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18.10.2005 Business & Finance

Companies to get international standardization accreditation

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Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - Companies are being urged to get accreditation from Independent Organisation for Standardization (ISO) bodies in order to conform to international environmental standards. Mr Andy Irving, Environmental Management Systems Certification Body Manager, RIQC Limited, said with the alarming rates of pollution, it was necessary for companies to get international certifications, aside those of the local regulators.

Speaking at a presentation organised by RIQC Limited, a United Kingdom-based organisation with accreditation from United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), he said a good management benefit was likely to bring better-cost benefits to companies. The ISO company is in Ghana to create the awareness on certification and benefits that companies were expected to derive, if they complied with certifying their operations.

Mr Irving 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.

He said in spite of the work that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was doing, it was expedient that companies met international standards, such as the ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 to compete on the global market.

"You tend to give customers confidence in your companies by complying with international standards. They are also proud to know that you are environmentally friendly."

Mr Irving 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.

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