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Aitken Spence Hotels introduces LEED certified architecture to Maldives with Heritance Aarah

26 Sep

Aitken Spence Hotels, a subsidiary of Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, took its premier brand Heritance beyond the shores of Sri Lanka for the first time, with the introduction of Heritance Aarah earlier this year.

Heritance Aarah embraces the brand promise of the Heritance chain of hotels, where tradition is alive.  The property is nestled in an island in Raa Atoll, just a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the Male International Airport. With five successful Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each boasting of inimitable stories of culture merging with hospitality and comfort, the move to open this latest resort comes with the expansion plans of Aitken Spence Hotels.

Coincidentally, Aitken Spence Hotels was also the first Sri Lankan resort operator to venture overseas for hospitality services with its entrance to the Maldives with the Adaaran hotel chain. The well-established Adaaran Resorts includes the stunning Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Adaaran Club Rannalhi and Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. Heritance Aarah joins this élite group of properties with a unique proposition of quintessentially traditional, curated experiences delicately woven into a five-star luxury resort.

Akin to the Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each strategically designed in exciting locations, the island of Aarah on which the resort lies is home to a large lagoon and reef, welcoming guests to a tropical tapestry of the perpetual paradise that is Maldives.

Operating as a premier all-inclusive resort, Heritance Aarah consists of 150 villas including 26 intimate luxury duplex ocean suites, 56 sunset ocean villas and 68 land villas ranging from beach villas to pool beach villas, family beach villas and family pool beach villas. Designed to inspire and custom-built to immerse guests in the scenic sights and soothing sounds of the ocean surrounding the island, Heritance Aarah is adorned with earthly hues and vibrant blues.

Guests can indulge in the many charms of the island at a poolside bar and an open-air rooftop venue while ocean suite guests can enjoy a more exclusive space with three separate bars. With nine outlets for guests to experience diverse cuisines, the culinary culture unfolded at the resort is intended to promote exclusive gastronomic delights from around the world. The six restaurants offer a wide range of flavours from Asia, Europe, Middle East to Latin America. The award-winning F&B team of Heritance Aarah has illustrated their exceptional culinary skills clinching 19 Golds at the Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2019 competition, the highest number won by an individual property.

Accentuating this impressive offering are the the overwater infinity pool and the medi-spa equipped to cater to the rising demand in the wellness segment with state-of-the-art treatments and equipment. The spa, with six treatment rooms set over the lagoon with views of the eastern coast of the island, provides a range of high-end wellness and pampering treatments, salon services, beauty treatments and programmes. From weight loss to anti-aging treatments, massage therapy to body care, facial care to revitalisation programmes, Heritance Aarah is set to become a destination for those pursuing wellness combined with leisure and luxury.

With variety being the spice of life, the resort hosts a dive and water sports centre, a range of excursions and adventures, an interactive and engaging kids club, and traditional local activities to present a unique luxury holiday experience to guests. Keeping with the brand promise of Heritance to promote culture and tradition at the forefront, the resort unveiled an exciting calendar of daily activities including coconut leaf art workshops, cookery demonstrations for traditional sweets and dishes, traditional Maldivian bodu beru drumming and a memorable local island dinner.

The resort also follows the ingrained ethos of sustainability and ethical commitments of the Aitken Spence Hotels group. Heritance Aarah has drawn the best practices from the Group and has successfully implemented many an initiative which includes (but not limited to) reduction of single use plastic, coral reef restoration and sustainable sourcing with close integration with local communities. Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to attain the LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – the most widely used green building rating system in the world).

Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health. Given the increasing demand and pace of green building in the hospitality sector, LEED is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems by the U.S. Green Building Council. Having achieved the Gold level certification from the most widely used green building rating system reiterates the sustainability commitment of Aitken Spence Hotels group.

“Our strategies to expand are led by guests’ expectations and design-led refurbishments to enrich the experience at our properties. A key priority is to ensure our resorts contribute positively to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystems we operate in. We are proud that we were able to introduce the Heritance brand to the Maldives as the first LEED Gold certified property in the islands,” commented Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management.

“I give credit to the team that has worked tirelessly and conducted extensive research and integrated innovative and sustainable strategies to reduce the carbon and water footprint by 30% and 55% respectively,” she asserted. “These have been successfully implemented and have aided in creating a healthier and safer working environment while maximising guest comfort. These strategies I believe, have contributed towards achieving this milestone for Heritance Aarah.”

Heritance Aarah has opened its doors with a distinctive experience, offering guests a truly one of a kind holiday.

For more details, visit www.heritancehotels.com/aarah.

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Aitken Spence Travels continues to be Carbon Neutral

4 Jul

Aitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s largest inbound tour operator has achieved “Carbon Neutral” status for the financial year 2018/2019. The Company offset its carbon footprint by purchasing United Nations Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) through biomass-based power project. The carbon neutrality status has been achieved for organisational level operations within the boundary of Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt) Ltd, 4th floor, Tower 2, 315, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 2.

The organisational level greenhouse gas emission and removals were assessed in accordance with ISO 14064-1: 2006 & Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and been verified by the National Cleaner Production Center in Sri Lanka. The Scope covered in the assessment includes company-owned vehicle fleet, employee commuting, employee business travels, fire extinguishers, water consumption, grid electricity and its transmission and distribution loss.

