Private Sector Achieving Food Security and Nutrition in Sri Lanka

17 July, 2017
A discussion panel was held by CSR Lanka together with the World Food Programme and USAID on the 17th of July 2017 to discuss the importance of private sector partnership in achieving food security and nutrition in Sri Lanka. The discussion focused around a number of topics such as the importance of nutrition and the ways in the people of Sri Lanka could get the right types of nutrition for their lifestyles, as well as the role that the private sector may play in it.

The discussion was moderated by Mr Rizvi Zaheed, Managing Director of Hayleys Agriculture and tabled by Brenda Barton, Country Director of the WFP and Chandula Abeywickrama, Chairman of CSR Lanka, alongside several other representatives from the private and public sectors alike. Presentations were also prepared by Laksiri Nanayakkara of the WFP, Sashrika Jayasinghe of the WFP and Maree Bouterakos of the FAO, who brought to light the problems in nutrition that affect the Sri Lankan population.

The panel allowed a number of experts in their respective fields to open up about their concerns with nutrition and to learn more about how they can work to solve malnutrition in Sri Lanka.

CSR Sri Lanka Receives USAID Support to take Transformative Corporate Social Responsibility forward in Sri Lanka

31 January, 2017

CSR SRI LANKA launched the project ‘’Stakeholder Collaboration for Sustainable Development’’- SCoSD which was awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The SCoSD project spans over two years and seeks solutions relating to Corporate Social Responsibility with sustainability through a wide collaboration of stakeholders. The Project launching ceremony took place on the 31st January 2017 at Ramada in the presence of Ann Marie Yastishock – USAID’S Acting Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia, Dr Andrew Sisson – Mission Director, USAID Sri Lanka and the Maldives, CSR SL members and the Board of Directors, Corporate sector representatives, Officials from the government and civil society representatives. Dr. Andrew Sisson, USAID Mission Director and Mr. Chandula Abeywickrema, Chairman, CSR SL officially launched the project.

As a key initiative of empowering the sustainability in the corporate sector in Sri Lanka with the support and encouragement of USAID, the CSR Sri Lanka (CSR SL) was formed in May, 2013. The CSR SL, at present, is the apex body initiated by 40 leading corporate companies in the country to take on fostering Transformative Corporate Social Responsibility among businesses. It provides the strategic guidance and necessary intellectual and technical resources to bridge the gap between extemporized CSR interventions and creating sustainable value to the economy and society.

Project Stakeholder Collaboration for Sustainable Development (SCoSD) is planned to bring in strong collaboration among business companies, the public sector, civil society, the academia and a wide range of local and international stakeholders to engage in creating sustainable business value through the modern ethos of transformative corporate social responsibility. The modern Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), often known as Transformative CSR, is the way in which businesses consistently create shared value in society through (i) economic development, (ii) good governance, (iii) stakeholder responsiveness (including, customers, shareholders and employees) and, (iv) environmental improvement. Therefore, CSR, in the global context, is an approach systematically integrated into businesses that build economic, social, human and natural capital. When practised, Transformative CSR reduces the economic costs of business operations including the environmental and social costs.

SCoSD is designed in such way that business companies in the country take on addressing the issues of sustainability. With the USAID assistance the CSR Sri Lanka will create a functional and dynamic CSR cluster of business companies upon which stakeholders are catalyzed and nurtured to develop, validate and implement a National Master Plan for Corporate Social Responsibility in Sri Lanka.

Over the past years, the CSR SL has been advocating on sustainable development through transformative CSR in a number of sectors in Sri Lanka such as the construction , hospitality , agriculture, banking and apparel industries. The CSR SL together with stakeholders held a policy dialogue to identify the national priorities for the corporate sector in CSR. The MAHOGA electronic platform is a revolutionary mechanism initiated by the CSR Sri Lanka to connect the private sector investments with institutions having competencies to implement projects or programs of transformative CSR.

