Archive | Sustainability RSS feed for this section

Aitken Spence Printing Renovates Printing Facility at the Deaf & Blind School

13 Aug

 

IMG_1038

Industry leader Aitken Spence Printing strengthened its community engagements by recently completely refurbishing the in-house printing facility of the Deaf & Blind School in Ratmalana while providing training and employment opportunities to its students.

The school enabling care to over 400 students is now able to access the renovated printing facility that was in dilapidated condition. Two key printing machines SBD Cylinder machine and Auto Platen machine were completely overhauled while the floor of the facility was provided a complete facelift.

Aitken Spence Printing further empowered the students by providing training opportunities on the latest printing technologies available and offering employment opportunity to one of its students. The management hopes to continue to recruit more students from the school in the near future.

“We are delighted to be empowering the students of the Deaf & Blind School in Ratmalana. Aitken Spence Printing will continue to work on similar projects in the future. We thank Mr. Lucky Mendis, Director of Deaf and Blind School, Mr. Nirosh de Silva, Chairperson of the fund raising committee of the Deaf and Blind School and Mrs. Samanthika Jayasooriya, the Principal of Deaf School for giving us this opportunity to be a partner of such a valued CSR activity” noted Mr. Prasanna Karunatileka, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

With a heritage spanning over five decades, Aitken Spence Printing is known as an innovative quality printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in fast moving consumer goods, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is also recognized as top quality printer for corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications. The Company has also been recognized by the Sri Lanka Association of Printers as “Sri Lanka’s Master Printer” for the year 2014 and 2015. Offering the region’s only LEED Gold certified and carbon neutral printing plant, Aitken Spence Printing’s ultra-modern printing plant is located just outside of Colombo.

IMG_1110

The printing facility of the Deaf & Blind School is one of the oldest printing schools in Sri Lanka. The effort and dedication of the maintenance team of Aitken Spence Printing contributed towards renovating the facility back to its old glory with a handing over ceremony taking place with the presence of the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, Mr. Prasanna Karunatileka, the Management team of Aitken Spence Printing Mr. Lucky Mendis the Director of Deaf & Blind School and Mrs. Samanthika Jayasooriya Principal of the Deaf School.

Aitken Spence Travels Certified as Carbon Neutral for the year 2012

5 Apr

In line with their group wide sustainability strategy, Aitken Spence Travels Ltd (ASTL), Sri Lanka’s largest inbound tourism operator, was awarded the ‘Carbon Neutral’ Certificate at a formal ceremony held at the Central Environmental Authority last week. Nalin Jayasundara, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels was presented with the certificates issued by the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy by B.M.U.D. Basnayake, Secretary of the Ministry.

The process of being carbon neutral was done by tracking the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by ASTL’s activities in Sri Lanka. For this purpose the amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by their fleet of vehicles, staff traveling for official purposes for both locally and abroad; staff travel to and from office, and consumption of electricity in the ASTL offices were estimated. In 2012, the carbon footprint of Aitken Spence Travels stood at 1336 metric tonnes prompting the company to take measures to mitigate the impact it made on the environment. The whole process was audited by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund.
In order to compensate for emissions, Aitken Spence Travels (bought “Carbon Credits” from Lalan Rubbers (Pvt) Ltd., a rubber glove manufacturing company that has replaced furnace oil with biomass for their production process, thus mitigating carbon dioxide that would have been emitted had they used furnace oil.

Addressing the event, Dr. Suren Batagoda, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund said if Sri Lanka can reduce 10 percent of its petroleum consumption, the country can save up to 600 million US Dollars annually. He made this remark based on the calculation that Sri Lanka’s oil import bill stands at 6 billion US Dollars while the total export income amounted to 10 billion US Dollars.

Commending the initiative made by Aitken Spence Travels, he said the country needs more support from the private sector towards achieving goals in terms of reducing energy consumption. He added that plans were afoot to introduce a carbon certification programme for home appliances and other equipment as well.