The journey of reducing its carbon footprint started six years ago when Aitken Spence Travels took measures to mitigate the impact it made on the environment. In 2012, the entire process was audited by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund. Going forward, Aitken Spence Travels intends to offer carbon neutral tours as part of the larger sustainability initiative titled as the ‘Travel Kindly’ brand. This initiative is in place to promote responsible travel options.

Tourists visiting Sri Lanka through Aitken Spence Travels can choose to be a part of the Company’s sustainability initiatives such as minimising carbon footprint when partaking in tours and excursions designed to have minimum impact on the environment. Moreover, Aitken Spence Travels promotes nature-based excursions, and educates tourists on best practices to follow and to influence responsible tourism practices in the industry. The destination management operation also promotes less visited national parks in Sri Lanka to reduce congestion in popular national parks that tends to impose a strain on the wildlife of these locations. The dedicated team of Aitken Spence Travels is empowered with insights to responsible tourism through employee engagement campaigns and educational discussion forums with industry experts.

“Our carbon neutral status affirms Aitken Spence Travels’ commitment towards environmental protection and promoting eco-friendly business and production practices. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the top management and dedicated staff members which have collectively been the success factors in achieving the carbon neutral status. commented Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

“We actively promote sustainable tourism practices as we understand our impact to the community and environment when carrying out our operations. Aitken Spence Travels takes proactive steps in creating a demand for environment conscious tourists while ensuring its tourism practices are sustainable”, he added.

Aitken Spence Travels obtained the Travelife Partnership Certification for the operations keeping in line with global sustainable tourism practices and has a longstanding partnership with TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company. Aitken Spence Travels won the Best Inbound Tour Operator award under the category of Travel & Tourism Operator – Large, at the National Tourism Awards 2018 conducted by The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. The first destination management company to obtain ISO 9001:2008 was none other than Aitken Spence Travels. Furthermore, the Company’s operations are ISO 14001:2015 certified for their efforts towards environmental impact control.

Aitken Spence Travels affirmed its market leadership position by facilitating over 200,000 visitors to Sri Lanka in the financial year 2018/19. The Group’s destination management arm, handles inbound and outbound tour packages for groups, FIT and the MICE segments which operates in a highly competitive business environment.

Officials of Aitken Spence Travels and National Cleaner Production Center (NCPC) at the presentation exchange of the Endorsement of Greenhouse gas inventory of Aitken Spence Travels.

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Rumalka Amanthi, Junior Executive, Aitken Spence Travels, Upul Kumara, Assistant Manager, Aitken Spence Travels, Tikiri Ellepola, Chief Operating Officer, Aitken Spence Travels, Samantha Kumarasena, Chief Executive Officer, National Cleaner Production Center Sri Lanka and Harshini Rananjali, RECP-technologist, National Cleaner Production Center Sri Lanka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aitken Spence PLC Crowned Overall Winner at the ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards 2018

6 Jun

Leading blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC was recently adjudged the ‘Overall Winner’ at the ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards 2018. ACCA Sri Lanka has felicitated Sri Lanka’s best sustainability reports for over 15 years.

In addition to receiving the most prestigious award of the event, Aitken Spence PLC was declared a Joint Winner in the ‘Conglomerates & Diversified Category’. The Sustainability Reporting Awards are held with the objective of recognising and rewarding organisations which report and disclose information on environmental and social performance, and to encourage corporate transparency, accountability and responsiveness to stakeholders.

With selections carried out by an eminent panel of judges, the ceremony acknowledged corporates for their efforts to raise awareness across a broad range of aspects dedicated to sustainable development. The Aitken Spence PLC annual report was evaluated, succeeding against ACCA’s main judging criteria of completeness, credibility and communication. Aitken Spence PLC was also the joint winner of the Conglomerates and Diversified category.

By aligning its sustainability strategy and reporting procedures with global best practices and benchmark such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the 7 Women’s Empowerment Principles, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Reporting Initiative and the guidelines of the International Integrated Reporting Council, Aitken Spence PLC implemented a holistic approach to its sustainability commitments with a long-term perspective that is reflected in the triple bottom line.

“At Aitken Spence PLC, we view sustainability as a prerequisite towards resilient growth.  With a focus on long term value creation, the Company’s sustainability efforts are directed and guided from the top management in order to adopt a strategic approach for corporate sustainability. In a group having 16 lines of industry in four business sectors and diverse segments of stakeholders across different communities, sustainability has been integrated into the very spirit of the organisation to ensure longevity in its business environments.

We are delighted and humbled by this recognition for our work. The unwavering dedication and support shown by the team and that combined with the systems and procedures that we have in place has been our winning formula throughout the years. Having marked the sesquicentennial of the Aitken Spence Group last year, we remain committed to working towards sustaining the long-term viability, profitability and integrity of our businesses,” commented Dr. Rohan Fernando, Head of Business Development and Sustainability at Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence PLC was also one of the country’s first companies to sign the United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Aitken Spence is the reigning winner of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability award for two successive years while being the only company in Sri Lanka to be ranked among the Top 10 Corporate Citizens for an unprecedented 13 consecutive years.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983 and marking its 150th-year milestone in 2018, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travel, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Insurance and Apparel sectors.

‘Overall Winner’ – ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards 2018. Accepting the award, Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam, Chief Financial Officer of Aitken Spence PLC.

 

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

13 Aug

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.