Mahoga Launch

29 July, 2016

MillenniumIT (a member of London Stock Exchange Group) together with CSR Sri Lanka has launched Mahoga, a revolutionary matchmaking platform that paves the way for corporations to engage in meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

The launch was held in the presence of MillenniumIT CEO Mack Gill, CSR Sri Lanka Chairman Chandula Abeywickrema and board members, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris, USAID Mission Director to Sri Lanka Andrew Sisson, investors, beneficiaries and senior members of the corporate sector

Visit Mahoga

Policy Dialogue on the National Priorities for Private Sector Responsibility and Sustainability

May, 2016

sponsored by University of Sussex and Durham University (Dfid and ESRC funding)

Good Governance

Elimination of collaborative corruption, tax evasion, lack of active citizenship, concentration solely on the profit motive, human rights factor, lack of response, ethics, transparency, law and order.

Female participation

Women empowerment, women’s economic participation, single headed households where the female is the single parent, the lack of contextualised gender equality, human rights education with respect to women, women being paid less despite their educational qualifications (under employment).

Entrepreneurship, Youth Development and Youth Empowerment

The academic form of free education has created desire for exclusivity- white collar jobs. Technical, vocational, and skills based education is marginalized - no aspiration to skills based employment career. There is a huge gap between employment opportunities and employability. Issues with dignity of the labour. Insufficient systems for training of teachers, Disparity in the level of education in the rural areas as against that available in the city. Unemployment and underemployment prevails in Sri Lanka that leads to the inability of gearing up for the future.

We recognise that youth empowerment through economic inclusion is key to Sri Lanka’s future. Youth entrepreneurship is power to employability and youth empowerment.

CSRSL will focus on areas for; Creation of Incubators across the country to blossom Youth Entrepreneurship, Building a network of local impact investors, Creating fertile ground to nurture Social Entrepreneurs and Facilitating a ‘Sri Lankan Silicon Valley’ for match making between youth entrepreneurs and impact investors.

Children and Quality Education

Child development and quality education, education that will match the employability with required professionalism/ professions, special education needs, value based education, the role of the family, child protection, child malnutrition, ethics, values and social protection.

Reconciliation and Community Empowerment

Ethnic/ Religious conflict, discrimination with policies that do not focus on the individual due to politicisation, the human rights factor, reconciliation – inter/intra harmony, youth unrest and lack of cultural infrastructure that promotes better understanding in the society thereby resulting in an improved quality of life, corporates to move into least developed areas to bring in social harmony and social integration.

Health/Diseases and Sanitation

Promote prevention and Healthcare, the aging population factor and resilience, promotion of improved hygiene and sanitation practices, non communicable diseases

Environment, Climate Change, Water Management and Natural disasters

Good organisational practices, waste disposal, recycling, deforestation, conservation of soil & water, wild life conservation, energy, carbon foot print, pollution, public transport and consumption.

CSR Sri Lanka takes Sustainability to North

26 March, 2016

Jaffna workshop titled P4 (passion- principal-practice –empowerment) was a great success. P4 was a one day workshop in Jaffna on the 26th March 2016 targeting both private and public sector. 25 participants attended the workshop including high ranking academics, medical practioners, Engineers and Managing Directors etc. from various sectors.

Deciders' Breakfast Forum - Resilient Cities : Vision for the Sri Lankan urban transformation

March, 2016

In callaboration with Holcim Lanka and Maga

The Colombo Workshops 2016 – Transformative CSR for sustainability Champions of the corporate sector

March, 2016

5 sector specific workshops sponsored by University of Sussex and Durham University (Dfid and ESRC funding)

The Colombo Workshops 2016 – Transformative CSR for sustainability Champions of the corporate sector

Feb, 2016

5 sector specific workshops sponsored by University of Sussex and Durham University (Dfid and ESRC funding)

Creating Shared Value – Who is Responsible

Jan, 2016

In callaboration with GTZ

Annual General Meeting

Nov, 2015

In callaboration with GTZ

Banking Sector Forum: Are we on the right track for transformative CSR?

