEs, to understand how sustainability may affect their businesses. It also helps to align strategic goals that will sustain businesses into the long-term.
Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey, indicated that the CRSCB project is in line with her outfit’s vision of ensuring that Ghanaian businesses access and compete on the global market.
She said: “NBSSI has a vision as to where MSMEs should be, and that is aligned with sustainability reporting.
“SMEs need to reduce negative externalities of their business, and it is only when they report and pay close attention to their work that they can understand and minimise such challenges in a globalised world where everything is changing and shifting.”
She added: “Our youth need jobs and our businesses also need to be strengthened. It is not the government that is going to create the jobs, but rather sustainable businesses – hence the need for businesses to be sustainable to create employment”.
Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, Matthias Feldmann, said there is a need for climate-resilient economies through resource-efficient private sectors.
This, he said, will need action on various levels by different partners – which is where the GRI and corporate sustainability management and reporting comes into play.
“Economic growth is important for poverty reduction and development, but we also see a lot of negative effects of such growth which harm the purpose of development in the long run.
“We are faced with the dilemma of making economic growth more beneficial while minimising the associated negative effects, and how to make development more sustainable and resilient in the long run,” he said.
GRI works with large and MSMEs to understand the sustainability profile of their business operations by introducing them to new reporting practices.