Lucky Dissanayake wins Gold in Social Global Eco Awards

Monday, 24 June 2019 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Kudos for Biomass Group founder with Global Green Economic Forum Women Eco Game Changer award


Biomass Group Founder Lucky Dissanayake did Sri Lanka and the planet proud, by winning the Global Green Economic Forum (GGEF) Eco Game Changer award in a glitzy event held at the Island Shangri-La hotel in Hong Kong.

Biomass Group Founder Lucky Dissanayake

GGEF is the first and only awards in Asia that promotes sustainability and women empowerment, giving recognition to women who are leading and inspiring change, making an impact in the community and environment through business. GGEF is a social enterprise headquartered in Singapore that reinvests 20% of its income to foster future leaders in building a sustainable environment and community. Their vision is to inspire and foster future leaders to take actionable solutions today and build a sustainable future together. 

“I am thrilled to see the number of submissions and quality of the awards is growing year on year. The expansion of the Social Eco Game Changer category is very encouraging for us, because it’s not only a sign that the sustainability community is growing but our award is also getting traction. I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to take care of social, human and environmental capital in order to build a sustainable future together. Hence, I believe that giving recognition to these Women Eco Game Changers through this award will generate a greater positive impact to our society,” said GGEF Founder and CEO Christina Lee.

The event was supported by various members of academia as well as industry experts who served as guest speakers, including Barney Swan, International Director of 2041 Climate Force, Professor Lye Lin Heng from the National University of Singapore and Lucia Torresi, Founder of Eco-parties; all of whom shared their expert insights on environmental protection and sustainable development. The awards ceremony gathered leading figures, influencers, and experts from the government, academia, business and cultural sectors in Hong Kong.

Barney Swan, International Director of 2041 Climate Force, as well as Climate Ambassador of GGEF, said, “I am honoured to be part of GGEF’s events in Hong Kong, and witnessed the winners’ stories with many business leaders last night. I am proud of the winners as well as GGEF, they are the real game changers of tackling both social and environmental challenges caused by climate change.

“Biomass Group is a vertically integrated renewable energy company creating deforestation free, sustainably sourced biomass feedstock from Gliricidia trees, in the form of sticks, chips, pellets and green energy which will be delivered to the National Grid.  We are an agro-energy business that combines food ‘and’ fuel sourced from smallholder farmers and plantation owners in a very innovative partnership. 

“A core team based in Colombo, Polonnaruwa and Puttalam oversees a strong field officers’ network. Biomass Supplies has registered 50,000 smallholder farmers to supply, who have collectively planted 100+ million Gliricidia trees which will be ready for harvest in 2020. Our target is to register 500,000 farmers and plant one billion trees by 2022. 

“We have educated farmers to make their own fertiliser, pesticide, fungicides and microbial cultures using Gliricidia leaves, to value their soil and safeguard their water. We harvest the branches, the main tree remains a carbon sink, which we are registering via South Pole on the global carbon market. By April 2020 we will have internationally certified carbon credits to sell. 

“We are also RSB certified. We are already selling sticks to industries for use in their biomass boilers and plan to supply chips to the industrial zones, torrified chips to the cement companies so they can replace their imported coal. In the future, we will set up 10MW dendro power plants of our own and export our pellets to the North Asian markets. 

“Through monetising Gliricidia we will deliver on 12 of the 17 SDGs. It will fundamentally change the rural landscape in Sri Lanka. We aim to double the per capita income of our smallholder farmers.” 

Winner of the award Lucky Dissanayake, Founder of BiomassGroup, said she was really honoured by the recognition. “Our ancient kings set a precedence in establishing one of the world’s first protected conservation parks in the 3rd century BC, and it is only fitting that a new model for the developing world to emulate and replicate should be spearheaded from Sri Lanka,” she said.

“I am grateful to my team, my board and my investors for their faith in me. Today Biomass Group has 26 individual investors and institutional funding from InfraCo Asia. There is a long road ahead as we go on this endeavour to sustain our earth, one tree at a time.

“I always keep the words of the great social anthropologist Margret Mead with me: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.” 


2019 GGEF Women Eco Game Changers Awards winners