Consistency at the top reflects its sustainable business strategy
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) recently recognized blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC as one of the top ten best corporate citizens in the country for the sixth consecutive year.
Sri Lanka’s premier business chamber’s “The Best Corporate Citizen Awards” is organised with the intention of “promoting Strategic Corporate Sustainability and CSR within the business sector in Sri Lanka”. The award is open for both private and public entities and the winners are selected through stringent criteria and the shortlisted applicants are required to make a brief presentation and also face an interview.
“Corporate sustainability is an ongoing business strategy at Aitken Spence. In contrast to projects-based initiatives, the myriad of aspects and specific systems required for corporate sustainability are being embedded into how we do business. The process of embedding sustainable practices in a highly diversified business is an ongoing challenge, which we committed to,” said Dr. Rohan M Fernando, Director/Head of Business Development & Plantations of Aitken Spence PLC.
“Although our strategies to create long-term shared value that benefits our stakeholders are not geared in any way to solicit specific or general recognition, we are sincerely pleased that the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has rated us amongst its exemplary corporate citizens for six years in succession,” he added.
The company’s integrated sustainability policy framework-implemented under the overall direction of the Board of Management and Board of Directors- takes a 360 degree view on corporate sustainability and includes a wide-range of aspects deemed necessary to create sustainable value.
Earlier this year Aitken Spence PLC was ranked second and among the handful of companies rated as ‘Platinum’ for the second consecutive year in the STING Corporate Accountability Index 2011. Aitken Spence was the highest ranked diversified holdings company in the index, while the company was also identified as the ‘Best in Class for Policy Coverage’.
The index was unveiled by Sri Lanka’s leading business magazine LMD, which stated “few companies have structured and integrated processes to monitor and manage their sustainability – related risks and opportunities. Aitken Spence is amongst the corporates that do this well”.
STING Accountability Index rates the LMD 50 companies and 10 key state enterprises on compulsory basis, counting the largest entities in the country in one index.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments.
Aitken Spence is one of the pioneering signatories from Sri Lanka to the UN Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. With over 8700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries, it is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. Aitken Spence chairs the Global Compact local network board in Sri Lanka, whose role is to root Global Compact principles within the country’s businesses.