“We already have plans to record the carbon emission of every appliance and equipment. Then the public will know the impact they make on the environment. Those who want to protect our environment for the future generation, will buy products that has a minimal carbon emission.” he said, Mr. B.M. U. D. Basnayake, Secretary or the Ministry of Environment, who also addressed the gathering, said that the private sector has a bigger role to play in protecting the environment and reducing environmental pollution. While appreciating the responsible approach shown by Aitken Spence Travels towards the environment, he added that the ministry intended to engage more with the private sector in this regard.

Speaking on behalf of Aitken Spence Travels, Assistant Vice President Dr. Prashantha Perera, said that they were in a process of minimizing their carbon emission gradually.
“By the end of 2013, we have a plan to reduce our carbon emissions by 10 percent. We understand that the need of the hour is to minimize emissions. Therefore, we educate the people involved in our operations on saving energy. We build awareness right down to the grassroots levels of our operations. We educate our transporters and transport agencies. This, we firmly hope, will take us towards our reduction goals by the end of this year, ” he said.

Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels affirmed that their tour operator partners across the world always preferred to work with institutions that were conscious about their environment.

“Therefore, being carbon neutral is a plus. Aitken Spence Travels is a promoter of sustainable tourism and this is an extension of our philosophy, Looking at it on a larger canvas Sri Lanka as a destination should take green tourism more seriously as this will be the differentiator when competing in the global market “he said.

Aitken Spence Travels, the leading Destination Management Company in Sri Lanka through the purchase of carbon credits from Lalan Rubers (Pvt) Ltd., became the first Sri Lankan company to buy carbon credits from a local company. By buying carbon credits from the rubber glove manufacturing company, Aitken Spence Travels has technically neutralized the impact it made upon the environment through Carbon dioxide emissions. The transaction is an affirmation of Aitken Spence Travels commitment towards environmental protection and promoting eco-friendly business and production practices.

The purchasing or carbon credits is facilitated by The Sri Lanka Carbon Fund (Private) Limited, a private-public partnership established under the companies Act. No. 7 of 2007 to promoite carbon trading CDM projects in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Carbon Fund (Private) Ltd., which has the backing of Environment Ministry and the Central Environmental Authority, provides technical and finance resources to develop, finance, market CDM carbon credit projects in any sector.

 

Image
Carbon credits can be traded among groups and businesses, both locally and internationally. Those who emit greenhouse gases buy carbon credits from those who do not emit greenhouse gases in their operations, contributing towards promoting environment-friendly business practices. On the other hand, it gives an opportunity for companies who emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide an inevitable part or their operations to assist eco-friendly production processes and contribute towards the betterment of our environment.

Aitken Spence Printing First to be LEED (Gold) Certified

17 Jan

Industry leader Aitken Spence Printing’s state-of-the-art new printing facility was awarded the LEED (Gold) certification recently, making it the first in this region and the one of the very few of its kind the world to receive the international benchmark for leadership in energy and environmental design.
The 77,000 sq. ft new facility spread over 3.4 acres on the outskirts of Colombo boasts many modern technological and sustainable features. The facility was awarded LEED-NC: GOLD Certification under the newly established campus category, by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED-NC (campus) rating system is based on a 110 point system encompassing all areas of sustainable construction.
Some of the measures which Aitken Spence Printing has implemented are: 70% saving on portable water, 22% saving on energy, use of daylight for 100% of all regularly occupied spaces, 90% of construction waste diverted from landfill, 40% of the material used for construction accounted for locally, and many other design and operational measures.
With a heritage spanning over five decades, Aitken Spence is known as an innovative quality printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in fast moving consumer goods, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is also recognized as top quality printer for corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications.
“The LEED certification is another groundbreaking milestone for Aitken Spence Printing. Over the years, we have been able to offer many innovative solutions to our partners. Benchmarking our new printing facility on international green building standards, provide our partners with an enhanced environmentally friendly value addition”, said Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

The LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) Green Building Rating System provides guidance on implementing sustainability for new buildings and third party verification of the level of sustainability achieved. All LEED rating systems are voluntary, consensus-based national standards for high- performance, sustainable buildings. The LEED rating systems are a USGBC-sponsored program to encourage building owners to make their buildings sustainable and to maintain and improve sustainable practices over time. USGBC is the USA’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

Aitken Spence LEED (Gold) Certified Printing Complex

Aitken Spence LEED (Gold) Certified Printing Complex

Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director - Mr.J.M.S. Brito, Aitken Spence Printing Managing Director - Mr. P. Karunathilake, Aitken Spence Power Managing Director, Mr. D.de Mel and Officials From Aitken Spence Printing receiving LEED accreditation from the certifying officials.

Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director – Mr.J.M.S. Brito, Aitken Spence Printing Managing Director – Mr. P. Karunathilake, Aitken Spence Power Managing Director, Mr. D.de Mel and Officials From Aitken Spence Printing receiving LEED accreditation from the certifying officials.

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.

SAN_7276

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’.
IMG_2205BCCA Awards recieved by Aitken Spence
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.

Heritance Tea Factory Wins Two Prestigious Awards at the EU SWITCH-Asia Greening Hotels Awards 2012

14 Nov

Heritance Tea Factory walked away with the Best Green Hotel and Energy Conservation Champion Awards at the recently concluded EU-SWITCH Asia Greening Hotels Awards – 2012. The event was organized in conjunction with the prestigious annual CSR Awards of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to recognize the enhanced environmental performance of the hotels registered with the Project. Greening Sri Lankan Hotels is a European Commission funded project under the Switch-Asia programme targeted at enhancing the environmental performance of Sri Lankan hotels through improvement of energy, water and waste management systems while reducing the cost of operations and increasing the market acceptance that in turn promotes the hotels as ‘low carbon foot print green hotels’.

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.

Heritance Tea Factory a concept hotel was a 60-year-old dilapidated tea factory that was remodeled and conserved to a hotel. Since it commenced operation in 1996, Heritance Tea Factory has become one of the world’s most unusual places for a holiday where one can truly experience life as it were on a tea estate during the colonial era. The Hotel was re-branded as a ‘Heritance’ property in late 2009 after its complete refurbishment. Recognising that hotel does not stand in isolation but is part of its social and ecological environment, Aitken Spence Hotels sought a name that conveyed its commitment to the local community, its environment as well as to the expectations of discerning guests. Thus: Heritance – a merging of heritage and inheritance was established.

“We have over the years strived hard to improve our conservational practices while offering our guests luxury comforts. Guests and staff are actively encouraged to participate in energy, water and waste reduction. We are extremely proud to be recognized for the initiatives we have made over the years”, said Mr. Roshalal Perera, Executive General Manager, Heritance Tea Factory.

The Hotel has stringent policies on monitoring and recording energy usage which are maintained and audited through internal audits as per the environmental management systems which has been certified for ISO 14001 and Earth Check Silver certification. Heritance Tea Factory pioneered in introducing bio mass energy for the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka. The bio mass gasification plant introduced in 2007 uses a renewable source replacing the usage of depleting imported diesel. The quantity of Carbon Dioxide emitted is drastically reduced while foreign exchanged used to import fuel is saved. Further the community is financially benefited by the providing of wood to the Hotel to be used for the gasifier. All waste water generated by the Hotel is recycled and reused. This helps the Hotel save substantial amount of fresh water consumption. Aitken Spence Hotels has graduated from a “Three R’ to an internally developed “Seven R” recycling and conservation system, where all waste is turned into a resource. All kitchen waste from the property is used to produce bio gas which in turn is used to produce green tea at the Mini Organic Tea Factory, while the residual compost is used for growing organic tea and vegetables.

Heritance Hotels are renowned world over with distinctive and one of a kind architecture that is in sync with its natural surroundings. The brand places great importance on focusing on luxury that can be sustained, with minimum impact on the environment and communities in which they operate in.

