Wednesday 10th of September 2014, Colombo: Coca-Cola Sri Lanka, in a continued effort to create environmental awareness amongst members of the community, conducted its annual inter-school PET collection drive as part of the company’s ‘Give Back Life’ project. Coca-Cola also reiterated its commitment to “being green” by partnering with the Biyagama Educational Division for the third consecutive year, to organize an inter-school debating competition on the occasion of World Environment Day.
Highlighting the importance of recycling, Coca-Cola donated PET collection bins to 28 schools in Biyagama and began a PET bottle collection competition. The initiative focused on teaching children the importance of recycling waste and protecting the environment. The schools that collected the most amount of PET bottles (in kilograms), over the last year, were awarded the first, second and third prizes accordingly. Additionally, every school that collected over 25 kilograms was given a concessionary prize. The prize giving was attended by Abhishek Jugran – Country Manager, Coca-Cola Far East Limited, Indika Perera – Country Supply Chain Manager and Ruwan Kumara- SHEQ, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager. The same competition is currently being held in the Kaduwela district and also focuses on developing a sense of environmental responsibility within children from the area.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka also championed environmental awareness on World Environment Day by conducting an inter-school debating competition in collaboration with the Biyagama Educational Division. Coca-Cola organized this initiative to generate awareness amongst school students on the importance of environmental conservation and protection. Students from 16 schools in the division participated in the event, which was inaugurated by Kanchana Hathurusinghe – Zonal Education Director in the presence of Kapila Welmillage – Country Manager and Nilanthi Jayatillake – Country HR Manager, both from Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited. In the 1AB category, the winner of the World Environment Day debate was Visaka Balika Vidyalaya and the runner-up was Daranagama Rajasinghe Prathamika Vidyalaya. In the second category, Siyamabalapewatte Kanishta Vidyalaya emerged as the winning school and Bollegala Maha Vidyalaya was named the runner-up.
Commenting on Coca-Cola’s recent environmental initiatives, Abhishek Jugran – Country Manager, Coca-Cola Far East Limited stated, “Coca-Cola believes in supporting local communities and cares greatly for the people and communities we operate alongside. We also believe in creating environmental awareness in our efforts to protect the planet. Coca-Cola focuses on making a difference to the environment in four key areas that impact our operations; this includes water stewardship, sustainable packaging, energy management and climate protection. Recycling the PET bottles we use to package Coca-Cola soft drinks, enables us to minimize our environmental footprint. At the same time we are able to inspire children and youth to actively recycle and learn more about environmentally-friendly practices. By conducting an inter-school debate on World Environment Day, we were also able to engage with children in the Biyagama community and inspire them to do their part to take care of the environment.”
In addition to its environmental efforts Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has been a leader in driving community led partnerships such as the ‘Coca-Cola Cricket Pathway’ camps and the ‘Coke Ekka Rock Wenna’ Sri Lankan music festival. Coca-Cola Sri Lanka also continuously reaches out to consumers and brings local Avurudu and Christmas festivities to life. Connecting with consumers and engaging with the community at large has made Coca-Cola the preferred soft drink in Sri Lanka as well as one of the country’s most loved brands. Guest of Honour, Hon. Gunasiri Jayanath, Member of Provincial Council speaks at the event. Ruwan Kumara Public Affairs and Communications and SRA Manager at Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd hands over trophy to Victorious Siyamabalapewatte Kanishta Vidyalaya Team, winners of the second category. Nilanthi Jayatillake, Country HR Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd presenting the trophy to the students of the winning team, Visaka Balika Vidyalaya.