CBL Group named Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen in Sustainability for 2020

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The CBL Group was awarded first place at the recently held 17th Annual Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2020. Organized by the Chamber of Commerce, the award is 

the highest recognition of the private sector for sustainability and good corporate citizenship.

The award recognizes CBL’s contribution to creating meaningful growth across its value chain and beyond and assesses its commitment to sustainable business practices. The win reflects CBL’s sustainability journey, having been in the top 10 Best Corporate Citizens in Sustainability in Sri Lanka consistently for 14 years.

“Through our food we are helping to change lives for the better in every part of Sri Lanka. This is a constantly evolving journey and not one that we can do alone and we rely on our value chain partners to support us to achieve our purpose so, ensuring that our partners and our consumers grow with us is a very important part of our business. We are very proud to have won first place the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards and grateful to our consumers for the opportunity to contribute to the growth of Sri Lanka.” Says CBL’s Group Managing Director Sheamalee Wickramasingha.

CBL’s value chain reaches backwards to its network of over 13,000 conventional and organic farmers who supply the greens, grains, fruits, vegetables and spices used in its diverse product portfolio. Ensuring the stability and security of its farmer network is crucial to maintaining secure high quality agricultural raw material inputs and the company is determined to achieve this through improving livelihoods and creating better access to growth for its farmers. In Financial Year (FY) 2019/20 alone, CBL contributed over Rs. 6 Billion to the sector through agriculture purchasing. The Group has invested in excess of Rs. 2.5 Billion to mechanize, automate and develop competencies in the agriculture sector and is actively involved in promoting good health and wellness for its farmers through the ‘Govi Pawula’ programme.

Despite the tremendous challenges of a sudden lockdown at the end of a tumultuous year and a complete halt of its operations, CBL’s companies were able to rally very quickly to adapt to the COVID safety requirements and resume operations. As an essential player in the food supply chain, the company focused on getting its products to its consumers and ensuring that there was no shortage in the products that consumers rely on. To achieve this the Group streamlined its vast portfolio to manufacture consumer essential food needs and focused on managing staff constraints. Tackling resource consumption and waste were also key priorities with heavy investments made in shifting to renewable energy, reducing its impact in farming and tackling waste.

CBL’s partnership with the International Finance Cooperation to empower its retailers and distributors for a future ready retail sector, CBL’s Senehasin Jayamaga, aims to build competencies for over 5,000 distributors and sales staff in the CBL network.  By 2023, the project will support 40% of CBL’s distributor network to shift towards digital payment methods and double the number of women in its network.

CBL’s brands also carry out extensive work to uplift communities. Munchee Tikiri Shishyadara is the largest scholarship programme of the private sector and has granted over 3000 scholarships to date. Munchee Samaga Gamata Sarana builds essential rural infrastructure and Ritzbury is a strong driver of Sri Lankan Sports and athletics. CBL brands like Samaposha, Nutriline, Lankasoy and Sera help develop better nutrition and food habits in communities providing convenient nutrition for every meal.

Text Box: The CBL team with the coveted Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award.CBL also won an award for the manufacturing sector. The stringent evaluation process for the award is highly competitive, with an eminent panel of judges evaluating submissions from listed and unlisted companies across Sri Lankan industry.

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