Aitken Spence Hotels Powering the Future with Sustainable Energy

4 Oct

With international tourist arrivals reaching one billion in 2012, the tourism industry has recognized that it imperative for industry leaders and followers to accelerate their sustainable energy initiatives in order to guarantee the future development of the industry. It is promising to note that tourism currently leads the way in some of the world’s most innovative sustainable energy initiatives. Energy efficient upgrades to aircrafts, the shift to renewable fuel for aviation and cruise liners and energy solutions at hotels have helped place the tourism industry in the forefront of powering the sustainable energy wave.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation recognizing the importance of sustainable energy in the tourism industry, initiated this years World Tourism Day 2012 under the theme Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development, with official celebrations taking place in Maspalomas, Spain. This year’s theme aimed to highlight tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services.
Aitken Spence Hotels, a pioneer in the local tourism industry has continually been in the forefront of developing efficient hotel energy management systems by practicing the control of procedures, operations and equipment that contribute to the energy use in a hotel operation. The Company has already taken important steps towards the future by improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet.

The group has a comprehensive energy conservation policy and has concentrated on reducing its dependency on fossil fuels by switching to renewable energy. In a first for any hotel in Sri Lanka, a biomass gasifier was installed at Heritance Tea Factory and thereafter at Heritance Kandalama. The gasifier reduces 750 tonnes of carbon emissions per year by replacing diesel with grilicidia wood. With another first in the industry, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara broke new ground by being the first hotel in the country to enter into a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source. Continuing in its pioneering trend, Aitken Spence Hotels, had initiated to introduce ISO 50001:2011 as a tool to reduce energy consumption, having recognized the ever escalating energy cost and the impact on global warming due to the efforts to generate more energy. In its efforts, Heritance Ahungalla was recently certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011, the first resort in the world to do so.

“Aitken Spence Hotels have been practicing sustainability even before the advent of the triple bottom line approach. We are very enthusiastic in continuing in this trend and playing our part in reaching the United Nations goal of achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030 and position tourism at the center of the clean energy economies of the future,” said Mr.Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President, Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance.

Heritance Resorts Sweep Green and Individual Awards

3 Sep

Sri Lanka’s premier resort brand, Heritance Hotels & Resorts swept the green and individual awards at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Tourism Awards. Sri Lanka’s most internationally awarded hotel, Heritance Kandalama won the awards for Best Practices in Green Architecture and Best Green Practices in Accommodation. Chef Lalith Gunasekera of Heritance Ahungalla was awarded the coveted Best Chef of the Year award, while Kumara Karunarathne from Heritance Ahungalla was named the Best Employee of the Year and Best Restaurant Manager of the Year award went to Thushara Gunanaratne also of Heritance Ahungalla.

Aiming to recognise and reward excellence in the travel and tourism industry, thus promoting and enhancing the delivery of service standards, this year’s Sri Lanka Tourism Awards was held for the 5th consecutive year on the 30th of August.

Heritance Kandalama is routinely recognised as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world, setting industry benchmarks recognised and applied globally. It is also a supreme example of Bawa’s philosophy of adapting architecture to suit the environment.

Chef Lalith is one example of a truly loyal employee of the Aitken Spence Hotels chain. Since completing his training at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management he joined the Aitken Spence group at the Browns Beach Hotel in Negombo. Following a stint at the Hotel, he also played the role of an executive chef at Club Rannaalhi in The Maldives and the Waters Edge in Colombo, before settling down at Heritance Ahungalla. Frequently rewarded for his expertise, the Waters Edge being awarded the prestigious recognition of becoming the Most Outstanding Hotel Team, under the leadership of Chef Lalith, at the Culinary Art Competition in both 2005 and 2007 is perhaps most noteworthy.

Having worked in various capacities at Hill Top Kandy for a period of twenty years, Kumara Karunarathne was promoted and transferred to Heritance Ahungalla in 2010. Winning several service awards, such as the Best Wine Waiter of the Region award at a competition organised by Orient Lanka at the Hotel Swiss in Kandy, Kumara has time and time again been recognised for his potential and good works.

