The 10 Most Innovative CEOs to Follow in 2022 Vol-...

Emmanuel Lamptey: An Environmental Consultancy Specialist

The 10 Most Innovative CEOs to Follow in 2022 Vol-1

The environment is simply everything that surrounds us, or precisely, “the sum of all causal elements that indicate genuine interactions,” implying that an input component can trigger a causal response (output environment). So, if we cause environmental destruction/disturbance, we will experience a causal feedback response of reduced quality of life. For example, we often discuss fossil fuel burning and the negative causal implications of climate change, as well as poor water quality and its ramifications. These scenarios, which are common environmental occurrences, must be managed to either curb or reduce their negative effects. This requires that we make the best use of our natural resources to meet current needs while maintaining or protecting their integrity to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. As a result, environmental management is an incredibly vital industry to concentrate on.

A number of global agreements, rules, and treaties have been established, requiring signatory countries to adhere to the principles of natural habitat conservation and protection. As a noble field/industry that assures natural systems and their resources are conserved/protected, environmental management provides a large market area for business.

Dr. Lamptey is the founder and CEO of Envaserv Research Consult (ERC) Ltd., Ghana’s premier multifunctional environmental consultancy and laboratory testing organization. He has spent the previous two decades in academia, environmental management, company development, and municipal government, presenting him with a unique combination of academic, business, and politics.

He is an experienced environmental and social scientist with a track record of providing specialized and multi-disciplinary environmental services to clients in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, mining, and agriculture. Water/effluent quality and pollution studies, marine and onshore baseline investigations, biodiversity and ecosystem services, ecological capital studies, emissions and air quality modeling are among the skillsets he possesses.

The Inception Story

Dr. Lamptey considers his greater education to be lucky, and coincidental. He became a fisherman at a young age in 1984, when prevailing conditions in Ghana as a result of a severe famine in 1983 had a catastrophic impact on schooling. As a consequence, he was compelled to leave school. Even though fishing is a respectable job, it did not sit well with him at that age. He says, “Perhaps, luck befell me when, after a fishing expedition, we had to spend weeks mending torn nets, when I received advice from the elderly fisherfolk to direct my attention to schooling. Words they used to convince me, which are still fresh with me, is the ‘sea never dry’ phraseology.” The fishermen advised him to finish his schooling first, and then return to fishing if he so wished. As Dr. Lamptey discovers, wise guidance provided him with the best opportunity to sample formal education and impacted him in a tangible way. “Whether it is a divine coincidence and/or a natural design, I obtained both my MPhil and PhD degrees in Oceanography (i.e., the study of the oceans). I often muse over the ‘sea never dry’ mantra preceding my fisherfolk’s advice vis a vis my current status, and utterly wonder if destinies are designed or are just mere coincidences,” explains Dr Lamptey.

Despite the fact that Dr. Lamptey had the idea for an environmental management organization, it was born and propelled by chance. Another coincidence was that he completed his national service in the University of Ghana’s Department of Marine and Fisheries, despite his desire to serve at an institution other than academia. Dr. Lamptey’s name had been submitted to the national service secretariat without his knowledge, and he subsequently discovered that he had done well and received a better grade in the sole subject he had registered as an elective from that department. All efforts to get him to do his national service in his naively selected organization, with the help of elite civil and political families, failed miserably. Dr. Lamptey ended up pursuing his masters, and doctoral degrees in that department, and had the opportunity of lecturing in that department for twelve (12) years, during which Envaserv Research Consult was founded in September 2011. Prior to its formation, he received mentorship from a company he worked part-time with on a coastal land reclamation project.

Envaserv Research Consult Ltd.

The legal instrument of Envaserv Research Consult Ltd. was issued on 26th September 2011, which date also marks its incorporation under the Ghana Companies Act 179 (amended in 2019 as Act 992), with registered office in Accra, Ghana. The company is a leading multidisciplinary ISO certified (ISO 9001:2015) environmental consultancy and ISO accredited (ISO/IEC 17025:2017) environmental laboratory testing company, providing customer-oriented and environmental sustainability services for clients in the public and private sectors.

Its services primarily border on environmental and social governance (ESG) issues and research, and broadly categorized into: environmental assessments/advisory services (ESIA, SEA, ESMP, PER), social consultations (RAP, socio-economic & community engagements etc.), marine geophysical/hydrographical surveys (SBES, MBES, SSS, SBES, meto-cean etc.); marine geotechnical studies (vibro-coring etc.); marine sediment characterization (sediment grab, faunistic analysis, photography etc.); aquatic ecological studies (fisheries survey, biodiversity studies etc.); water quality & aquatic plume modeling; air quality & emission dispersion modeling; noise quality & dispersion modeling; carbon foot-printing & climate impact assessments; agriculture research and soil testing; geospatial analysis; petroleum testing and PVT analysis; facility inspection and material testing, as well as environmental capacity & development.

