Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism has launched an initiative to introduce a 10-year plan to reduce Ghana’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. The launch came on the heels of the major announcement from the World Bank Group last year that Ghana could double its GDP if it achieves climate change goals. Under the program, which was developed by the organization in collaboration with stakeholders such as the private sector, government and educational institutions, companies will be encouraged to work together to take measures to reduce emissions. By using solar panels, liquid solar fuel generators and the less-polluting carbon-sensor.jpg technology, companies can reduce their carbon footprint and lower their carbon footprint.
Ghana is already home to a number of companies that are leaders in their own industries on promoting green industries and infrastructure. The Grameen Bank, headquartered in Accra, provides financial and other support to about 60,000 women through its microfinance program and to over 8 million through the Grameen Development Bank. The bank’s campaigns include a commitment to sustainability and to support renewable energy, energy-efficient buildings and low-carbon agriculture. In September, the Grameen Bank released a groundbreaking climate change report to be presented at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December.
In the hotel industry, Accra Marriott is the most carbon-neutral operator in the world. The hotel participates in CSP, or Certified Sustainable Suppliers, which certifies global suppliers that keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum.
Recently, the Marriott also launched its Green Sustainability Project, a sustainability framework which maps the energy, water and waste management goals of the Accra Marriott complex, including four additional world-class properties, in an effort to help attain energy and water reductions of more than 30 percent.
According to the World Bank, large sectoral challenges facing Ghana are energy, roads, water and sanitation. So it’s not surprising that the World Bank has stressed the importance of energy as a sector that can help solve these problems. Already, there are other examples of companies playing an important role in leading Ghana’s efforts towards cleaner energy. Such projects can also provide experience and training to reduce carbon emissions. The Ghana Gender Networking and Empowerment of Women Movement says that companies like Affa have empowered young women and small businesses. The 20,000 men and women of Affa have increased company revenues by 15 percent in the past four years, thus bringing in more revenues for the bank. According to the organization, the bank still engages women in community development and sustainability projects.