The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Coca-Cola Sri Lanka two ‘Best Sustainability Project Awards 2014’ at the 11th consecutive Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards event in Colombo. Coca-Cola Sri Lanka won two Certificates of Merit - one for Women Empowerment and one for Water Replenishment. The prestigious awards were presented by Dr. Saman Kalegama – Director, Institute of Policy Studies, Mr. Mangala P. B. Yapa - Secretary General / CEO - Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Donglin Li – Country Director - International Labour Organization & a member of the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Panel of Judges, to Indika Perera, Country Supply Chain Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. The awards recognized Coca-Cola’s efforts towards building and nurturing sustainable communities and its commitment towards water conservation and protection across Sri Lanka.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Coca-Cola has always supported communities through a range of programmes focusing on women, water and well-being. Coca-Cola’s Women’s Empowerment initiatives include the 5by20 programme, which is a global initiative to economically empower five million women entrepreneurs across the Company’s value chain by 2020.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has engaged with over 2000 women since 2012 as part of the 5by20 programme in Sri Lanka. Through workshops and trainings, in partnership with Women in Management and the support of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Child Development, Coca-Cola aims to help women earn their own livelihoods. These workshops educate women on how to build a successful business as an entrepreneur through a positive attitude, balancing priorities and learning managerial skills to run a profitable business. The Coca-Cola Company and Women Headed Households Programme which is part of the 5by20 initiative won the ‘Award of Appreciation’ at the Professional & Career Women’s Awards 2012/13.
Coca-Cola has also provided business assets to female retailers who own or manage retail outlets, including Coca-Cola coolers, glass deposits, outlet enhancing assets like shop name branding boards, racks etc. as well as kiosks.
Commenting on the award, Kapila Welmillage, Country Manager- Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited said, “It is a great honour for us to be recognized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for our commitment to sustainability. We need to ensure that the community around us has a future to look forward to, and is growing in a manner that is beneficial in the long term. Sustainability is a key part of Coca-Cola’s Vision for 2020 and we help build sustainable communities in more than 200 countries in which we operate. We have many sustainability projects in Sri Lanka – from 5by20 to water replenishment to Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways to PET recycling. These are all a part of Coca-Cola’s strategy of long term sustainable growth not just for the company, but to make a positive difference in the lives of people in the Sri Lankan community.”
Water has been a focus area for Coca-Cola in Sri Lanka. Clean, accessible water is a priority for Coca-Cola because it is essential to the health of communities, critical to ecosystems and indispensable for economic prosperity. Coca-Cola has a special interest in protecting the local water sources that sustain communities. The Company’s water projects include - Every Drop Matters with UN-HABITAT for clean drinking water in schools, reverse osmosis treatment facilities in Padaviya and Madawachchiya in areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease, rainwater harvesting systems in draught hit Kilinochchi and many internal water harvesting, cleansing and replenishment procedures with our plants.
The Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards programme evaluates all applicants’ interactions with their internal and external stakeholders. There were a total of 75 award applicants this year who were individually assessed across the areas of Environment, Employee, Customer, and Community Relations, CSR, Governance, Finance Performances and Economic Contribution. Awards were also handed out in the categories of Education and Training, North and East Reconciliation, Environmental Infrastructure and other projects.
Coca-Cola’s sustainability framework, Me We World, focuses on enhancing people’s well-being, building stronger communities and protecting the environment. By working with communities, corporates and the government, Coca-Cola has developed the Golden Triangle approach to sustainability and continuously strives to create a lasting and positive change wherever the Company operates.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, an institution that is 174 years old, has been organizing the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards for over 10 years. The awards programme equally evaluates the three main aspects of sustainability; the economic factor, the social factor and the environment.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka was awarded two prestigious ‘Best Sustainability Project Awards 2014’ Certificates of Merit – one for Women Empowerment and one for Water Replenishment by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
One of Coca-Cola’s 5by20 training sessions that help women entrepreneurs.
Coca-Cola and National Water Supply and Drainage Board Install RO treatment plant in Anuradhapura.