Thushara Gunanaratne is yet another success story. Since the start, he was a personality with tremendous public relations skills, who started treading in the path of success within a short time span of being in the industry. Today, Thushara brings with him a unique set of skills and capabilities, satisfying both internal and external customers as a restaurant manager at Heritance Ahungalla.

Speaking about Aitken Spence’s exceptional team, Malin Hapugoda, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels, commented, “Our employees represent the Company’s most important asset and, as such, are vital to its success. It is only thorough the strength of our team that we have been able to win accolades such as the awards won at this year’s Sri Lanka Tourism Awards; and for that, I would like to thank then immensely.”

Aitken Spence Hotels’ premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Famed for its distinctive properties, exquisite food, culinary art and exceptional service, Heritance Hotels & Resorts has over a period of time gained the reputation of being one of the best hospitality chains in the region.

A veteran in the Tourism industry, Aitken Spence Hotels is no stranger to these Awards. The industry giant has been dominating the awards for the past consecutive years, with Heritance Hotels & Resorts winning many coveted awards at last year’s event.

Heritance Ahungalla, was awarded the Best 5-Star Resort in the island, successfully taking over the baton from Heritance Kandalama who held the award for the last three consecutive years. This win secured for the resort a position in the prestigious Hall of Fame last year. In addition, Heritance Tea Factory emerged winners in the Best 4-Star Resort category for a second year. Further demonstrating the dominant position maintained by Heritance Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka, Heritance Kandalama was awarded the Best Host Hotel for Eco Tourism reaffirming the group’s commitment towards the environment.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Awards is the country’s premier tourism industry event held annually under the aegis of Sri Lanka Tourism. Providing an enviable platform for industry recognition, these awards pay tribute to organizations and individuals for their excellence and achievements, whilst contributing towards the strengthening and empowering of our nation’s tourism industry.

Green Award for Heritance Kandalama


Chef Lalith Best Chef of the Year


Best Restaurant Manager Thushara Gunaratne


Kumara Karunarathne Heritance Ahungalla Best Employee of the Year

Aitken Spence Hotels Awarded Most Energy Efficient Hotel for the Second Consecutive Year

24 Aug

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara emerged the most energy efficient hotel in Sri Lanka by winning the the highest accolade awarded in the large scale hotel sector at the Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards 2012 which concluded recently. This is the second consecutive year that Aitken Spence Hotels has been recognized at the awards. Last year Heritance Kandalama emerged the winner of the Gold Flame award and this year Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara won the Silver Flame Award which was the highest accolade awarded in the large scale hotel sector. Situated on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, the former Neptune Hotel was recognized for the efforts taken to leverage on innovative strategies in the area of renewable energy.
In addition to the Silver Award, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory were awarded merit certificates in the large scale hotel sector category while Bandarawela Hotel was awarded the merit certificate in the small scale hotel sector category. The Hotels were honoured for their ability to demonstrate year-on-year energy reductions along with ongoing sustainability processes and energy management strategies.

The Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards is an annual national event conducted by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority for private and public sector institutions with the aim of recognizing their contribution towards an energy efficient Sri Lanka. “We are delighted to have been recognized for the efforts we have taken towards efficient utilization, conservation and management of energy. Our hotels are constructed and operate with a strong, focused commitment towards reducing the environmental footprint associated with the development and operation of a hotel”, said Mr. Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President, Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara recently broke new ground by being the first hotel in the country to enter into a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source. The Government of Sri Lanka approved the concept of Net Metering in August 2009. Net Metering is a special metering and billing agreement entered between utility companies and their individual customers which facilitates the connection of small, renewable energy generating systems to the power grid. In addition, the hotel also has a solar hot water system for pre-heating the water before it is sent to the heat exchanger which acts as a storage for hot water. This reduces the furnace oil consumed by the boiler. The hotel will be saving 1,417 liters of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 tonnes. The hotel’s biogas plant uses kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which is utilized in the herbal preparation unit of the up-scale ayurveda resort.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts believe passionately in sustainable tourism and have been very active in engaging both guests and communities in promoting these ethics. Its sustainable practices have ranged from simple, hands-on activities like planting trees to more sophisticated areas such as on-site generation of renewable energy.
The group has a comprehensive energy conservation policy and has concentrated on reducing its dependency on fossil fuels by switching to renewable energy. In a first for any hotel in Sri Lanka, a biomass gasifier was installed at Heritance Tea Factory and thereafter at Heritance Kandalama. The gasifier reduces 750 tonnes of carbon emissions per year by replacing diesel with grilicidia wood. The use of locally farmed grilicidia wood instead of imported, and pollution causing, diesel not only saves the environment but also creates substantial employment opportunities for local farmers. The central heating and hot water in the hotels are supplied by this sustainable energy source. This not only reduces the carbon footprint but also paves the way to alleviating poverty by generating more employment opportunities locally while reducing the foreign exchange drained out on purchasing imported crude oil.
Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka’s first five-star resort, is the first resort to receive ISO 50001:2011 certification in the world. With the introduction of an Energy Management System, Heritance Ahungalla is now able to effectively manage energy consumption without compromising the guest comfort. It has enabled the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory energy efficiency targets and requirements of green house gas (GHG) emission reduction legislations.

“Aitken Spence Hotels have been practicing sustainability even before the advent of the triple bottom line approach. We are proud that we have been able to follow in the trend that has been set for us by our sister hotels. This commendation reflects Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara’s commitment towards energy efficiency and we are delighted that our efforts have been recognized”, said Mr Samantha Gunarathne, General Manager, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance.

Elpitiya Plantations recognised for Hydro Power Generation

11 Aug

Aitken Spence managed – Elpitiya Plantations PLC, which comprise of 16 estates of tea, rubber and palm oil; spread across three regions of Sri Lanka was awarded the prestigious “National Plantation Award 2012 for Generating Hydro Power of RCP sector” by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the National Plantation Awards 2012, held recently.

The award ceremony was held to recognize the contributions made to the national economy by growers, industrialists, factory owners, regional planters and exporters in the plantation sector.

Elpitiya’s diverse portfolio of estates include Dunsinane and New Peacock in the high and mid grown elevations and Deviturai and Talgaswela in the low grown elevations. The Company in 2003 initiated a project to reduce the cost of energy in its plantations by investing in hydro power. The project has over the years progressed to the building of two mini hydro power plant projects with a feeding capacity of 3560 KW and an average annual generation of 11.2GW to the country’s national grid.

Elpitiya built its first hydro power project in 2008 whilst it took a stake in another hydro power project built on the Dunsinane estate in 2006. The third project will be commissioned in December 2012 with a capacity of 900KW, which is currently under construction and is anticipated to generate 2.92GW of green energy to the national grid.

Dr. Rohan Fernando, Director and Head of Business Development and Plantations of Aitken Spence receiving the award from His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mr. Tony Goonewardena, CEO of Elpitiya Plantations said, “Being recognised at the National Plantation Award for the efforts of our hydro power projects is encouraging to push forward similar sustainable investments. Elpitiya has prospered over the years and will continue to grow by taking key decisions that create and contribute value not just to the business, but to the community and the nation as a whole”.

Environmental conservation is a key strategy for Elpitiya in the context of sustainable development. Apart from the growing of shade and other valuable trees on the estates, the company has set up water treatment plants in the rubber factories, developed systems for rainwater harvesting and also introduced several biological methods to control pest and diseases . Furthermore, the application of organic fertilizer on a sustainable basis to improve soil and preserve the environment has also been increased. Elpitiya has also taken several timely steps to reduce the cost of energy apart from investing into hydro power. Installation of several energy saving devices such as wood-fired hot water boilers, installation of capacitor banks in all the factories, installation of energy saving withering fans, have been some of the ongoing initiatives.

Four more projects are in the pipeline of the Company’s initiatives, from which the expected total capacity of 2600KW, with an average annual generation of 8.6GWh is anticipated. Two of these projects have obtained all the necessary approvals, including the BOI approval.