- First Sri Lankan conglomerate to be awarded member status
- Aims to mainstream stringent reporting on ESG standards across the entire Hayleys Group
Marking a key milestone in its efforts to engage in sustainable development and drive excellence in ESG reporting, Hayleys PLC officially signed on as a Member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) South Asia Charter on Sustainability Imperatives.
Hayleys PLC and subsidiary of Hayleys Plantations, Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC are two of the first three regional Members of the GRI South Asia Charter and the sole corporate entities representing Sri Lanka. The move demonstrates an authentic, long-term commitment to adopting and implementing the Charter’s Principles to proactive establish new systems to authenticate the impact of the Group’s sustainability initiatives across the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks.
Introduced by the GRI South Asia Hub, the Charter represents a clarion call for decisive action by businesses and stakeholders supporting the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the next decade.
Speaking at a panel discussion organised by GRI and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Hayleys Group Sustainability Head and Group Chief Financial Officer Choliya De Silva explained how the conglomerate hoped to set a new benchmark for Sri Lankan businesses in accountability and transparency in addition to sharing case studies derived from their decade long journey in elevating their ESG standards.
“We take pride in the fact that the Hayleys Group has been committed to the standards and principles set out by the GRI Universal Charter for a decade. These standards have served as our ‘guard rails’, helping us stay on track and evolve. Each year, we strengthened how we evaluate our ESG impact, adopted newer best practices for data management and analysis, implemented corrective action regularly and proper governance mechanisms to drive change.
“Achieving excellence in ESG standards and reporting enables greater resilience, responsiveness, and responsibility within our organization. This has created value amongst our diverse stakeholders, both external and internal and built an unshakable foundation of trust establishing Hayleys as one of Sri Lanka’s leading corporates. By signing up as a member of the Charter we hold ourselves accountable to all our stakeholders, and help guide businesses and suppliers connected to the extensive Hayleys community towards adoption of global best practices on ESG compliance and reporting.”
Hayleys PLC and Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC were awarded Member status of the GRI South Asia Charter in October 2021 following a thorough review of the alignment between the sustainability practices of these companies and the principles of the Charter. Going beyond compliance, GRI requires its members to implement stringent standards in ethics and governance and transparency in reporting the progress and outcomes of initiatives.
In January 2022, the Group unveiled its holistic and highly comprehensive ESG framework themed ‘Hayleys Lifecode’. The new framework sets out comprehensive standards and policies, including time-bound targets for each key area of its sustainability efforts. Hayleys Lifecode also integrates ESG related targets and goals into business strategy across all of Hayleys Group’s 16 business sectors with the support of its Lifecode Champions, ensuring strong Group-wide coordination in achieving sustainability objectives.
Hayleys has also been a signatory to the UN Global Compact from 2007 and adopted the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines in 2012. The Group adopted the first Code of Best Practice on Corporate Governance from 2009 and is the only corporate recognised as the nation’s Best Corporate Citizen on five occasions.
A centrepiece of the Sri Lankan economy, the Hayleys Group maintains a global presence across five regions with business interests spanning 16 diverse sectors. Accounting for USD 600 million of the country’s foreign earnings and 4.2% of the nation’s total export income, Hayleys is a champion of sustainable innovation and represents one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories. Hayleys is Sri Lanka’s number one corporate for 2021, as ranked by the nation’s leading business publications.