From Left to Right – Amal De Silva Wijeyeratne - Managing Director/ CEO, Rockland Distilleries; Devinda de Silva Wijeyeratne - Operations Director, Rockland Distilleries; Sajeewa Ranasinghe - Asst. Manager - Sustainability Assurance and Advisory Services, SFG; Hasini Siriwardana - Project Lead - LCA, Carbon & Waste Management, CCC; Ruwanthi Halwala - Asst. Manager - Client Relationship Management, CCC.
Rockland Distilleries engaged with Sri Lanka’s foremost provider of Integrated Sustainability Solutions – The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) to assess the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from its distillery operations in Marawila, Sri Lanka. Upon completion of the assessment, Rockland Distilleries invested in a green project in Sri Lanka to obtain Carbon Credits to match the distillery’s Carbon Footprint, and was subsequently awarded the ‘ZeroCarbon® Operations’ Certification by The Sustainable Future Group (SFG) – one of the region’s leading sustainability verification and certification firms.
An Organisational Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Assessment quantifies the total GHGs produced directly and indirectly from the operational activities of an organisation. This GHG Assessment was based on The GHG Protocol, developed in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).
The GHG Assessment enabled the Rockland distillery to measure the impact of its operations on the environment, and in turn allowed for better management and mitigation of its operational emissions. Such initiatives also raise awareness on the issues of Climate Change and the role that corporations must play to curtail the adverse impacts of Global Warming, both locally and globally, in the long run.
The assessment was then independently verified by The Sustainable Future Group (SFG), as per its own proprietary ZeroCarbon® Guideline, which guarantees the integrity and credibility of their clients’ carbon neutrality claims and enables them to be certified as “ZeroCarbon®”.
The Carbon Offsets for the distillery were generated from the ‘Hiniduma Bio-link Project’ in Sri Lanka, which was Asia’s FIRST Forestry Project to be certified under the globally recognised Carbon Offset Standard ‘Plan Vivo’. The Hiniduma Bio-link Project seeks to protect Sri Lanka’s surviving rainforest cover, which has now been reduced to just 29.7%. This is done by establishing a biodiversity corridor between two large remnant disturbed rainforest patches namely; Singharaja and Kanneliya in Sri Lanka, which also ensures the conservation of buffer zones around the forest edges. The project reduces the pressure on the forest by the local communities in the surrounding areas and facilitates the conservation of remaining rainforest patches. In addition to the project contributing to increasing Sri Lanka’s forest cover, it also has a social aspect where it supports locals in the area through developing their livelihoods and providing opportunities for self-employment, with regular training programmes. The recent formation of a Community Based Organisation also ensures that the local community is empowered to manage the local daily project activities and facilitates community engagement.
The shift to transparent reporting and further improvements to the operations of the Rockland distillery reflect a responsible approach to ensuring long-term sustainability for the company and its stakeholders. This also allows Rockland Distilleries to be in a better position to adapt to the inherent risks associated with climate change and create opportunities and join the ranks of other companies leading the way in aligning their corporate strategies with better sustainability management.