In May 2018, series of workshops on environmental management and social responsibility were held in Bishkek under the “Trade Promotion in the Kyrgyz Republic” Programme implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the Government of Switzerland.

Thus, on May 21-22 held an introductory 2-day workshop on the implementation of ISO 14001 — the international standard containing requirements for an environmental management system, which is being certified. It was held by the Public Association “For Quality” for 20 participants. It was followed by an IRCA (International Register of Certificated Auditors)  approved 6 days Lead Auditor course on ISO 14001: 2015 on 25-31 May.

Export competitiveness requires SMEs to continually improve the environmental performance and also demonstrating compliance to applicable environmental regulatory requirements. ISO 14001 environmental management system requires enterprises to control and monitor environmental aspects across all operations/facilities, reduce environmental impacts and improve environmental performance.

The standard ISO 14001: 2015 is known as «Environmental Management Systems. Requirements with guidance for use». It establishes requirements for implementation and assessment of compliance with Environmental Management System, allows companies to develop and implement environmental policies and objectives, comply with environmental requirements of regulators as well as their respective governments, ISO 14001 enables managers to access timely and full information on company’s critical environmental aspects.  Small and medium-sized businesses must continuously improve environmental performance, and demonstrate compliance with applicable environmental regulatory requirements. This is necessary to increase the competitiveness of local textile and clothing enterprises in terms of exports

The training was conducted by Mr. Subhash Arora, Senior Consultant of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). The aim of the workshop is to provide potential environmental management auditors/consultants of the country the opportunity to understand the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and auditing of environmental management systems based on that international standard. The training course was attended by 10 people from five public and private sector institutions. All the 10 participants successfully completed the continuous assessment and passed a written examination. After final evaluation of the examination papers by the tutor and TUV, the appropriate certificates were issued  by TUV, Germany to all 10 participants.

Seminar on awareness of Social Responsibility (SR) based upon ISO 26000, was conducted on 23-24 May 2018 by the ITC International Consultant Mr. Subhash Arora. ISO 26000 is a comprehensive and inclusive guidance standard, which defines and describes the full spectrum of the social responsibility debate.  The seminar covered the following issues: what is social responsibility, what are its principles, how these principles can be translated into effective actions related to social responsibility. The standard focuses on social responsibility and sustainable business development based on economic, environmental and social aspects.

This seminar benefited 20 participants from 13 governmental and private institutions. Consulting institutions that attended the seminar can now better spread the awareness about importance of social responsibility to a larger group of interested parties in Kyrgyzstan. Use of Principles of Social Responsibility and implementing appropriate issues as enumerated in ISO 26000, will help organizations/enterprises in doing businesses fairly and ethically and with sensitivity toward social, cultural, economic and environmental issues, leading to higher opportunities for improved international and domestic trade.