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17.10.2005 General News

Ghana to host first-ever ISO Certification workshop

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Accra, Oct. 17, GNA - Ghana would host the first-ever International workshop on Tuesday on "International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) Certification" for mining companies to expose them to ISO environmental management practices.

The workshop, being organised by RIQC Limited, a United Kingdom-based organisation with accreditation from United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and its local partners in Ghana, would create the awareness on certification and benefits that the companies stand to derive from certifying their operations. An official statement made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Monday said RIQC Limited had proposed to establish a local auditing and certification office in Ghana to bring the service to the doorsteps of the industrial and business community.

It said currently, only the timber industry and a few mining companies, certified their operations.

"To those companies, the establishment of a local office will help them to continue to be certified at a considerably reduced rate as they will no longer fly in experts to render them such services." The ISO 14000 series of standards was first developed in 1994, following an agreement between the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and ISO to work together for the development of standards for environmental management and performance. Two years later, ISO 14001 on Environmental Management Systems was published and has since been adopted by almost 40,000 organisations across at least 84 countries worldwide.

It was designed to assist companies identify, prioritise and manage their environmental risks as part of their normal routine business practices.

The success of ISO 14001 could be attributed to its effectiveness of pollution prevention, operational efficiency in achieving environmental goals and the tangible benefits of moving beyond legal compliance in many areas.