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GIZ supports 45 SMEs to upgrade health and safety standards

GIZ Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D) program to support 45 Ugandan companies improve their health, safety and environment standards and practices.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The GIZ Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D) program through the Consortium of E360 Group Limited and LMS Certification Services Ltd have launched a project to support 45 Ugandan companies improve their health, safety and environment standards and practices, executives said on Dec.8 in a press release.

The selected companies will participate in a value adding, competitive and intensive ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) programme that includes; training, coaching, mentorship and certification.

The program’s objective is to increase their market positioning for emerging business opportunities in Uganda and beyond, to enable organizations within their operations, to enhance environmental conservation and to upgrade their practices to internationally recognized standards.

Don Agaba, the head of program, Uganda – Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) said: “We are here today to launch this project, which is extremely important, is needed both for compliance to enter into natural resource-based sectors but also beyond, which is why we have a very large selection of companies from across several industries here represented in this room and online as well. We have the obligation to mitigate our carbon footprint to the environment but in addition to that, this (training) needs to make business sense in order for it to be sustainable. So, I would strongly encourage you (businesses) to take these recommendations seriously, implement them through your operations and allow them to be sort of catalysts to increasing competitiveness of your companies.”

Arnold Waiswa Ayazika, the director, environmental monitoring and compliance, NEMA said: “As businesses grow, it is imperative that they comply with environmental laws. As you make profits, you must think about what your activities have caused to the environment.

For instance, right now the cost of treating water for National Water is now very high because of increased land-based activities that have led to increased pollution of water.”

Waiswa emphasised that noncompliance can be costly in more ways than one as it can lead to closure of businesses, penalties and arrests of non-compliant business owners.

Some of the benefits of the E4D project include, two people from each participating company shall be equipped with an in-depth understanding of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems requirements, management system implementation encompassing ISO 14040:2006 life cycle assessment standard requirements and internal auditing skills.

The project also has a coaching and mentorship component that will enable mentorship on the practical implementation of the standard requirements in relation to each organization’s operation.

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