Leading Sri Lankan Regional Plantation Company (RPC) Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), a subsidiary of Hayleys Plantations, clinched the Gold Award in the Social Responsibility and Environmental Awareness category at the Commonwealth Business Excellence Awards 2023.
The awards also recognised KVPL’s General Manager – HR & Corporate Sustainability Anuruddha Gamage’s efforts to drive impactful, sustainable change across the organisation with the ‘Catalyst for Change in Organisational Knowledge Management into Business Excellence’ Award.
Organised by the Commonwealth Partnership Summit and hosted at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, the event recognises the vital social and environmental contributions of organisations that raise the bar in service excellence, their commitment to customers, philanthropic ideals, ethical behaviours and environmental sustainability.
Commenting on the win, Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai stated, “As industry leaders in the Sri Lankan Plantations Sector, our pursuit of excellence and our holistic commitment to ESG drives us to enhance our sustainability efforts. We believe that safeguarding the environment in all aspects of our operations is vital for a sustainable future.
“From our fields to our facilities, Hayleys Plantations is devoted to building a sustainable future for the tea industry. We recognise the substantial untapped potential in this Sector, and we’re driving this transformation through collaborative efforts like the inaugural International Plantations Sustainability Summit held in July 2023.”
The Awards process evaluated KVPL’s annual report and submission, cementing them as the Category Winner for their sharp focus on sustainability.
“Our focus and efforts on aligning our company with a socially responsible strategy came into fruition after we embarked on a multitude of bold initiatives, including our biodiversity assessment, water management, energy management, sustainable forestry and carbon emission quantification, to name a few. In essence, we set local and global benchmarks in our pursuit to ensure we met our social and environmental commitments,” KVPL Director and CEO Anura Weerakoon noted.
Following the footsteps of its parent company, the Hayleys Group, KVPL launched its own ESG-driven roadmap, KVPL’s Corporate DNA, making its commitment to social and environmental responsibilities through tangible on-ground actions evident.
Making significant strides in environmental stewardship in its pursuit of predetermined, science-based targets, KVPL stands out as the first RPC in the country to embrace the UN CEO Water Mandate, taking responsibility for preserving water bodies within its boundaries. The Kelani Valley Protectors initiative, launched to undertake tree planting and water conservation initiatives, further aligns with the company’s strong commitment to climate neutrality. At the Halgolla Estate, KVPL reported a remarkable 39% increase in biodiversity richness compared to the assessment conducted five years ago.
KVPL was also the first Sri Lankan company to obtain the Rainforest Alliance certification across all tea estates and FSC certifications for its low-country rubber estates securing the global organic latex certification.
The RPC was the first local plantations company to commit to the United Nations Global Compact’s (UNGC) 10 Principles. Moreover, KVPL also became the first RPC globally to be ranked as a Great Place to Work for two consecutive years.
The Hayleys Plantation Sector’s community development initiatives have also been a significant component in KVPL’s social responsibility and corporate sustainability journey, with a key focus on the first of its kind ‘A Home for Every Plantation Worker’ campaign launched in 2006.
The initiative has ensured that 8,750 plantation workers and their families have been provided with housing facilities uplifting the lives of the community since its inception. The project encompasses the overall quality of life of the community by focusing on four key pillars: Living Environment, Health & Nutrition, Community and Capacity Building, and Empowerment of the Community.