(MENAFN - Colombo Gazette) rengthening its sustainability Program, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) collaborating with the Ministry of Environment, working to protect the biodiversity of the central hills in Sri Lanka.
The MOU was signed between Hon. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment and Dinesh Ambani, Chairman, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates. This initiative was inaugurated during a recent visit by the Minister to the company's plantations.
Speaking at the event, Minister Amaraweera said, 'We understand the urgency to take action to preserve some of our most precious natural resources, to plant more trees to prevent global warming and future catastrophes. I commend Bogawantalawa's initiative as the first company to come forward to join the National Programme and collaborate with the Ministry, significantly contributing in our efforts towards environmental conservation.'
The Minister added, 'Leading the way in sustainability in the sector, Bogawantalawa has over the years implemented several conservation activities in their plantations and can be portrayed as a shining example among other entities including government organizations. The support of Bogawantalawa in our reforestation initiative is greatly appreciated.'
Acclaimed as the leader being the world's leading sustainable tea growing, manufacturing and marketing company Bogawantalawa aims to contribute towards strengthening conservation activities in the central hills.
Conducted through the 'Husma Dena Thuru' (Breath for Life) National Tree Planting Programme, the activities will contribute to protect the biodiversity of the central hills and help in the conservation of threatened flora and fauna. The initiative will also support the special program for the conservation of leopards, protect water falls and catchments and facilitate the reforestation of more than 100 hectares of barren lands with the objective of increasing forest cover.
The project also aims to support proper waste management, promote climate smart agriculture, greenhouse gas emission reduction in the plantation sector and promote carbon neutral and climate positive production.
Explaining the company's involvement, Dinesh Ambani said, 'As passionate growers with sustainability at heart, we continue to relentlessly pursue our mission to raise the bar while conforming to the principals of sustainable food to provide the ultimate value to our discerning customers and ensure sustainable management of our natural resources and eco systems.'
He added, 'Moreover, Bogawantalawa has taken it upon themselves to fund these efforts without having to utilize public money, where the Environmental Ministry will be able to redirect them to other environmental projects.'
As a leader in environmental sustainability, Bogawantalawa has continuously pioneered trailblazing initiatives. Among the key milestones include becoming the world's first tea growing, manufacturing and marketing company offering 'Uncompensated Climate Positive Teas' certified for product and facility' in 2019, going beyond the Carbon Neutral Statues.
Causing a transformational shift in the tea industry, Bogawantalawa has achieved progressive change from a traditional system to a low emission/carbon-neutral pathway. These include major transformative strategies such as Carbon Reduction, Carbon Offsetting and Mainstreaming Sustainable Climate Actions.
'Sustainability is in our DNA and by aligning all our operations to be socially and environmentally responsible, we are proud to be in the forefront, creating a new direction for the industry which is undoubtedly the way forward', noted Lalith Munasinghe, Executive Director, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC.
In recognition of its groundbreaking stewardship, Bogawantalawa has received numerous sustainability accolades from local and global principles. Among these are Presidential Environmental Awards, Global Sustainability Awards, Sustainable Leadership Awards etc.
Along with its environmental sustainability initiatives, Bogawantalawa continues to invest in the estate communities ensuring livelihoods are positively developed and impacted.
Commenting on the initiative, Thusitha Bandara, Director Sustainability, Research and Development said, 'While this program directly supports to preserve the natural resources of central hills, the larger picture of these efforts are a part of long standing Environmental sustainability agenda of the company'.