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HNB’s environmental sustainability journey receives ISO 14064 endorsement







 

Caption: (from left)

Sri Lanka Climate Fund, CEO, Chamara Ariyathilaka , Climate SI , CEO, H.M. Buddika Hemashantha,  HNB Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo, HNB Deputy General Manager - CHRO /CTO, L. Chiranthi Cooray and HNB OIC Sustainable Business , Shanel  Perera  

 

 

Marking a key milestone in its sustainability journey, HNB PLC has been awarded the ISO 14064 certification by the Sri Lanka Climate Fund, recognising the country’s leading private bank’s commitment to quantify, report and reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

This follows an independent assessment of the entire organisation, including the head office of HNB and its 252 branches across the island, performed in accordance with the globally recognised ISO 14064-3:2018 specification. 

HNB also carried out an organisation-wide assessment of its GHG inventory, performed by Climate Smart Initiatives (Pvt) Ltd, in accordance with ISO 14064-1: 2018 specification. This revealed a carbon footprint of 9,592 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent for the 2021 calendar year for ‘operationally controlled business activities’ falling under the bank’s purview. Following the audit, HNB was awarded a ‘Carbon Conscious Certificate’. 

“Adopting a scientific, globally-recognised methodology to verify the carbon emissions of the entire bank paves the way for HNB to accurately assess and improve our environmental sustainability performance each year,” HNB Executive Director/ Chief Operating Officer , Dilshan Rodrigo said. “Climate change, caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions, is creating challenges both locally and globally. It’s important that the private sector steps up to tackle this critical issue and that we do so in a scientific and concerted manner, to achieve meaningful results.” 

The verification of HNB’s GHG emissions will hereafter be carried out annually, allowing the bank to benchmark its performance and implement cohesive strategies to reduce its carbon footprint. The bank has accordingly formulated a ‘carbon management plan’ as part of its efforts linked with achieving ISO 14064 – a global initiative which seeks to combat climate change by reducing GHG emissions. 

HNB has already implemented a series of comprehensive environmental sustainability measures which focus on both reducing the bank’s own carbon footprint, as well as supporting organisations and projects operating in sectors like renewable energy. The bank’s renewable energy portfolio, including funding provided to solar, mini-hydro and wind power projects, now exceeds Rs. 7.3 billion. 

As part of its ‘Climate Smart Initiatives,’ each employee of the bank undertakes the ‘HNB Green Pledge,’ through which they pledge to integrate environmentally-friendly practices into their daily activities both at work and at home. The initiative, now in its 13th year, continues to educate employees on environmental responsibility and garners support for various initiatives by the bank to address climate change. 

The bank’s most notable environmental initiatives include its strong digitisation drive, which has reduced or in some cases even completely eliminated the need for paper-based processes. Complementing this effort, HNB has also ramped up recycling, engaging the services of professional recyclers. The bank now assesses the sustainability practices of its vendors and suppliers and has adopted e-procurement, making the process ‘greener’ as well as more transparent and efficient. 

Moreover, HNB is actively promoting services and practices which are improving sustainability at the customer end. These include cashless/digital payments and transfers and providing e-statements instead of physical customer statements. 

HNB branches also make optimum use of natural light and have installed LED lighting, state of the art building management systems and energy-efficient lifts and chillers. In addition, as part of its branch solarisation project, 95 HNB branches had been solarised by the end of 2021. The bank’s total solar generation capacity stood at 2,638 MWh at the end of 2021. 

With 256 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically-innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd. The bank was also ranked among the World’s Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.



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