Mr Stetano Gallini, Managing Director of GHACEM Heidelbergcement Group, a leading cement manufacturing company in Ghana, on Wednesday said the company would continue to adhere to environmental health and safety measures.
He said over the years, the company had strictly adhered to safety standards at its plants in Tema and Takoradi with the certification of its environmental management system as compliant.
Mr Gallini said this when Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other officials, paid a working visit to selected industrial plants and sites in Tema.
The familiarisation tour allowed the EPA to assess the level of environmental compliance and to create a continuous awareness of EPA’s monitoring and enforcement mandate.
Mr Gallini assured the EPA that GHACEM would continue to comply with environmental safety measures.
He said although last year was a tough one because of COVID-19, the company did not renege on its operational value of ensuring environmental safety across the value chain.
Mr Joseph Mensah, Environmental Health Safety Manager, GHACEM, speaking on the company’s current environmental management practices, said waste was segregated and disposed of according to the procedure.
It is transported to domestic dump sites and hazardous waste through the Zeal environment.
On waste management, he indicated that all plant effluent streams were directed to a treatment plant and recycled for dust suppression.
“Waste oil generated from maintenance activities is collected in oil drums and stored appropriately for subsequent disposal,” he said, adding that oil and water separators were installed in drains to collect accidental spills.
Dr. Kokofu said as part of its mandate, the EPA would continue to ensure the full implementation of the environmental policy.
“We are enjoined to protect and safeguard the environment and that is what EPA, acting for and on behalf of the state, is required as part of our mandate to do,” he said.
He explained that the EPA was mandated to create awareness of the need to mainstream the environment into the development process at all levels.
He noted that industries were needed in the development process of the country, but also required a deliberate effort to ensure environmental safety to mitigate the risk on health and safety of the people directly engaged in production, the end-user, and the biophysical environment.
He called for closer collaboration between both institutions to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship to promote sustainable environmental safety.