Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Businesses urged to adopt environmentally friendly practices

Published:Tuesday | May 30, 2017 | 5:00 AM
In this 2015 photo, then Opposition MP Daryl Vaz enters Parliament with a dust mask on his head in what he said was solidarity with the people of Kingston and St Catherine suffering from the smoke emanating from a fire at the Riverton dump.

The Government is encouraging private and public businesses to adopt environmentally friendly practices through its Green Business Jamaica (GBJ) programme.

Sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Government of Japan, the project will see the country enhancing the legislative framework to support the development and implementation of a national sustainable consumption and production programme.

The programme is being implemented through the National Environment and Planning Agency. The launch was held last Thursday at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston.

Under the programme, the Government will undertake detailed sets of subactivities for the development of sustainable consumption, production and waste-management strategies.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, who delivered the main address at the function, lauded those private-sector entities already involved in the programme and encouraged more businesses to get involved and 'green' their operations.

"This voluntary step to make your businesses more environmentally friendly shows a willingness to support the development of our country and growth of the gross domestic product in a manner that facilitates sustainable consumption and production," he said.

Certification for green businesses coming

Director of the National Environment and Planning Agency's Environmental Management and Conservation Division, Anthony McKenzie, said the Green Business Jamaica (GBJ) programme is a key element in supporting the private sector to comply with national and international environmental standards.

"Green Business Jamaica adheres to basic and sustainable consumption and production practices and aims to build a shared vision of sustainable lifestyles. It integrates sustainable practices across sectors and develops tools and incentives to assist in capacity building, to achieve sustainable lifestyles and empower individuals and businesses to adopt sustainable habits through education and participation," he explained.

One of the activities under the project is the pilot of the GBJ Certification Programme. It is designed to help business operators to incorporate best practices in the area of environmental stewardship, in an effort to reduce operational costs and sustain natural resources.

 

VOLUNTARY PROGRAMME

 

The programme is voluntary and gives businesses the opportunity to promote and implement environmentally friendly processes in the core elements of their operations, while practising high standards in pollution prevention and resource conservation in line with global standards.

Businesses that receive GBJ certification will be able to display the approved eco-label on their establishments, stationery or packaging to signify that they are doing their part to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

Additionally, certified businesses will be included on the NGB list of certified companies.