Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked Facility Managers in the country to contribute to the protection of the environment.
It was the only way to ensure that the built environment was safe for workers and other users and contribute to environmental sustainability.
It aims at raising the profile of facility management practitioners in influencing the health, safety, productivity, and well-being of people who use the built environment.
The Ghana Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA Ghana) held a forum to commemorate the Day on the theme: “The role of EPA in shaping sustainable future in Ghana.”
Speaking at the event, the EPA CEO asked Facility Managers to champion the construction of green buildings in the country and the use of alternative sources of energy such as solar for buildings in the country.
Green buildings are designed, constructed, and operated in a way that reduces or eliminates negative impacts on the environment, including climate change, preserving precious natural resources and improving quality of life.
Dr Kokofu said: “The corporatising of the built environment is becoming out of hand. So, we want people to leave spaces for trees and grasses, and bring back gardens into the system.
”He, therefore, urged players in the built environment to preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of structures and ensure people were not exposed to noise pollution, and other hazardous elements.
“The entire sustainability concept rests on the environment; if we don’t treat the environment well, all that we’ve put in place will be in vain. So, EPA is there to ensure that our natural resources are used sustainably,” he said.
Mrs Regina Christian Koomson, an International Property Specialist, said it was the responsibility of Facility Managers to run facilities in a manner that would contribute to protecting the environment.
She said: “Buildings are major contributors to pollution, hence, the need for Facility Managers to get involved in sustainable development initiatives, especially activities that are related to reducing carbon pollution, and promoting recycling.”
“Facility Managers should conduct audits of buildings and ensure the use of eco-friendly materials and prevent activities that are hazardous to the environment, and take action to protect the environment,” she added.
Mr Sampson Opare-Ayemang, President IMFA-Ghana Chapter, asked the EPA to implement reports and ensure that high-rise buildings provided spaces for waste segregation.
He also called on the Government to ensure that the design of public buildings was environmentally compliant and to international standards.
In addition to education on maintenance culture, Mr Opare-Agyemang urged the Government, business owners and financial institutions to empower their workers with adequate skills in understanding the value of facility management.
That, he said, would make workers in the built environment safe and protected and ensure a sustainable environment.