InterBalance propels Port of Colombo’s first sustainability report

Wednesday, 3 February 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

South Asia Gateway Terminals CEO Romesh David
InterBalance Co-Founder and Partner Chulendra De Silva
InterBalance Co-Founder and Partner Charith Jayasundera

Sustainability is not just about an initiative or about a report; it’s about the relevance of what you do and how it’s done, and hence needs to be directly linked to the organisation’s strategy, said InterBalance

Co-Founder and Partner Chulendra De Silva. 

“Therefore, the management framework as well as sustainability initiatives that an organisation identifies should be an investment and not a cost to the organisation.”

“While companies may have various management information systems to drive its financial performance, only a few companies have implemented similar frameworks to obtain, analyse, and monitor the large amounts of data relating to the non-financial performance of a company. Obtaining such non-financial data involves the introduction of new, non-financially driven organisational processes, the implementation of changes to existing management processes and the establishment of organisational structures to manage such a framework,” said InterBalance Co-Founder and Partner Charith Jayasundera.

South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT, partnered with InterBalance to embed a sustainability management framework within its operations and integrate sustainability within its business strategy and processes, culminating in the organisation’s first sustainability report which was published recently.

This sustainability management framework introduced by InterBalance has enabled SAGT identify its most significant sustainability topics, establish company level policies and Standard Operating Procedures and establish 21 Sustainability Key Performance Indicators monitored, managed and analysed through an automated data collection and analysis tool. This has further enabled in SAGT to identify potential areas of risk from an environmental and social perspective, as well as identify opportunities to improve operational efficiencies that directly impact the bottom-line.

“We believe that this comprehensive sustainability management framework will also enable SAGT to respond to its varied stakeholder concerns and provide an early warning system for environmental and social risks that may arise in carrying out our operations. The framework revolves around assessing SAGT’s material topics, continuously monitoring our sustainability KPIs and designing sustainability initiatives in response to such KPIs,” said South Asia Gateway Terminals CEO Romesh David.

Utilising this sustainability management framework SAGT has been able to publish its very first Sustainability report in accordance with the GRI Standards and has also obtained external assurance for the report by DNV GL.  

Chulendra de Silva further explained the implementation process carried out at SAGT: “As a licensed assurance provider of AccountAbility UK, we undertook an internal materiality assessment exercise in accordance with the Accountability AA1000 Standards, to establish the material sustainability topics for SAGT. Subsequently we were able to establish the Key Sustainability Performance Indicators, in accordance with the GRI Standards, which were further linked to the UNSDGs, enabling SAGT to align its sustainability drive to international reporting framework as well.”

Speaking on the services offered by InterBalance, Charith Jayasundera explained, “Our scope of services does not focus on a few individual aspects of sustainability or solely on sustainability initiatives. We at InterBalance are committed to put in place a comprehensive management process that covers an organisation’s complete sustainability performance, management and reporting process, which is aligned to the organisational strategy. We believe that it is only then, that sustainability itself can be sustained within an organisation.”

InterBalance is a consultancy services provider for corporate clients in the fields of sustainability and enterprise risk management that strives to provide management solutions by way of customised processes and frameworks. 

Co-founded by Chulendra de Silva and Charith Jayasundera in 2015, InterBalance is the GRI Data Partner in Sri Lanka, of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) based in Amsterdam, and is also a licensed assurance provider of AccountAbility UK (AA1000AS v3).