Consolidating a legacy of true leadership in sustainability, good governance and corporate excellence, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC, secured a resounding victory at the prestigious Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2022 (CCC BCCSA).
Having been declared Overall Winner of the coveted ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award’ for 2022, HNB went on to dominate the BCCSA 2022, securing an additional 4 accolades including being ranked among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens – a position which HNB has achieved for 13 years.
“The past three years have challenged our organization, tested the resilience of Sri Lanka’s economy, and the spirit of our people time and again. Yet, in our efforts to achieve our corporate goals, we made a conscious effort to never lose sight of what matters most: our shared values, and our collective responsibility to nurture sustainable growth, particularly at the grassroots of the Sri Lankan economy.
“While there are many more challenges ahead, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continuously drive operational excellence, while extending a helping hand to the communities, lives and livelihoods that we are connected to. We will continue to serve as Sri Lanka’s partner in progress – in good times and bad,” HNB Managing Director/CEO Jonathan Alles said.
HNB was also crowned Sustainability Champion for the Finance Sector in recognition of its systemic national contributions in supporting Sri Lanka’s transition towards renewable energy, and grassroots-led economic development, as well as the multi-pronged environmental and social campaigns led by the HNB Sustainability Foundation.
These included the employee-led flagship HNB Oba Venuwen Api initiative launched in 2020 to support deserving communities across the island. The Hatna family has since supported Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector with essential medicine and medical equipment, in addition to launching a nutrition drive to support 1,000 expectant mothers from disadvantaged communities. HNB further committed to providing a stable financial future for their children by encouraging each mother to open a Singithi Kirikatiyo account with a deposit of Rs. 1,000 provided by the bank.
The Oba Venuwen Api initiative also resulted in the accumulation of a further Rs. 25.1 million which was offered as grants to 251 microfinance customers. The funds ensured the revival of businesses supporting small communities affected by the COVID pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis.
With rising concerns over Sri Lanka’s food security, HNB also initiated its pioneering Saru Ge-Watte campaign, partnering with local farmers in the Central Province, and utilizing the bank’s extensive branch and customer network to create new markets and opportunities for them to sell their produce during the peak of last year’s fuel crisis. Additionally, the bank also provided material support to promote home gardening in urban areas and help enhance regional food security.
Additionally, HNB further strengthened its commitment to environmental conservation by restoring and managing a 2.5-hectare block of degraded rainforest land through Project LIFE, an initiative which the bank has supported for the past 4 years. Similarly, HNB continued to build on novel initiatives like HNB Walk The Talk – promoting eco-friendly commuting among its employees.
Reaffirming the bank’s commitment to sustainability, HNB Chief Human Resource Officer and Head of the HNB Sustainable Business, L. Chiranthi Cooray, said: “We have always aimed to set the standard for sustainability among Sri Lankan corporates. While our initiatives and campaigns are rooted in supporting environmental and social change among the community and the country at large, we are also focused on creating a sustainable environment for our employees by streamlining our processes and embedding employee well-being into our corporate strategies. I thank our regional and branch leadership for their unwavering support and dedication towards helping disadvantaged communities through our community outreach programme.”
Notably, HNB’s outstanding efforts in keeping staff and customers safe, and its extensive support offered to customers including targeted capital moratoriums and working capital loans for SMEs, efforts and its pivot into sophisticated digital banking products during the pandemic, helped secure HNB’s award in the Demonstrated Resilient Practices for COVID-19 category.
Organised by the CCC for the 19th consecutive year, the awards are designed to showcase Sri Lankan corporates adopting best practices and delivering effective progress on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Evaluated by national experts in sustainability, this year’s awards drew 27 applications – among the largest pool in the BCCSA’s history - including Sri Lanka’s leading corporates.
With 256 customer centres, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative private banks. Consolidating its reputation for banking excellence, HNB ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for the sixth consecutive year in 2022, in addition to being crowned the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 12th occasion at the prestigious International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2022 hosted by the Asian Banker Magazine.