The Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s commitment to People, the Planet and Profit – the three pillars of sustainability – saw Sri Lanka’s benchmark private bank win seven awards including the award for second place overall at the 2019 Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The Bank was declared the winner of the Triple Bottom Line Award for Social Sustainability (People); the winner in the Finance Sector, the winner of the Category Awards for Customer Relations and for Governance and the winner of the award for Best Presented Application, and was presented an award for being among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens in Sri Lanka.
“We are elated to once again be among the top three corporate citizens of our country on the all-important platform of sustainability,” Commercial Bank Managing Director and CEO Mr S. Renganathan said. “Commercial Bank’s emphasis on an equitable balance between the social, environmental and financial aspects of the business is not new, but we keep building on and fine-tuning our approach each year, making sustainability the bedrock of everything we do.”
“Being adjudged the winner in Governance is also of particular relevance to a bank that is of systemic importance to the national economy,” he added. “This is attributable to our robust governance structure that ensures transparent, ethical and prudent decision making and implementation, and uncompromising compliance
In the sphere of environmental sustainability, Commercial Bank was a pioneer among Sri Lankan banks to implement a Social Environment Management System (SEMS) which makes it mandatory for credit proposals to be screened under the SEMS framework. Additionally, the Bank, one of first in its sector to obtain GHG verification, had achieved a significant reduction in energy consumption and is implementing a comprehensive programme to reduce its environmental footprint through decreased power and water consumption, a transition to paperless operations and responsible waste and e-waste management.
Commercial Bank is also funding targeted research to improve Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and supports a programme to ease air pollution in Colombo among other CSR initiatives linked to the environment.
The Bank’s focus on people – customers, employees and communities at large – was adjudged the best among corporate entities assessed for the Triple Bottom Line Award for Social Sustainability. Among the aspects considered were the launch of 17 Sri Lanka firsts in terms of products and services in 2018, the size and geographical spread of the Bank’s branch and ATM network, special facilities for differently-abled customers at 204 branches, responsible and inclusive communications, a well-structured portfolio of community initiatives aligned with national priorities, the highest disbursement of loans to SMEs, capacity-building programmes to empower entrepreneurs and cultivation loans to micro enterprises.