Friday, 13 June 2014 00:00
Standard Chartered in celebration of World Environment Day 2014 and in keeping with the international theme ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’ invited Professor Devaka Weerakoon of Colombo University’s Zoology Department to address staff and invitees from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last evening at the bank’s premises. His interactive and thought provoking session focusing on exploring the significance of climate change for Sri Lanka as a small island developing state, particularly highlighted the concerns around rising sea levels and the global impact, especially on island nations such as ours.
Chief Information Officer Janaka Serasinghe and Head – Compliance Inam Cassim, Standard Chartered, Sri Lanka who are the management sponsors for the bank’s environment platform, commenting on the session said, “This is just one initiative we have undertaken to raise our voice for the environment. Our team has been proactive over the years engaging with socially responsible ‘green’ activities including efforts to protect nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Prof. Weerakoon further heightened our sensitivity to some of the possible detrimental impacts of global warming and climate change.”
Standard Chartered’s environment team have led several initiatives among their colleagues to participate in ‘greening projects’. To date its Green Cover Project, an initiative to reduce paper wastage, whereby the bank pledges to plant a tree for every customer signing up for an eStatement has contributed 12,000 trees to replenish degraded forest cover in Atale, Boralugoda, Pereliya, Horana and Ratnapura, and 2500 pandanus planted along the stretch of beach at Kosgoda.
The initiative also yielded a retail advantage as the credits earned were used to offset the bank’s credit card’s carbon footprint facilitating the announcement of the country’s first zero-carbon credit card.
The weekend of the 7 June, more than a 100 volunteers from the bank once more visited the beaches at Kosgoda to plant a further 1000 pandanus. The pandanus are planted at Kosgoda near sea turtle nesting areas to help with the conservation of Sri Lanka’s marine turtle population, as well as to replenish the green cover in the area.
Loss of the vegetation in the area has led to the turtle hatchlings emerging from the nest at night being disorientated by the street lights, leading them to crawl towards the brightest, lowest horizon which under natural conditions is the reflection of the moon and stars on the sea, but instead is the highway or inland.
Standard Chartered welcomes its clients to ‘raise their voice’ for the environment by requesting a conversion to an eStatement. Clients may call the Bank on 2480480 and make a request to have paper statements converted to electronic statements.