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Elpitiya Plantations recognised for best sustainability project ‘Go Green and Beyond’

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Ishafir Izzadeen, Senior General Manager and Pradeep Vithanage, Senior Manager of Elpitiya Plantations PLC receiving the awards

Elpitiya Plantations PLC (EPP) was recognised for their ‘Go Green and Beyond’ initiative as one of the best sustainability projects at the prestigious Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2021 organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The project was launched in 2018/19 and is an integral part of EPP’s integrated approach to manage its environmental impact, energy and water footprints in building a climate-resilient business model. The initiative aims to simultaneously reduce the company’s vulnerability to accelerating climate change while reducing its environmental footprint and preserving natural resources for future generations.

The project consists of three main pillars namely: renewable energy, water and biodiversity with clearly defined action plans, goals, KPIs and outcomes. Furthermore, this is an integral part of Elpitiya Plantations holistic sustainability strategy, which centers on the achievement of six long-term environmental, social and economic aspirations, which are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals namely, SDG 6- Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7- Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8- Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9- Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, SDG 15- Life on Land and SDG 17- Partnerships for the goals.

Key developments of Project Go Green and Beyond include increasing reliance on renewable energy through solar PV rooftop systems and sustainable biomass for thermal energy demand, expanding rainwater harvesting, development of stream reservation, watersheds land extent in the estates and enriching the quality of soil by increasing soil carbon level and preserving biodiversity by reducing the application of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals like weedicides and pesticides.

Through these initiatives Elpitiya Plantations has achieved ‘carbon negative’ status in its electrical energy consumption through 95% reliance on its overall renewable energy, thereby offsetting over 15,000 tonsCO2e in 2020/21. The Group is also 89% reliant on rainwater for their water use, significantly reducing the extraction of freshwater. The company has also increased its green cover by 5% and achieved a reduction of 32% and 71% in chemical pest and weed control, respectively.

Commenting on this win, Dr. Rohan Fernando Managing Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC said, “Elpitiya Plantations has continuously adopted sustainable agricultural practices in our daily operations where all aspects of environmental health, economic profitability and social responsibility are given equal importance. We will continue to make a positive contribution to the society, planet and economy through our sustainable business practices”.

Managed by Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC since 1997, Elpitiya Plantations PLC owns 13 estates and 17 factories producing tea and other diversified crops. The company embarked on producing four types of berries in Sri Lanka, providing these berries to local consumers with a lower carbon footprint, with strawberries currently in commercialization.



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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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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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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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