SAARB to achieve cleaner and efficient production in Lanka
In a bid to keep SAARC nations clean, and its industrial corporates
viable and competitive, Colombo will be the venue for the inaugural
meeting of the 'Charter of South Asian Alliance for Responsible
Business' (SAARB) in November this year. The forum is hosted by The
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
All South Asian countries are members of SAARB and a large number of
experts on relevant subjects will attend the meeting.
At home, the nation's private sector is being urged to adhere to
environment compliance while continuing industrial activity. CCC, last
week launched the 'Promotion of eco-efficient productivity (PEP)
project' funded by the Netherlands.
While the private sector companies are eligible to apply and will
receive 50 percent of implementation cost, special consideration will be
given to SMEs and women entrepreneurs, with 65 percent of cost, CCC
assistant director, Chandrarathna Vithanage said.
Man's expansion and industrialisation was threatening the
environment; in 1956 the island's forest cover was 41 percent, while the
last survey in 1999 revealed 22 percent cover, CCC secretary general,
Prema Cooray said quoting Department of Forest statistics.
Dutch Ambassador, Reynout Van Dirk said that his heart was with the
entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. Thus, he advised corporates that adhering to
environmental friendly practices was not an expense, but in the long
term, an asset to the industry. In that respect, the Dutch envoy urged
companies to be self-regulatory in clean environment practices.
CCC chairman, Mahen Dayananda said that the regulatory authorities
were trying their utmost to minimise the adverse impact on the
environment, by clamping down environmental regulations, but the problem
could not be solved. Many firms were now going for voluntary
certification as ISO 1400, ISO 2200 and others to minimise the use of
natural resources and preserve such natural wealth for future
CCC, in its attempt to minimise the harmful impact on the
environment, had undertaken diverse initiatives to encourage the private
sector, including the World Bank CleanNet Project.
"I hope you will make maximum use of the assistance provided by this
project to embark on new eco-friendly designs," Dayananda told a
packed-sitting of corporates.
The main goal of the project is to achieve cleaner and efficient
production in Sri Lanka, thereby contributing towards greater corporate
social responsibility, while strengthening market positions of
It was also hoped that the concepts developed will be embodied into
the Sri Lankan business culture, thus paving way for sustainable
development. Among its objects, made out at the launch, was the adoption
of environmentally sustainable technologies.