Elpitiya Plantations PLC (EPP) was recognised for their ‘Go Green and Beyond’ initiative as one of the best sustainability projects at the prestigious Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2021 organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The project was launched in 2018/19 and is an integral part of EPP’s integrated approach to manage its environmental impact, energy and water footprints in building a climate-resilient business model. The initiative aims to simultaneously reduce the company’s vulnerability to accelerating climate change while reducing its environmental footprint and preserving natural resources for future generations.
The project consists of three main pillars namely: renewable energy, water and biodiversity with clearly defined action plans, goals, KPIs and outcomes. Furthermore, this is an integral part of Elpitiya Plantations holistic sustainability strategy, which centers on the achievement of six long-term environmental, social and economic aspirations, which are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals namely, SDG 6- Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7- Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8- Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9- Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, SDG 15- Life on Land and SDG 17- Partnerships for the goals.
Key developments of Project Go Green and Beyond include increasing reliance on renewable energy through solar PV rooftop systems and sustainable biomass for thermal energy demand, expanding rainwater harvesting, development of stream reservation, watersheds land extent in the estates and enriching the quality of soil by increasing soil carbon level and preserving biodiversity by reducing the application of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals like weedicides and pesticides.
Through these initiatives Elpitiya Plantations has achieved ‘carbon negative’ status in its electrical energy consumption through 95% reliance on its overall renewable energy, thereby offsetting over 15,000 tonsCO2e in 2020/21. The Group is also 89% reliant on rainwater for their water use, significantly reducing the extraction of freshwater. The company has also increased its green cover by 5% and achieved a reduction of 32% and 71% in chemical pest and weed control, respectively.
Commenting on this win, Dr. Rohan Fernando Managing Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC said, “Elpitiya Plantations has continuously adopted sustainable agricultural practices in our daily operations where all aspects of environmental health, economic profitability and social responsibility are given equal importance. We will continue to make a positive contribution to the society, planet and economy through our sustainable business practices”.
Managed by Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC since 1997, Elpitiya Plantations PLC owns 13 estates and 17 factories producing tea and other diversified crops. The company embarked on producing four types of berries in Sri Lanka, providing these berries to local consumers with a lower carbon footprint, with strawberries currently in commercialization.
Mr. Ishafir Izzadeen, Senior General Manager and Mr. Pradeep Vithanage, Senior Manager of Elpitiya Plantations PLC receiving the awards