In celebration of World Accreditation Day, the Saudi Accreditation Centre held a seminar under the title “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Development and the Environment” via remote video communication with participation from the international accreditation bodies and national centres. The seminar was attended by more than 100 specialists and interested attendees.
The Saudi accreditation centre covered many topics, including environmental commitment as a source of sustainability for the national economy, the waste management policy in Saudi Arabia and sustainable development goals. Moreover, Mr Hassan Al-Wahaibi, the Deputy Executive Director of Operations at the Saudi Accreditation Centre, gave a comprehensive presentation of the centre’s services, procedures, and regulations, in addition to the Jordanian accreditation system and the sustainable development goals in the Kingdom of Jordan.
Dr Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Qaid, the Executive Director of the Centre, opened the seminar by speaking of the Centre’s goals and its contribution to reaching the Kingdom’s quality system to the top ten countries in the world by 2030 and the Saudi Accreditation’s endeavour to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation and quality in all sectors.
The seminar was attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the British Accreditation Authority, Mr Matt Gantley, who confirmed the essential role of accreditation in the quality infrastructure. Mr Gantley spoke about the contribution of mutual recognition between international accreditation bodies to make the exporting goods easier and less costly to reach new markets. Then, Mr Gantley stated that accreditation has a significant contribution to the UK economy, ranging from 600 million to one billion pounds sterling, according to studies by the London Group.
Dr Abdullah Al-Sibai, CEO of the National Centre for Waste Management, reported that the transition to a circular economy will contribute to a domestic product of around 120 billion by 2035. Dr . Al-Sibai also stated that the majority of recycling operations are not economically feasible. The National Centre for Waste Management in Saudi Arabia is currently working to issue technical guidelines on the mechanism for implementing waste management activities. The centre is focusing on achieving its mission based on the principle of circular economy to contribute to environmental protection and quality of life.
The seminar was also enriched by Eng. Lana Marashda, Director of the Jordanian Accreditation Unit. Eng. Marashda spoke about the direct connection of accreditation with sustainable development goals. Then, Eng. Marashda emphasised that the accreditation gives confidence in the purposes used in protecting the environment. At the end of her speech, she mentioned that water quality control laboratories in the Kingdom of Jordan are obligated to obtain accreditation.
Eng. Ahmed Al-Malki, the Chairman of the Council of the Saudi Society for Quality in Medina, stated that the environmental protection activities need to be approved to increase their credibility, and the presence of environmental protection associations contributes to creating a culture and providing initiatives to address environmental issues. He added that the global economy during the last twenty years had doubled fifteen times, and with this massive transformation, there has been an enormous consumption of natural resources that affects the concept of sustainable development and the need to ensure sustainable protection to preserve the resources for future generations.
The symposium closed with a speech by Eng. Yasser Al-Shehri, the Environmental Advisor at the National Centre for Monitoring Environmental Compliance in Saudi Arabia. Eng. Al-Shehri stated that the National Environment Strategy aspires to raise the level of environmental commitment for all development sectors and enables the National Centre for Environmental Compliance to the environmental commitment by considering the air quality and safety. The centre will have a monitoring station in every region and governorate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to calculate the spread of pollutants.