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



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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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets



Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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