High-Profile UK Delegation Explores Unilever’s Operations at Horana Factory

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A delegation led by Lord Davies of Abersoch, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka and His Excellency Andrew Patrick, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka visited Unilever Sri Lanka’s factory in the Horana BOI Zone recently to experience the facility’s advanced capabilities in manufacturing, social and environmental governance. The esteemed delegation was given a tour of the Horana factory to witness first-hand, the local production of some of the best-known global British brands, and understand key sustainability initiatives, community engagement activities and upskilling programmes spearheaded by Unilever in Sri Lanka. Unilever’s manufacturing journey in Sri Lanka began with the setting up of its first manufacturing facility in 1940 which was subsequently   relocated to Horana in 2012 with an investment of LKR 5 billion. In 2017, a further investment of LKR 7.5 billion was made to transform it into a state-of-the-art facility. Today some Sri Lanka’s best loved brands including Sunlight, Lux, Lifebuoy, Signal, and Pears Baby are manufactured at the Horana factory.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka added, “We were amazed to see the capabilities of the Horana factory which reflect strength and innovative spirit of Sri Lanka, made possible by Unilever Sri Lanka leadership’s commitment to developing a competitive business environment and focusing on developing specialized talent and expertise. I was pleased to learn how these brands have become local household favourites and Unilever Sri Lanka’s pivotal role for over 85 years in raising the industrial sector’s contribution to the national economy. I am keen to support British companies as they look to enter or grow their existing business with Sri Lanka improving ease of doing business and to support Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable economic recovery.”

His Excellency Andrew Patrick, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka noted, “I am happy to see Unilever Sri Lanka’s Horana factory employ some of the latest technologies and advanced solutions in the fields of manufacturing and warehousing, in addition to maintaining the high standards of sustainability and alternative energy. I am pleased that Unilever has recently laid the foundation for a new factory and invested in an ambitious solar project at the Horana factory, which further demonstrates the company’s long-term plans and commitment to the Sri Lankan market.”

Commenting on the occasion, Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson and Managing Director, Unilever Sri Lanka said, “We were honored to host the distinguished UK delegation led by His Excellency Andrew Patrick, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Lord Davies of Abersoch, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka, and other UK dignitaries at our Horana premises. Unilever is a business founded on a sense of purpose, and our unique heritage still shapes the way we do business today. We are proud to showcase to the delegation the vast strides we have made at the Horana factory for them to gain an insight into how Unilever Sri Lanka contributes to the national economy of Sri Lanka. Being in Sri Lanka for 85 years we have always focused on creating local jobs, equipping our teams with future fit skills, and continuing to develop an environment that contributes to enhancing the sector’s success based on the foundations of innovation, sustainability and ability to shape the future.”

The Horana plant is designed to tackle climate change by reducing consumption of natural resources through rainwater harvesting, waste footprint reduction, heat energy recovery, greenhouse gas reduction and the usage of renewable energy. Unilever Sri Lanka achieved a milestone in its journey towards achieving diversity and inclusion by recruiting its first-ever female workforce at Horana. Furthermore, the plant has also been honoured with the ISO 14001:2015 certification by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI), which recognizes the company’s commitment to identify, manage and reduce its impact on the environment from its operations, through a comprehensive Environmental Management System.

As one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in Sri Lanka, Unilever Sri Lanka has a retail reach of over 100,000 outlets, and services the whole of Sri Lanka through a network of over 50 distributors island wide, indirectly providing employment opportunities to 3,500+ people. Its current product portfolio includes 30 market-leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Consumables. 97% of its products are manufactured locally, to the strictest manufacturing standards as it continues to be at the forefront of setting industry standards.

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