GHANA EPA AKOBEN PROGRAM
By Miss Agbettor
Director SHEQ Foundation
EPA Main Responsibilities
• Environmental licensing
• Enforcement of Environmental law
• Environmental planning and guidance
• Monitoring and reporting on the environmental status (air, water, waste,
noise, land and soil)
• Environmental research
• Monitor and analysis the environment
• National environmental protection
• Licence and control large scale activities.
• Independent reporting of trends in waste generation, management and
i f t t
• Regulate greenhouse gas emissions
• Provide guidance to the public and industry on environmental concerns
• Promoting waste prevention
• And now AKOBEN
AKOBEN program is an environmental performance rating and
disclosure initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Government of Ghana. Under the AKOBEN initiative, the
environmental performance of mining and manufacturing operations is
assessed using a five-color rating scheme. The five colors are GOLD,
GREEN, BLUE, ORANGE and RED, indicating environmental
performance ranging from excellent to poor. These ratings are annually
disclosed to the public and the general media, and it aims to strengthen
public awareness and participation.
The overall rating methodology for AKOBEN has three key
Components…..concept, rating rules and rating criteria.
AKOBEN - METHODOLOGY
AKOBEN measures environmental and social performance of companies using a five-color
These color-codes evaluate the operational performance of companies including
l t th
i i l di
mandatory regulatory compliance with permits and risk minimization from toxics/hazardous
wastes as well as the voluntary commitments of companies regarding social responsibilities and
community relations. The conceptual f
t l framework of thi performance scale is defined below.
k f this
l i d fi d b l
AKOBEN - METHODOLOGY
These rating rules are the backbone of the AKOBEN program, and the EPA aims to keep it
simple b t rigorous enough to ensure that AKOBEN creates continual i
i l but i
ti l incentives f th
companies to improve and maintain their good environmental performance, and minimize risks
to environment and the communities around their sites.
AKOBEN - METHODOLOGY
These are specific indicators and site audit questions that are assessed using quantitative data as
well as qualitative information using a Yes/No assessment scale scoring system.
lit ti i f
AKOBEN - COMPLIANCE
Compliance Rate: measures the percentage of measurements of environmental parameters that
are within the limits of environmental quality standards. For most environmental parameters
when a value is less than or equal to the environmental quality standard, it is a case of
compliance with the standard.
AKOBEN – DATA COLLECTION
AKOBEN rating methodology is a data intensive system, and therefore complete and current
data are essential for reliable ratings. AKOBEN largely applies quantitative data which are
Collected on a monthly basis. Qualitative information are also used in ratings which are
collected through site audits on an annual basis. Quantitative data are organized into two main
categories—for indicators like energy and water use, production and employment, solid and
hazardous waste management and public complaints data are collected at the company level.
And for environmental parameters including effluent discharges, water and air quality, and noise
pollution, data are collected at a monitoring station level or point sources..
AKOBEN – EVALUATION PROCESS
Evaluation of ratings is a process that requires considerable amount of quantitative analysis as
well as strict adherence to the protocol for pre-disclosure feedback from companies. A final
review by EPA's senior management provides additional quality control and assurance. Once
AKOBEN team finalizes the ratings, it is presented to the Executive Director of EPA, followed
by final presentation and discussion with the Minister of Environment, Government of Ghana.
AKOBEN – Rating Report Card
AKOBEN report card is a carefully designed document that provides a 360° view of
environmental and social performance of companies. Through these report cards, regulators
inform companies about their operational performance, and it also sends a clear message to
companies about their performance gaps. It specifies information that companies can utilize to
make decisions and allocate resources to improve and maintain their environmental ratings.
AKOBEN – SUMMARY
Public disclosure of AKOBEN’s rating is the end point of months of effort on data collection
and analysis. However, AKOBEN’s disclosure is not a single event; it is a process that follows a
three-step procedure before the final disclosure to the public and the media. As a first step,
AKOBEN privately shares the results of the ratings with companies; this step is called internal
disclosure. If there is a disputable issue, companies inform the AKOBEN team in writing or hold
a meeting in person. Upon receiving the feedback, AKOBEN reviews the ratings and resends the
final ratings to companies. Next the ratings are reviewed by the senior management of the EPA
and approved for public disclosure. The final ratings are then disclosed to the public through a
press conference and are also posted on AKOBEN website
For more information on AKOBEN please visit
http://www epaghanaakoben org/