Having always espoused that sustainability is the foundation upon which its business thrives, Citizens Development Business Finance Plc (CDB) was well rewarded by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce when it was crowned the first runner-up in the Turnover Less Than Rs. 15 billion category, was awarded the Best Sustainability Project for the Green Ninja Project and presented a Merit Certificate for its ‘Act Early for Autism’ awareness project.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer Damith Tennakoon of CDB Finance Plc (second from right) and Head of Sustainability Aroshi Ranatunga receive the coveted first runner-up award (Turnover less than Rs. 15 billion category) at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2017
CDB’s unwavering commitment to best practices in sustainability has been continuously recognised at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards. The company emerged first runner-up in the same category for two years consecutively, both this year and previously in 2016 as well, while winning the coveted top award in the Turnover Less Than Rs. 15 billion category in 2015, when it was also named one of the Ten Best Corporate Citizens.
For Deputy CEO/CFO Damith Tennakoon these wins are a route to further strengthening CDB’s unique brand of sustainability, where he urges his team to walk the talk.
“To be placed among the country’s topmost corporate citizens by an august entity like the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce repeatedly surely underlines that CDB’s thought process and action plan on sustainability is a business imperative. The success we have garnered over 20 years, despite intense challenges, has seen us take our place among the top seven NBFIs in the country, which while being no mean feat, also emphasises that the nucleus upon which our business model is built is a strong and holistic sustainability ethos that thrives on a stakeholder mindset.”
The Green Ninja CDB Quiz Master 2017 initiative that won the Best Sustainability Project Award further highlights CDB’s unrelenting focus on its sustainability fundamentals - quality of life that must be sustained and grown through green practices that assure a healthy planet, sharing knowledge, encouraging leadership and enabling growth of individuals, communities and the country.
The company’s green commitment is well evidenced with it being the first ISO 14064-1 carbon verified financial institution in South Asia accredited by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund, which drove it to moot a pioneering mindset, one result of which is seen in the Green Ninja initiative organised by the G Squared=Go Green Club.
This unique quiz carried the green message to members across all CDB branches. The quiz, held over three rounds including the Grand Finale, drew more than 100 participants representing 80% of the network, with the winners being presented eco-friendly trophies in keeping with best green practices.
The levels of knowledge were considered extremely high as the various teams answered a multitude of questions on five themes based on water, waste management, energy, biodiversity and climate change which included those given by the Business Bio Diversity Platform Sri Lanka.
“Our aim was to spread the environmental message throughout our operational network,” explains Tennakoon. “By making each individual responsible for their actions, building conservation and infusing a greener culture aligned to CDB’s sustainability agenda, we gave these young men and women the power to raise their green voice.”
‘Act Early for Autism’, the autism awareness project launched by CDB in 2016, which was awarded a merit certificate, deserves worthy mention due to the company publicising an issue that for most people remains unspoken on, unattended or simply ignored. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association for Child Development, CDB invested in a three-phase project that included the setting up of an Autism Trust Fund, a mass media campaign, a hotline at the CDB Customer Care Center and information disseminated through tri-lingual poster campaigns via mobile clinics and outreach programs conducted at rural hospitals across the country.
The company will augment the fund by bringing customers into the equation, where for each contribution of Rs 1 million (business secured) disbursed and deposits mobilised, Rs. 100 will be added to the fund.
Team CDB poses with the awards for the first runner-up in the Turnover less than Rs. 15 billion category, Best Projects - Winner for the Green Ninja CDB Quiz Master 2017 and Best Projects - Merit Award for the Act Early for Autism awareness campaign