The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has become the first Sri Lankan bank to achieve carbon neutrality for the entirety of its operations, encompassing all 268 branches and its head office – a monumental milestone in the Bank’s commitment to the environment.
Becoming a net-zero carbon company was one of Commercial Bank’s Green Goals, to be achieved by the close of its centenary year in 2020.
The Bank’s carbon neutral status has been affirmed by Climate Smart Initiatives (Pvt) Ltd., which executed the quantification of the Bank’s carbon footprint in accordance with the ISO 14064‐1‐2018 standard.
A total of 13 emission sources covering both direct and indirect emission sources of the Bank were considered for this analysis. Additionally, the Sri Lanka Climate Fund operating under the Ministry of Environment performed an independent third-party verification in accordance with the ISO 14064-3-2018 guidelines and awarded the prestigious ISO 14064 certificate to the Bank.
Commenting on this achievement, Commercial Bank Managing Director Mr S. Renganathan said: “This is what success looks like to us; working towards the enhancement of shareholder returns without compromising the Bank’s responsibility to society and the environment.
The Bank began the process of measuring its carbon footprint in 2017 as its first step to reducing its environmentally harmful emissions. Mitigation actions such as the installment of solar PV systems, efficient AC systems,
LED lighting and such were introduced even before the carbon footprint measuring process began. Currently, 49 branches of the Bank are powered partially or entirely by solar energy.
The Bank’s multifaceted Green initiatives that contributed to its carbon neutrality status and achieving its Green
Goals include lending to support eco-friendly operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, reducing consumption of non-renewable energy, water, and other resources in its own operations, and support to community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment.
Commercial Bank financed the first commercially viable wind power project and the first commercial-scale solar power project developed in Sri Lanka.
It also continues to support projects that focus on renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, waste management, emission reductions, drip irrigation, and rainwater harvesting. The Bank is also involved in the formulation of a Sustainable Banking Initiative (SBI) in the country in partnership with 18 members of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association.