To mark World Water Day 2012, Standard Chartered Bank refurbished the water and sanitation system at St. Mary’s College, Mattakuliya.
The co-educational school of 700 boys and girls had long been in need of a functional water and sanitation system and the plumbing and pump facilities provided by the Bank was welcomed by the children as well as the teachers. This initiative complements the theme of this year’s World Water Day – ‘Clean water for a healthy world’, which reflects the importance of water quality alongside quantity and availability.
Chief Information Officer Janaka Serasinghe, speaking at the simple handing over ceremony at the school exhorted the children not to take the water resources available so abundantly in our country, for granted. “Many other children living in other lands have to walk miles and miles to obtain a single pot of water. Remember this when you simply turn on a tap and water pours out. Do not waste this precious resource,” he said.
Standard Chartered has committed to reduce its water footprint by two thirds over the next ten years in recognition of the growing concerns about water scarcity in many of the Bank’s markets. The Bank hopes that initiatives such as this will contribute to achieving these targets, and will raise awareness of water issues among staff, customers and clients.
For Standard Chartered, World Water Day 2012 represents the beginning of a new drive to reduce the direct impact of the Bank’s operations on the environment. This builds on existing targets to reduce energy and paper use and air travel, and comprises an important element of the Bank’s environment and climate change strategy, which aims to reduce its operational impacts, and to embed sustainable finance practices internally and with clients.
The quality of life is directly dependent on the quality of water, and Standard Chartered Bank’s World Water Day initiative is its contribution to ensuring the wellbeing of human and animal life, and of the environment.