The Expolanka Green Team celebrated World Environment Day (WED) at the environmentally friendly Mihi Laka Medura auditorium, BMICH keeping with the WED theme for this year ‘Forests: Nature At Your Service’.
This year’s theme underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems, and supports this year’s UN International Year of Forests.
The event was graced by Udaya Prabath Gammanpila, Minister, Agriculture, Agrarian Development and Minor Irrigation Industries and Environment – Western Province as Chief Guest; with the Guest Speaker for the event being Dr. Ajantha Perera, founder of the national program meon recycling of solid waste in Sri Lanka.
Attended by employees of the Expolanka Group and invitees from other segments of industries the event saw a series of lectures and a drama by the students of Seeduwa Bandaranaika Vidyalaya to raise awareness about current environmental issues in Sri Lanka in keeping with the theme for WED, and the Planting and donation of saplings to Mihi Laka Medura.
A company firmly committed to sustainable development, Expolanka’s mandate to the Expolanka Green Team is to propel the company forward in its pro-environment agenda across the group. The event also saw the recognition of entities within the group who have championed the cause of environment conservation with the objective to promote and encourage other companies to follow suit.
The first of the awardees was Neptune Papers Ltd., Sri Lanka’s award-winning waste paper exporter, who is recognised as the biggest exporter of recyclable paper from Sri Lanka. The citation for their recognition said: “In line with its stated objective to support the 3Rs of Reuse, Reduce, Recycle the company has, in 2010 alone it contributed to saving over 250,000 trees from being felled for the purpose of Paper production. An estimated 17-24 fully grown trees are needed for the production of a single ton of virgin paper and the contribution to the environment by such recycling is even higher when factoring in the amount of energy and other resources that go into manufacturing virgin paper. The service they render by the distribution of over 3000 recycle bins in domestic residences, government offices and commercial organisations is lauded for its re-use of tonnes of paper that otherwise would have gone to waste.”
SG Logistics Limited was recognised for its environmental efforts through its Ecologi Association, which aims to attain the goal of educating customers and the general public on saving the environment and educating on the seriousness of greenhouse effects, thereby initiating measures on how we can do our part to conserve the environment.
Citing them for the award, the Expolanka Green Team stated, “Ecologi Association abides by the concept, rather than trying to trim a fully grown tree, it is much more fruitful to grow a plant which will be more beneficial in the long run and believes it is imperative that they educate and enlighten the younger generation in this aspect. We applaud the campaigns they have carried out with school children within this framework, educating them on the environment, through seminars, parades and environmental exhibitions, and even by displaying stickers with environmentally friendly messages and the distribution of recycle bins.”
Coordinating the event was Abdul Uvais, the leader of the Expolanka Green Team. Uvais spelled out the importance of this year’s theme: “Forests play a key role in our battle against climate change, performing vital functions and services around the world, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide. In fact, 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods around the world. 13 million hectares of forest face destruction yearly and short-term investments on forest resources for immediate gains such as logging, compound the losses.
People who depend on forests for their livelihoods are struggling to survive.
“To add to this equation, economists around the world have proven that by not integrating the values of forests into their budgets, countries and businesses are paying a high price. One that ultimately impoverishes us all as harm to our forest life-support system continues each and every single day. But this trend is not irreversible. It’s not too late to transform life as we know it into a greener future where forests are at the heart of our sustainable development and green economies. We would like to express our gratitude to the Minister and the Management of Expolanka Group for recognising this, and proactively engaging in conservation.”
Expolanka Green Team is made up of employees of the Expolanka Group – a leading diversified conglomerate in Sri Lanka with interests in transportation, manufacturing, international trading and strategic investments with an established presence in over 13 countries across the globe.