The Bank of Ceylon was recently awarded the GREENS Gold Rating at the GBSL Awards Ceremony 2017 organized by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka with special reference to the bank’s Kekirawa branch building which was built according to eco-friendly standards.
The award ceremony took place with the participation of the Chairman of the ‘World Green Building Council’ as the Chief Guest at the Earl’s Regency Hotel, Kandy. The bank’s Kekirawa branch was refurbished and re-built in early 2017 using minimal environmentally hazardous methods and materials whilst minimizing the cost by recycling and up-cycling materials that were taken from the previous building. BOC Kekirawa branch was one of the three initial branches to be converted as a Green branch and the other two were Kilinochchi and Thissamaharama branches. Currently BOC maintains twenty branches under ‘Green Banking Concept’.
When re-furbishing, the branch’s minimal material usage and use of eco-friendly materials were taken into account and improved to give a better environmental quality. The interior of the Kekirawa branch is designed to let in as much daylight as possible to minimize the usage of electricity during day time whilst using batten type LED bulbs with a specially manufactured diffuser system and at the same time Solar panels were fixed to produce 83 percent of the electricity used by the branch. All necessary fixtures and fittings are environmentally certified. These include air conditioners that have inverter technology, automated fresh air ducting and are CFC free. They measure indoor air quality with CO2 meters.
The branch also includes a vertical green garden that helps to maintain a comfortable interior temperature and which refreshes air and improves air quality and uplifts the overall atmosphere. These green gardens are maintained through a supply of rain water whenever possible through the rain water harvesting system that is installed within the branch. Well planned landscaping allowed the branch to save 25 percent of the energy compared to a similar type of base building.
“Moving forward the Bank has formulated its comprehensive sustainability policy to address strategic placement of procedures and processes to strengthen the triple bottom line: social, economic and environmental pillars. “Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility is embedded into the Sustainable Policy of the Bank. The strategic implementation of digital transformation that commenced in early 2014 have gradually replaced many of traditional procedures, policies and technologies and has laid down a solid foundation for the Bank to embark on -Green Banking,” stated the General Manager D.M. Gunasekara. The Bank of Ceylon has been engaged in green initiatives such as E- Learning, altering internal systems and processes to be tech-savvy, thereby achieving a minimized carbon footprint, paper recycling and E-waste management apart from maintaining green branches. Engaging the society to walk along with this noble initiative the Bank planted 100,000 trees in line with the bank’s 75th anniversary in 2014 gathering school children and public from all over the country. The Bank continues to maintain these planted trees. BOC was also recognized as the highest financial assistance provider for Solar Power technology, at the ceremony held to mark the generation of 100Mega Watts through renewable energy organized by the Ministry of Power and Energy.