Close this search box.

GCIC Conducts Environmental and Social Safeguards Assessment on Cohort 6 Businesses

Published on:

In the last quarter, the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) conducted an Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) Assessment on all 18 businesses in GCIC’s business incubator and accelerator programme. The objective of the assessment was to identify the possibility of adverse environmental and social impacts emanating from the individual business operations to offer viable solutions. 

Through the development and management of GCIC’s environmental and social safeguards, we supported enterprises to deploy all the necessary national and best practice protocols in the operation and management of their enterprises. The financial and technical support GCIC offers to businesses in the cohort are targeted at driving sustainable scalability and the growth of enterprises, while ensuring that pollution and other detrimental impacts on the environment and people and reduced. These safeguards are measures taken by governments, companies, organisations, or communities to assess and afterwards prevent a potential risk or impact which can adversely affect the environment.

As a first step in the ESS process, an environmental and social screening is conducted at the various operational sites of GCIC’s enterprises for the identification of any potential environmental and social impacts. This enables us to recommend mitigation measures for redress. Additionally, these enterprises are given the necessary guidance for the implementation of required protocols for sustainability.  

The ESS screening and assessment of businesses under GCIC’s programme provides an opportunity to evaluate the operations and implications of these businesses based on the following indicators: 

  • Social safeguard screening: people’s access to economic resources; temporary or permanent loss of crops, and household infrastructure; excavation near or demolishing of any historical, archaeological, or cultural heritage site; prone to hazards and could result in accident and injury to workers.
  • Environmental safeguard screening: the encroachment of important natural habitats; introduction of pesticides; solid or liquid waste management; prone to soil erosion; contamination and pollution hazards; emission of copious amounts of dust and hazardous fumes. 

Upon successful assessment, primarily based on the above factors, information is reviewed so that impacts and their mitigation measures are determined. Recommendations are afterwards given to the enterprises bordering on the following: 

  • An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 
  • A Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) or an
  • Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP). 

These efforts culminate in ensuring that our enterprises comply with global and national protocols and that their operations do not cause adverse environmental and social disadvantages. 

Largely, ESS considers policies, standards and operational procedures designed to first identify and then try to avoid, mitigate, and minimize adverse environmental and social impacts resulting from the operations of enterprises and development projects. As a sustainability measure, ESS is prioritised to help address potential risks and find alternatives for redress or decline financial support to enterprises with high chances of impermissible environmental and social consequences.

In a nutshell, GCIC’s national incubator supports entrepreneurs and new ventures to become ESS compliant in the process of developing profitable and locally appropriate solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.