JKH wears overall crown at ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards

Fifteen awards for seven industry categories confirm commitment to better reporting

John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) proudly donned the overall crown of being Sri Lanka’s most transparent company at the ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards, under the aegis of chief guest Resident Coordinator, UN Sri Lanka and Resident Representative, UNDP Sri Lanka Una McCauley. JKH also topped the Conglomerates and Diversified category, while Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) further etched its corporate stewardship by emerging Runner Up overall and winning the Retail and Trading category. The fifteen awards presented across seven industry categories demonstrated a comprehensive coverage of the three fundamental pillars of sustainability, namely economic, social and environment and were selected from nearly sixty applicants judged by an expert panel of judges headed by Franklyn Amerasinghe.

In the banking category, Sampath Bank emerged the winner while HNB came in runner up, while Expolanka Holdings was the runner up in the Conglomerates & Diversified category. Winning the Financial Services & Insurance category was Union Assurance with the Runner Up being Citizens Development Business Finance, while in the Retail & Trading sector Runner Up was American & Efird Lanka. John Keells Hotels and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings were adjudged Winner and Runner Up in the Leisure & Connected Services and Nawaloka Hospitals won the General Services & Utilities category. Seemasahitha Sanasa Rakshana Samagama was the winner in the SME category and Vidulanka PLC emerge Runner Up.

With Sri Lanka being among 25 countries globally where 3,000 entities worldwide aspire to be among the best in creating frameworks for detailed sustainability and corporate responsibility, ACCA Sri Lanka urges companies to use the methodology provided within the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) blueprint. Said McCauley in her address, “It is inspiring to see the private sector leading the way on sustainability and recognizing institutions that have excelled in their efforts. The UN system looks forward to engaging further on implementing and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to ensure that we leave no one behind.”

Adding to this, President of the Member Network Panel of ACCA Sri Lanka Adrian Perera, stated that what the world needs is a true wholehearted action, not for short term profits. “These days Sri Lanka is facing energy, water and a food crises. While the solutions are at hand, we continue to take the easy path. For example, Sri Lanka is blessed to be surrounded by the Indian ocean but still continues to import fish products from overseas. This is similar with our energy, food and water issues. Our resources are limited but due to political and other inefficiencies, we still do not have a plan of action; just stop gap solutions which we will soon run out of.”

Speaking on behalf of the panel of judges, Franklyn Amerasinghe commended the reports that had made the grade, saying that each had succeeded in the primary judging criteria of the 3Cs of Completeness, Credibility and Communication and thus infused best practices in sustainability reporting which is imperative to operating a sustainable business. He urged future applicants to begin reporting on the ‘capitals’ which captures all three elements of people, planet and profit, both quantitatively and qualitatively, which in turn will create confidence in stakeholders and set goals for the future, especially in relation to carbon footprint must be proactive.

The Awards Ceremony, now in its thirteenth year and each year works on a theme, this year highlighted ‘Sustainability and its many facets’, underlining six of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. This was done via a flashmob theater performance directed and produced by Sashane Perera and the Raffles Design Institute underscoring the importance of sustainability in modern lifestyles with the placement of six tableaux using 3R material in its creative narrative, in the context of the six SDGs. The panel of judges comprised CEO of Rainforest Ecolodge Prema Cooray, Senior Economist – Trade & Competitiveness Sriyani Hulugalle, Managing Director of MND/Interbrand Michel Nugawela and Global Coordinator Sustainable Development Banking Network and Senior Policy Officers of the ESG Department of the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group Rong Zhang.