ACCREDITATION: SUSTAINABILITY IN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) is a statutory organization established in 1972 by an Act of Parliament (Cap 51:02) of the Laws of Malawi (Amended as Act No 14 of 2012), with a mandate to promote metrology, standardization and quality assurance of commodities and of the manufacturer, production, processing or treatment thereof; and further to provide for matters incidental to, or connected with standardization.
The MBS joins the rest of the world in celebrating the 2022 World Accreditation Day (WAD) which is celebrated worldwide on the 9th of June every year. The theme for this year WAD celebration is “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment.” The theme highlights how accreditation supports 9 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the provision of a trusted platform for defining, developing and verifying requirements for products and services while helping to ensure and demonstrate that products and services meet specified requirements. Whether through environmental protection performance, helping manage climate change, developing the circular economy or providing tools to measure performance, accreditation and conformity assessment are constantly reviewing and evolving to ensure that the right tools are available to support the SDGs both now and moving forward.
Accreditation is an attestation of the competence and impartiality of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. These bodies include but not limited to calibration laboratories, testing laboratories, inspection bodies, providers of proficiency testing, producers of reference materials, and bodies that certify management systems, products and persons, or undertake verification and validation. Accreditation benefits both a country’s domestic economy and its international trade. It helps governments and organizations to meet regulatory and legislative responsibilities and reduce uncertainties in decisions affecting the protection of human health and the environment.
The prioritization of sustainability in economic growth and the environment is echoed in the SADC Vision 2050, which was approved during the 40th SADC Summit held in August 2021. Amongst other objectives it strives for an industrialized regional economy that sustainably exploits its natural resources. Industrialization is one of the main drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. Manufactures need to ensure products are of consistent high quality, comply with regulators and standards, and meet specifications. Accreditation enables consumers, suppliers, purchasers and regulators to have confidence that products placed on the market are safe and meet the manufacturers claims made about them.
It is also interesting to note that accreditation supports Malawi 2063 vision of having “an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation.” Here the need to develop and maintain an environmentally sustainable economy is highlighted as one of the key priority areas.
Rapid economic growth may exhaust resources and create environmental problems for future generations, including the depletion of natural resources and global warming. To support sustainable economic growth, countries worldwide are shifting from a linear to a circular economy. A circular economy disconnects economic activity from the consumption of finite resources by focusing on repair, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling, thus reducing the production of waste and the use of resources.
Accreditation bolsters regulations that implement principles of circular economy by assessing and verifying the claims of conforming companies and organizations.
A sustainable environment for communities in the future needs cleaner energy, reduced pollution, and more effective chemical and waste management solutions to benefit from increased industrialization while safeguarding people and the environment. Accredited testing, certification, and inspection provides assurance that waste management and recycling are being managed effectively.
As we celebrate the World Accreditation Day 2022, the Malawi Bureau of Standards joins the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and their members in highlighting how accreditation is delivering sustainability in economic development and the environment through calibration, verification, testing, standardization and certification services. The MBS is therefore seeking to help organizations measure, manage and/or report sustainable economic growth and environmental performance through the services it provides under its accredited units.
For more information regarding accreditation services in the country, contact the National Accreditation Focal Point for Malawi at the MBS or Ministry of Trade and Industry through the following contact details;
|Mr Masautso Ngamwane||Mrs Margaret Sauzande|
|National Accreditation Focal Point 1 – Malawi||National Accreditation Focal Point 2 – Malawi|
|Malawi Bureau of Standards||Ministry of Trade and Industry|
|P O Box 946||P O Box 30366|
|Cell : +265 993 194 257||Cell : +265 999 323 320|
|Email : firstname.lastname@example.org||Email : email@example.com|
Acting Director General
Malawi Bureau of Standards