Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 10 June 2012





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Organisations practising energy efficient measures - Survey

Sri Lankan businesses are leading the way in transforming the country's economy with sustainable, low carbon workplaces that provide decent work for employees, revealed a survey on green jobs by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC).

The Employers’Federation of Ceylon in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation conducted a green jobs survey of 50 business entities in the country. The aim of the survey is to find out not only which organisations are implementing green initiatives but also to evaluate how green are their actions are .

The survey revealed that over 95 percent of the organisations engaged in green sustainable initiatives in diverse forms and over 90 percent adopted decent work practises for employees.

It was revealed that most organisations were focused on practicing energy efficient measures which have direct benefits in reducing the cost of energy.

Hydro power generation was dominated by the agriculture sector where 10 out of 13 companies were generating hydro power. The geo-climatic area of tea plantations is conducive to harness hydro power energy.

Many business establishments were switching on to bio-mass from fossil fuels as an energy efficient means but still painstaking efforts are needed to convince organisations to shift to bio-mass operated systems for steam and electricity requirements.

The use of solar energy to heat water from solar panels is on the rise as many have understood the need to reduce the use of fossil fuel. The use of solar energy in Sri Lanka is still in its an infancy stage as production of solar energy is comparatively costly. Senior Lecturer Environmental Engineering University of Moratuwa, Dr. Mahesh Jayaweera said he hoped that people will embrace solar energy as a viable means of saving energy. Only two organisations invested in production of energy by the use of wind power, the survey revealed.

Energy audits is a novel concept which helps organisations to enhance energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. Housekeeping is a vital low cost energy conservation means, the survey revealed.

Many apparel sector organisations have gone green by constructing green factories. Green-building is the use of natural resources more efficiently to increase energy efficiency, safety and durability.

“More awareness programs are needed to enhance knowledge on green building and reduce dependence on foreign expertise”, Dr. Jayaweera said.Cross ventilation is vital for indoor climate control. Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels in a building requires proper insulation, ventilation and exposure. Many organisations have commenced harnessing rain water for back office needs to conserve natural resources. Group transportation is practiced by many institutions to promote clean transportation.

All organisations practiced waste water treatment, the survey revealed. Solid waste management was transferred to municipal authorities who dispose it in an irresponsible manner. Solid waste management should be done within the premises to manufacture compost.Decent work policies and porcedures were implemented by many organisations but policies for the disabled were lacking. Maintainance of EPF and ETF were implemented well in organisations. Over 95 percent of the businesses had long-term benefits for employees. Many organisations had promotion schemes but less pension schemes.

Most institutions had obtained the ISO 9001 certification but certain ISO standards were not taken seriously.



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