In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, employees of Sri Lanka’s premier private sector bank, HNB PLC attached to HNB Head Office left their vehicles at home – instead choosing eco- friendlier commuting options – as part of the bank’s inaugural Walk-The-Talk challenge.
On 31st August 2018, the carpark at HNB’s Head Office in Colombo 10 was left vacant as every employee reaffirmed their commitment to HNB’s Green Pledge, arriving at work after taking public transport or carpooling, while many more cycled or walked to work.
Upon their arrival, each employee was provided a glass of “Kola Kanda” (herbal energy drink). Staff enjoyed the company of each other on the footsteps of the Bank’s Head Office building, signifying the credo: ‘Passion in everything we do’.
“As one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most successful banks, we feel that it is incumbent on us to always seek out methods of reducing our carbon foot print. In the fight against climate change, even small actions can add up to a major positive change. Walk The Talk is our way of helping to initiate change and inspire action,” HNB Managing Director/CEO Jonathan Alles said.
In line with HNB’s Green Pledge to instill environmental standards and consciousness into every employees’ daily work and office environment, the first ever Walk-The-Talk was a tremendous success, with over 150 vehicles that would normally have arrived at HNB not being utilized, saving over 600 litres of fuel consumption and resultant emissions.
“With Walk The Talk, the HNB team is attempting to spark a positive change that will be sustained and grow exponentially over time. It is vital for the management to set a tone for sustainable initiatives. More important is employee engagement to ensure that an initiative is not only sustained but inculcated over time into the culture of our organization, and personal lifestyles of each of our employees.
“We foster a culture that encourages employees to actively engage with environmental causes. We aim to be an example for our industry, the wider corporate sector and the nation as a whole,” HNB, Deputy General Manager – HR/ Chief Human Resource Officer, Chiranthi Cooray stated.
The Green Pledge has been the central platform from which HNB’s sustainability initiatives have been launched. Moving forward, Cooray stated that Walk-The-Talk initiative will be gradually expanded in order to exponentially increase the effectiveness and impact of this initiative, each year.
HNB has also initiated multiple sustainability projects as part of the HNB Green Pledge including: tree planting, and e-waste campaigns in addition to investments into green buildings, energy efficient buildings, investments in renewable energy, a 3R policy, and the implementation of responsible sourcing practices.
From left: HNB’s employee Head Office carpark was left completely empty as the entire team got behind the Walk-The-Talk challenge, HNB COO, Dilshan Rodrigo and a group of HNB employees who left their vehicles behind and bicycled to work, Priyanka adding her signature to the long list of HNB employees who took part in the very first Walk The Talk challenge.