Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB) was rewarded by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) when it was crowned First Runner Up in the Turnover Less Than Rs.15 billion category, Best Sustainability Project for the Green Ninja Project, and accorded a Merit Certificate for its ‘Act Early’ for Autism Awareness project.
CDB’s unwavering commitment to best practices in sustainability has been continuously recognised at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards. The company attained first runner up in the same category for two years consecutively, both this year and previously in 2016 as well, while winning the coveted top award in the Turnover Less Than Rs. 15 Bn Category in 2015, when it was also named one of the Ten Best Corporate Citizens.
For CDB Deputy CEO/CFO Damith Tennakoon, these wins are a route to further strengthening CDB’s unique brand of sustainability, where he urges his team to walk the talk. “To be placed among the country’s topmost corporate citizens by an august entity like the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce repeatedly, surely underlines that CDB’s thought process and action plan on sustainability is a business imperative. The success we have garnered over 20 years, despite intense challenges, has seen us take our place among the top seven NBFIs in the country, which while being no mean feat, also emphasises that the nucleus upon which our business model is built is a strong and holistic sustainability ethos that thrives on a stakeholder mindset.”
The Green Ninja CDB Quiz Master 2017 initiative that won the Best Sustainability Project Award further highlights CDB’s unrelenting focus on its sustainability fundamentals - quality of life that must be sustained and grown through green practices that assure a healthy planet, sharing knowledge, encouraging leadership and enabling growth of individuals, communities and the nation. The company’s green commitment is well evidenced with it being the first ISO 14064-1 carbon verified financial institution in South Asia accredited by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund, which drove it to moot a pioneering mindset, one result of which is seen in the Green Ninja initiative organised by the G Squared=Go Green Club.
This unique quiz which cascaded the green message to the members across all CDB branches held the quiz over three rounds including the Grand Finale with over 100 participants representing 80 percent of the network, with the winners being presented eco-friendly trophies in keeping with best green practices. The levels of knowledge were considered extremely high as the various teams answered a multitude of questions on five themes based on water, waste management, energy, biodiversity and climate change which included those given by the Business Bio Diversity Platform Sri Lanka. “Our aim was to spread the environmental message throughout our operational network,” explains Tennakoon. “By making each individual responsible for their actions, inbuild conservation and infuse a greener culture aligned to CDB’s sustainability agenda, we gave these young men and women the power to raise their green voice.
Act Early for Autism, the Autism Awareness Project launched by CDB in 2016 and which heralded a Merit Certificate deserves worthy mention due to the company publicising an issue that for the most remains unspoken of, unattended or simply ignored. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association for Child Development, CDB invested in a three phase project that included the setting up of an Autism Trust Fund, a mass media campaign, a hotline at the CDB Customer Care Center and disseminated information through Tri-lingual poster campaigns via mobile clinics and outreach programmes conducted at rural hospitals across the country. The company will augment the fund further by bringing in the customers into the equation, where for each contribution of one million Rupees (business secured) disbursed and deposits mobilised Rs.100 will be added to the fund.