The conservation experts helping to protect the future
Helping Aitken Spence make an enormous contribution in establishing a greener and cleaner Sri Lanka is Ravi de Silva. Although he started his career as a civil engineer, Ravi is now heavily involved with raising awareness and implementing initiatives on issues such as alternate energy and eco-tourism.
As a consultant in environment management and conservation, he acted as the Environmental Management Representative (EMR) in obtaining the Green Globe 21 standard certification for Kandalama Hotel, the first hotel in Asia to do so. Having attended international training programmes in ISO 1400 overseas, Ravi uses all his knowledge and experience to create a greater understanding of our natural environment among hotel staff, community-based organisations and schools.
‘Children enjoy knowing they can make a big difference to the planet,’ he explains. ‘As well as being receptive to instructions they also help educate their parents!’
A keen naturalist, Ravi is adamant that people do listen and are prepared to change their ways if things are explained clearly. Our carbon footprint, he stresses, can be heavily reduced if we consistently remember to do the simple things in our daily lives. There are, he believes, simple solutions to complex issues.
‘Turning garbage into a resource, using both sides to a piece of paper when making notes, switching off lights, closing taps, having more efficient AC facilities, replacing plastics gradually with better material….. there is so much more we can do in our homes and at work.’
The Environmental Management System installed at Kandalama is now the benchmark for other hotels and Ravi is instrumental in advising industry leaders how they can optimize their resources, alleviate waste and even save money.
Rohitha Rajaratne’s brainchild at the Tea Factory is an example of how progressive the country has developed in recent years with conservation issues. The Director of Engineering for ASHM has reduced energy costs and carbon emissions by using the Grilicidea plant when generating hot water. It minimizes the amount of diesel used, nourishes the soil and ensures a livelihood for the growers.
2008 – Ace Magazine Issue 1