CDB adds to corporate stewardship at Best Corporate Citizen Awards 2016

Friday, 16 December 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

dft-7-11Team CDB stands proudly with the 2 coveted awards won by CDB at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2016 organised by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce



It has been a year of great accolades for Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB), placing it on a winning path and one of great promise for 2017. 

Besides having won the Gold award for the Non-Banking Financial Services Sector at the National Business Excellence Awards, two Silver awards as Service Brand of the Year and the CSR Brand of the Year in 2016, CDB has just emerged as having the Best Project for GHG Emission Analysis and adjudged First Runner Up in the Less Than Rs. 15 billion Turnover Category at the recently concluded Best Corporate Citizen Award 2016 held annually under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce since 2004. 

CDB is now a firm presence at the awards ceremony, having worn the crown as winner in the Less Than Rs. 15 billion Turnover Category and standing tall among the 10 Best Corporate Citizens of the country last year. 

At the gala ceremony at which Chief Guest Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy lauded each corporate for the initiative taken in upholding the fundamentals of corporate stewardship in the 3Ps of People, Planet, Profit, CDB wears this honour with great humility, realising that it is not only one of the younger corporate entities to be recognised, but also that its contributions in each of the 3Ps, continues to make a difference to humanity. 

With internationally renowned Economist Dr. Saman Kelegama chairing an erudite panel of judges who stress on stringent parameters and uncompromising conformance to the tenets of corporate stewardship, CDB reiterates its commitment to being an organisation that practices a balanced business model intertwined in stakeholder empowerment, social responsibility, transparent and accountable governance and environmental consciousness.

While the Runner Up award in the Less Than Rs. 15 billion Turnover category signifies that CDB’s fundamentals of corporate stewardship are strong, consistent and visionary, its unwavering environmental consciousness bestowed upon it the crown for the Best Project among a number of diverse categories. 

“The initiative to reduce environmental pollution and in turn to also protect the environment pushed us to make an affirmed commitment to reduce our carbon footprint,” explains MD/CEO Mahesh Nanayakkara, who has been at the helm of leading the team in truly practicing the rudiments of corporate stewardship. “We embarked on a GHG Emission Analysis at our Head Office, quantifying the emissions emanating from our operations and seeking avenues to lower carbon growth, making it an imperative focus in our annual sustainability agenda.” 

He adds that CDB’s flagship environmental program, Mihikathata Adaren has, since its inception, spearheaded responsibility and affinity towards the environment not only among the team, but among customers, suppliers and communities. “Each year, we have sought and introduced new green practices where we have seen tangible benefits and certainly a heightened awareness about the environment among our stakeholders.” In fact, CDB pioneered Sri Lanka’s first Green Asset Backed Securitisation adding weight to its eco-accountability.

It is interesting therefore that CDB, in accordance with ISO 14064-1 as articulated by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund, tracked CO2 emissions of CDB owned vehicles, staff transportation, official air travel and energy consumption originating at the Head Office. In 2015, the Company’s carbon footprint was quantified at 677 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which prompted stringent measures to mitigate the impact and led CDB to be the very first ISO 14064-1 carbon verified financial institution in South Asia. 

For Nanayakkara, these two awards are certainly a cause for celebration. “We continue to make inroads not only in the way we innovate products, impart excellent customer service and build a business that’s robust, stable and sustainable, but the fact that we are recognised by our peers for our actions and impacts as a corporate steward, is truly heartening. Our financial empowerment and social inclusivity remain the overarching ethos in which we operate, enabling us to be strong in our belief that each of our actions must impact our stakeholders positively. This is the backbone to our success, success that we have strengthened and nurtured for 21 years, in an intensely competitive financial services industry.” 

CDB’s decision making policy on sustainability activities is spearheaded by the Chairman and Board of Directors and championed by a committed team who claim absolute ownership for the sustainability of their 3Ps. CDB ensures that the diverse demographics it works with are firmly embedded in the Company’s sustainability agenda. 

“As a respected custodian of public funds in the NBFI sector, it is in our DNA to be constantly vigilant and only make decisions that will be advantageous to our stakeholders,” reiterates Nanayakkara. “Our business model which encompasses the concept of ‘Urban Funding and Rural Lending’ has enabled us to affirm our leadership in the financial services sector, where by being a Net Lender to the Rural Economy has enabled us to sustainably grow the base of the pyramid markets.” 

With CDB continuing to strengthen its unique Emotions, Passion and Spirit (EPS) formula, the humanised framework of EPS has seen the Company post record financial performance YoY. The responsible and ethical platform CDB imbued through stakeholder engagement and widespread social initiatives including ‘CDB Sisudiri Scholarships’, the construction of fully fledged IT laboratories via ‘CDB Pariganaka Piyasa’, women’s empowerment through ‘CDB Diriliya’ and employee volunteerism through ‘CDB Hithawathkam’, gives CDB a well-deserved spot in the limelight among some of the best corporate stewards in the country. Surmises Nanayakkara: “To us, being a corporate citizen is more than rhetoric. It’s about action and tangible impact and I do believe these two awards are emblematic that we do walk the talk.”