Catalysts for Sustainability’ Webinar Sparks Vital Conversations on the Need for Sustainability

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Colombo, 07th December 2023: In a thought-provoking and engaging session, the recent ‘Catalysts for Sustainability’ webinar, organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, provided a platform for insightful discussions on pressing environmental challenges and innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

Held on 9th November 2023, the webinar brought together a distinguished panel of experts, including Anosha Koralage, Head of Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management and Group Initiatives – John Keells Group, Richard Taylor, Operations Director – Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Lakshan Madurasinghe, Regional Lead for Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal & Bhutan) – Coca-Cola. Moderated by a seasoned communications personality Nadim Majeed, the session explored the pivotal roles of water and waste reduction & management, resource circulation and natural system regeneration to combat the adverse effects of climate change to shape a greener, more equitable future for Sri Lanka.

Anosha Koralage, Head of Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management and Group Initiatives – John Keells Group stated, “In the realm of a circular economy, the goal is to extend the life of key resources, minimizing waste and resource consumption. The foundation of an effective waste management strategy lies in thoughtful design—creating products with modularity to prevent disposal after their lifecycle. The focus is on substituting virgin materials with recycled resources. As products reach consumers, promoting awareness and knowledge about the post-consumption stage and proper recycling practices becomes crucial. Throughout the entire lifecycle, from creation to disposal, expertise in processes is essential, ensuring every aspect considers recyclability. It’s a holistic approach to sustainably manage resources and minimize environmental impact.”

Commenting on the importance of corporate responsibility in sustainability, Richard Taylor, Operations Director – Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) commented, “Organizational success goes beyond financial gains; it’s intricately linked to sustainable development. In an era where environmental consciousness is paramount, organizations must prioritize sustainability. At CTC, we focus on driving excellence in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects. Our key areas include responsible water stewardship, waste reduction within the circular economy, biodiversity and reforestation. Businesses must put ESG at the forefront. ESG KPIs have now assumed an equal and integral role alongside traditional commercial KPIs. This focus ensures a continued positive impact on the entire value chain.”

“Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) isn’t just a strategy—it’s a vital commitment to environmental sustainability, especially at Coca-Cola. By holding manufacturers, importers and brand owners accountable for each product throughout its life cycle, EPR transforms our approach from linear to circular. This means considering post-sale responsibilities, making it more than a mere compliance checkbox; it becomes an ingrained practice within the organizational fabric. Sustainability is a collective effort, urging collaboration among diverse entities. Through proactive measures, we can create a seamless, interconnected process that paves the way for a truly sustainable and responsible future,” said Lakshan Madurasinghe, Regional Lead for Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal & Bhutan) – Coca-Cola.

By delving into practical steps, innovative solutions, and collective efforts, the ‘Catalysts for Sustainability’ webinar provided participants with actionable insights to actively contribute to a sustainable and resilient future. The webinar reverberated a call to action, setting the stage for ongoing conversations and collaborative efforts to further support the sustainable development of Sri Lanka.

 

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