As a socially responsible financial institution, People’s Bank has embarked on a powerful sustainability journey to measure, manage and mitigate its environmental footprint by launching a formal Environmental Sustainability Policy, called ‘People’s Green Pulse’, which will guide the institution to achieve its aspirations for a greener future through focused environmental management initiatives. The pioneering bank will collaborate with Sri Lanka's foremost provider of Integrated Sustainability Solutions - The Carbon Consulting Company – towards achieving its ambitious environmental goals.
As a first step, the Bank has implemented a Sustainability Framework that spans across all divisions of the organisation, including the head office, regional offices and the entire branch network. This framework includes the creation of sustainability teams across all key operational levels to manage the Bank’s environmental as well as social initiatives. These teams will in turn report to a newly formed Central Sustainability Committee to ensure streamlined operations.
As the first initiative of ‘People’s Green Pulse’, an extensive Carbon Management Programme has been introduced that will be systematically spread out over a three-year period, which will witness People’s Bank reducing the Carbon Footprint of its organisational operations.
The benefits to People's Bank in having a structured framework to manage the environmental impact of its operations are manifold. Calculating and reporting its environmental impact is a tangible way to demonstrate the Bank’s sustainability commitment and will help to stay ahead of local environmental regulations, thereby giving it an undeniable edge in the sector.
On this journey, People’s Bank will have the responsibility to ensure accurate reporting of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to its employees, shareholders and other stakeholders through its existing GRI G4 reporting. It will also result in engagement of employees in this green initiative, making them aware of the impact of their operations. In time, with management of GHG emissions being the focal indicator of environmental responsibility in businesses, developing an emissions inventory will allow People’s Bank the opportunity to assess related potential risks and opportunities, which augurs well for its future prospects.
Commenting on this watershed moment, People’s Bank Chairman, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando, said: “It gives me great pride to announce People’s Bank’s Carbon Management Programme - instituted to manage our carbon footprint with the ultimate goal of becoming a CarbonConscious® entity. Every action, be that of an individual or a company, leaves behind a Carbon Footprint. As a responsible corporate entity, we realise that the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change are knocking at our doors. Human activity is the dominant cause of climate change, a fact that all of us who live on the planet and want to secure it for future generations should be made aware of. Having pioneered many firsts in Sri Lanka’s banking sector, People’s Bank yet again embarks on a novel programme in response to growing threats to our environment. We believe that our carbon management initiatives will accrue dividends in the form of a greener planet for our stakeholders and we hope it will encourage other entities to follow suit. Sri Lanka is gearing up to attract greater foreign direct investment and what better way to achieve this than to demonstrate our forward-thinking approach to managing our Corporate Sustainability to sustainability conscious institutional investors.
Sanith de S Wijeyeratne, CEO of The Carbon Consulting Company, added, “It’s heartening to have a well established financial institution like People’s Bank come on board and embrace the philosophy of sustainability in all aspects of their operations. The response has been fantastic, as everyone from various levels of the company is keen to get started. We are very proud to partner with People’s Bank on their journey towards becoming a CarbonConscious® Bank. CarbonConscious® is part of the proprietary Conscious® range of certification programmes developed by The Carbon Consulting Company following international standards and protocols for the measurement, management and mitigation/enhancement of environmental sustainability focus areas such as Carbon, Water, Waste and Biodiversity.
Chief Executive Officer/General Manager, People’s Bank, Mr. N. Vasantha Kumar explained “We expect that this comprehensive carbon management programme will deliver carbon efficiencies that will prove to be a powerful driver of performance across People’s Bank, while serving to integrate our sustainability and organizational goals. People’s Bank has always enjoyed a first-mover advantage in many areas and we expect this to be one more milestone in our legacy. This sustainability journey will serve to boost morale and encourage employees to take ownership of their initiatives, in our journey to eventually becoming a Carbon Neutral company in time to come. We are especially excited that carbon management and reporting will create an environmentally aware and knowledgeable workforce that will spread our message across the country. We have a capable team in place to steer this programme and I am confident that once underway, we will derive immense reputational, business, social and environmental gains from this initiative. Going green makes sound business sense, helping to reduce costs and achieve efficiency targets. Furthermore, a definitive environmental sustainability management scheme like ‘People’s Green Pulse’ is a high impact method to engage customers who are increasingly looking to partner ethical companies with a strong green conscience. Finally, reporting on the environmental impact of our operations provides a solid platform for People’s Bank to build and improve on its green credentials, as it strives to earn CarbonConscious® status, which will enhance its brand equity further.”
People’s Bank’s decision to embark on carbon management is in keeping with its reputation as a leader and pioneer in the industry. The industry looks to the Bank to pioneer the way forward and this impactful carbon management programme will be the first achievement in what promises to be a comprehensive environmental sustainability management strategy that will catapult People’s Bank to the next phase of sustainable development.