Archive | December, 2012

Aitken Spence Hotels Sweeps the Board at National Business Excellence Awards

18 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious at the National Business Excellence Awards (NBEA) presented by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka by walking away with the Overall Silver Award, Hospitality Category Gold Award, Large Sector Gold Award and the Runners Up in the Capacity Builder Category.

The National Business Excellence Awards is an annual award competition conducted by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) with a view to recognizing business enterprises, which have demonstrated excellence in business, whilst contributing to the economic progress of the country. Applications for the awards were technically evaluated by a team of highly qualified professionals and the final selection was made by an expert Panel of Judges.

“Aitken Spence Hotels’ enduring efforts in making tourism a sustainable resource is made tangible by winning accolades such as this. Winning four awards at the National Business Excellence Awards attests to the company’s commitment of delivering exceptional sustainable experiences to their guests”, said Mr. Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President – Finance of Aitken Spence Hotels.

“We are extremely proud of our achievement, sweeping four top awards at the National Business Excellence Awards is a noteworthy feat. Our team has made sustainability and integral part of our business operations as we recognize that sustainability is the only way forward. Being recognised for contribution we make to the economic development of the country while practicing sustainable business practices reflects on our commitment to corporate accountability and championing sustainable tourism”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels chain of hotels, located in strategic locations in Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Oman caters to a diverse market segment and is famed for its stellar service, exquisite food and world recognised sustainable initiatives. Over a period of time the reputation gained has helped to position the chain of hotels as one the best in the region.

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Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold at the CA Annual Report Awards

6 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC walked away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the recently concluded Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards. The much anticipated event with its forty eight year old history was held recently with Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the Chief Guest.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recognizes companies which have demonstrated excellence in transparency, accountability and good governance via their annual reports. The Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards has been the focal point in inculcating financial reporting discipline in the corporate sector.

Companies adhering to the stringent guidelines provided by the Institute have no doubt had an advantage over their competitors whilst also providing them with the tools necessary to be competitive at a global level. The competition covers 22 sectors from small business categories such as NGOs, clubs, associations to large conglomerates.

This win highlights the importance Aitken Spence Hotels gives to sustainability, transparency and accountability and provides a clear indication that the company’s ongoing commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts.
“We are delighted to have been adjudged the winner in the hospitality sector. This commendation reflects Aitken Spence Hotels’ track record of commitment to corporate accountability as well as corporate responsibility. Aitken Spence recognizes that corporate sustainability and ethical conduct are in the interests of the success of our business”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse client base.

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Heritance Ahungalla Bags Gold at National Green Awards

5 Dec

Heritance AhungallaHeritance Hotels was once again in the spotlight when Heritance Ahungalla was presented with the Gold Award at the National Green Awards concluded recently at the BMICH. Heritance Ahungalla has successfully taken over the baton from Heritance Kandalama, no doubt one of the greenest hotels on the planet who was awarded the Gold Award in the Large Scale Hotel category in 2011.

Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs, industrialists, and other stakeholders who contribute their share for environmental conservation and anti pollution were recognized for their excellence in green practice, strategy and products. Organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), The National Green Awards scheme was initiated in order to provide an alternative system to controlling pollution and greening the environment instead of the existing command and control approaches and education & awareness programmes. The main aim of the all island programme is to promote sustainable management of the environment in order to achieve a green country through a clean green environment.

Hon. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion which was held for the second consecutive year. Forty nine awards were presented under 16 categories with environmentally-friendly organizations being selected by an expert panel of judges after a lengthy review of their performance.

Heritance Ahungalla, a hotel committed to sustainable practices has been recognized both locally and internationally for service excellence, culinary expertise as well as its sustainability initiatives. The Hotel was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011 and was recognized as the first resort in the world to receive the certification. The Heritance Ahungalla Team consciously makes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. To minimise social risk in the environment the hotel operates, Heritance Ahungalla offers internships that also helps to build community relations. The hotel donates generously to the local community particularly to help children and elder care programmes.

“We at Aitken Spence Hotels have set a perfect balance of practicing sustainable tourism while ensuring our commitment to service excellence is maintained. It is a tremendous achievement that all our properties in Sri Lanka have sustainability policies which are adhered to stringently which has resulted in all our local hotels including Hotel Hilltop and Bandarawela Hotel attaining the prestigious Earth Check Silver status. We will continue to drive our commitment towards a sustainable operation with a sustainability focus that transcends beyond mere operational to one that is strategic, we seek to create an organization-wide culture that in turn will inspire individuals to act as catalysts for global change”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.
Aitken Spence Hotels has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible tourism players by contributing in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. The award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara.

Aitken Spence Recognised as the ‘Best Corporate Citizen 2012’

5 Dec

Blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence walked away with the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Award 2012’ at the annual Best Corporate Citizen Award Ceremony organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), which concluded recently at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

Sri Lanka’s premier business award ceremony is organised with the intention of promoting Strategic Corporate Sustainability and CSR within the business sector in Sri Lanka, while producing a platform to discuss impending issues pertaining to sustainable development in the industry. The Chief Guest at the event was Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment, while the Guest of Honour was Bernard Savage, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The keynote address at the event was delivered by Biren Bhuta, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility TATA Steel India.

Recognized and awarded as one of the ‘Ten Best Corporate Citizens’, Aitken Spence received two sector awards for ‘Environment’ and ‘Economic Contribution & Governance’. The award ceremony moreover acknowledged organisations for excelling in diverse areas in business – awarding Aitken Spence the category award for ‘Financial Performance’.

The Company’s integrated sustainability policy framework-implemented under the overall direction of the Board of Management and Board of Directors – takes a strategic approach to corporate sustainability with the focus on long term value creation that includes a wide-range of aspects deemed necessary to create sustainable development .
The organization with over eighty five companies, spread across sixteen sectors with over hundreds of programmes, integrates diversified sustainability efforts to the business ethos of the organization. A reputable pioneer in many sectors, the Company prides itself in establishing many first’s such as the green printing facility in Sri Lanka, net metering system for hotels, ISO 50001 certification for energy management in the hotel sector, ISO 14001 certification for large scale international freight forwarding.

Aitken Spence is also 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. In 2011 Aitken Spence PLC was among the handful of companies rated as ‘Platinum’ for the second consecutive year in the STING Corporate Accountability Index 2011 while the company was also identified as the ‘Best in Class for Policy Coverage’.
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Aitken Spence 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 is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing. The diversified group has a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.