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Commercial Bank wins ACCA Best Sustainability Reporting Award, Dialog first runner up

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The fifteen awards presented across seven industry categories at the ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards

Fifteen awards presented across seven industry categories for 2021

Commercial Bank of Ceylon came up trumps in the sustainability stakes when it won the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report 2021, while Dialog Axiata was adjudged overall first runner up at the CCA Sustainability Reporting Awards 2021. Commercial Bank also topped the Banking category in which Seylan Bank and National Development Bank (NDB) were joint runners up. Dialog Axiata won the General Services Category.

Hayleys and John Keells Holdings were the winner and runner up respectively in the Conglomerates & Diversified category, while Alliance Finance won the Financial Services & Insurance category with the runner up being Citizens Development Business Finance. Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings won the Leisure & Connected Services category, Talawakelle Tea Estates and Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company were the winner and runner up respectively in the Retail & Trading category and Oxford College of Business won the SME category with Resus Energy emerging Runner up.

With these awards, ACCA Sri Lanka has since 2004, striven to improve imperatives in sustainability reporting, giving credence to an organisation’s sustainability practices with recognition of the strong link between business strategy, corporate governance and sustainability. Worldwide, over 3,000 entities in 25 countries use a predetermined reporting methodology within Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. Companies across multiple sectors submitted reports for judging by an eminent panel of sustainability specialists – Sriyani Hulugalle, Ramani Gunatilaka, Dr Kennedy Gunawardana and Dinesh Weerakkody led by Franklyn Amerasinghe.

The Chief Guest was SDG Integration Specialist from the UNDP Sri Lanka Dulani Sirisena, a development practitioner with over 18 years’ experience and is currently the UNDP’s senior technical advisor on SDGs. Congratulating the winners and ACCCA for continuous commitment to support sustainable growth through improved corporate reporting, Sirisena said, “Sustainability reporting is seen as an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At a time when the world faces a global health and socio-economic crisis of an unforeseen magnitude, the SDGs remain more relevant than ever. We are at a critical juncture that requires an integrated, whole-of-society approach to not only accelerate progress towards the goals but prevent rapid deceleration.”

President of the Member Network Panel of ACCA Sri Lanka Nandika Buddhipala mentioned that the increasing emphasis on meaningful efforts towards arresting climate change has brought in numerous stakeholders around the world on the common platform of building a better planet.

“The current move towards financial capital is increasingly drawn to businesses that are trusted, ethical and environmentally friendly together with their ability to create long-term value for society. This further strengthens the importance of comprehensive disclosures in the sustainability reports of business organizations.”



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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