The President and CEO

The cynosure of Dr. Lamptey’s major duty is the company’s strategic overall growth. “As a CEO, his main concern is usually the company’s vision and future readiness”. Decisions he takes as CEO have the ability to benefit or hurt the organization’s forward match. His responsibilities also include establishing a powerful and motivated workforce with the necessary abilities and grit to achieve the company’s vision and strategic goals. Dr. Lamptey also oversees the business’s day-to-day operations and provides support to various divisions, including contacts with important stakeholders.

Failure is part of Success

Dr. Lamptey describes failure as an integral part of success stories or an essential element of success. Over the years, he and his team have had one failure after another, but certainly all have significantly contributed to his resilience and can-do spirit. He shares some insights, “The notable failures included our inabilities to achieve important targets in specified time, including ISO accreditation that contributed to our inability to secure an important contract; not being able to accept an opportunity to expand footings to other West African countries with USAID’s support. Nonetheless, we managed to overcome some of these through proper strategic planning.”

Dr. Lamptey has had several failures to maintain prominent staff. Strategies have been fashioned to ensure a significant reduction or elimination of staff attrition. He also adds the failure to secure a loan facility to enable strategic expansion. The firm has put in place mechanisms to enhance its appeal to banks for a loan facility.

Eying to Solve Global Challenges

In the environmental sector, technologies are hot, and they span a wide range of environmental management disciplines. A proposal of a single technology to overhaul the sector would be farfetched. Nonetheless, technologies that expedite and ease remote primary data collection on a wide scale, as well as assuring full synthesis of such data for societal advantages, would be very welcome.

Dr. Lamptey has long believed in an ideal society with solutions to the many problems that society faces. If the natural ecosystem functions ideally with high stochastic resilience, to allow for the supply of products and services, it would inevitably result in a better society and a better quality of life. He sincerely wants to see a responsible society where individuals see it as duty-bound (obligation) to uphold environmental stewardship to protect the sanctity and integrity of natural resources for present and posterity. He wants to see a society that is thriving sustainably.

Dr Lamptey views success as provision of solutions, finding antidotes to the numerous unsurmountable challenges facing society. Overcoming a challenge to achieve a stated goal is how he can describe success. He says, “If our jobs have specifically defined our core mandate as resolving environmental challenges, then it stands to reason that any design/mechanism that achieves solutions to these challenges is success”.  The more solutions he devises for everyday problems/challenges, the more successful he sees himself.

Advice Next generation of Leaders

The long-term viability of a business is critical to its existence. Envaserv Research Consult Ltd.’s long-term strategy is to secure the company’s survival and prosperity, which will entail service/product/portfolio diversification, strategic innovation, networking, and optimising the company’s performance culture.

According to Dr. Lamptey, the world’s issues cannot be handled in a short period of time, and even when solutions to current problems are developed, new ones may emerge in our effort to exploit more natural resources. As a result, more individualized solutions would be required. Therefore, the next generation of leaders have a huge opportunity to address the world’s most urgent environmental needs. What is required of future leaders is the readiness to equip themselves with the right skillset, the right culture, and the requisite resources to stand in readiness. He believes that the next generation of leaders, however, should know that cutting a straight tree requires standing on a cooked tree. They should also be aware that the path to success is frosted with several failures, rejections, and disillusionments, but focus should never elude them as each challenge presents an opportunity for a new experience.

A Leader’s Perspective

  • How important is it to have a mentor to grow as a leader?
    It is extremely important to have a mentor if one wants to grow and learn business etiquette quickly and to lead practically. Perhaps there could be only few leaders who did not go through the process of mentorship. A number of traits, skills and practical lessons are acquired through mentorship, including also leadership style, problem-solving skills, resource allocation and management, team building and achieving targeted results.
  • What sort of characteristics in employees contribute to the organization’s success? What is the best way to build a great team?
    I must admit that the characteristics of employees that are key to a company’s success include passion for the job, can-do spirit, malleability to training/learning, eagerness/agility to learning, self-education, emotional intelligence, and industriousness. These are some of the few key characteristics I will look for in employees to bring success to the organization.
    The best way to build a strong team is to first consider the vision, mission, and values of the company, respective tasks, and the company’s performance culture. The consideration of these should enable the building of a solid team to execute tasks.
  • What does “performance culture” mean to you?
    An optimal organizational culture should be a bedrock/platform in aligning a company’s strategic goals. This obviously translates into an excellent “performance culture.” If the overall organizational culture is solid and aligned adequately with the company’s vision and mission, it will reflect in to an excellent performance culture. Performance culture is the overall operational behavior of an organization which is uniquely different from others in achieving overall project or task excellence. An excellent performance culture makes the team always achieve their targeted goals within schedule without much strain.