Oct, 2015

CSR Knowledge Exchange Program by Vebego International BV

23 September, 2015

A company can actually recruit those who are physically or psychologically challenged and still run a very successful business. Vebego International BV has proved it can be done. Isn't that actual transformation of business?

The audience gathered at the Knowledge Exchange Program organized by CSR Sri Lanka, unanimously agreed that it is time Sri Lankan Organizations work together to setup such mechanisms in the country.

Knowledge Exchange Session for CSR Sri Lanka Members

Practicalities of Business Transformation

29 May, 2015

CSR Sri Lanka once again arranged a knowledge exchange session to bring a unique training opportunity to its members on 29thof May, 2015 in collaboration with Holcim Sri Lanka. The participants were provided with exclusive and tailor-made training and knowledge exchange by two global experts from Holcim International.

The sessions were facilitated byMs. Stefanie Koch; Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Holcim International and Ms. ArianeLüthi;Human Rights Specialist at Holcim International. The two hour session covered topics such as the CSR approach, Realities in embracing real CSR and evolution, sustainable development ambitions, inclusive business initiatives and human rights in businesses. The presentation was followed by an interesting Q&A session.

With a career span over 15 years in sustainable development and CSR,Stefanie is renowned for her passion in responsible business development and. She is a Fellow, East-Asian Studies, and International Development at Harvard University and has completed her studies in Cornell University and University of Cambridge. She joined Holcim at 2008 as CSR Manager and today she heads CSR and Inclusive Business at Holcim Technology Ltd.Arianne is currently a Human Rights Specialist at Holcim, and has been in charge of designing and rolling out the company’s global human rights risk management approach. She co-developed the Group’s sustainable supply chain program and trained procurement personnel worldwide. Her current focus lies on the identification of “inclusive business” models, which address social problems while generating business returns.

The event was sponsored by CIC Agri Businesses, Brandix Lanka, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Limited, Sampath Bank.

Transformative CSR Event Series with Dr. Wayne Visser

Breakfast Forum for CEOs and Chairmen of Private Sector Companies

22 – 24 April, 2015
Making CSR part of your company’s DNA

At this forum Dr. Visser outlined key trends in the adoption of CSR around the world. He discussed the principles and practices of stakeholder-oriented Transformative CSR, the business benefits of an Integrated Value approach and four types of sustainability strategies that leading companies are adopting. The session was completed with a successful discussion session moderated by Mr. ErandaGinige from British Council.

50 business leaders attended the program from well renowned companies of the island who could actually make a difference in their industries. They are the CEOs, Chairmen and Managing Directors of their respective companies and would be the pioneers of the journey CSR Sri Lanka is proposing in the country.

Incorporating the inspirational “German Dual Education System” into Sri Lankan Corporate’s CSR DNA

27 February, 2015

CSR Sri Lanka gathered 30 business leaders for a breakfast meeting to discuss the possibilities of incorporating the inspirational ‘German Dual Education System’ into Sri Lankan Corporate’s CSR DNA. Mr. Chandula Abeywickrema; Chairman of CSR Sri Lanka shared his experiences he obtained at Germany on the system as to, how a private sector driven apprenticeship culture could be formed within a country.

Industry leaders shared their opinions from several views to bring out the practicalities of such implementations in the country whilst sharing their experiences in such cases from the past.

Program for Senior Public Sector Officials

Theme: Building platforms to bridge gaps between public and private sectors

The first forum organized by an apex body of the private business sector for senior government sector officials marked the successful completion on 23rd of April, 2015. It was our aim to bridge the gaps between the two sectors and at this forum Dr. Visser showed how CSR has evolved around the world through 5 stages of development and discussed the importance of public sector support for CSR – drawing lessons from good policy (e.g. European Union) and bad policy (e.g. India) – and identified critical success factors for public-private partnerships.

Mr. Dadallage; Sectratary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs was the Chief Guest of the event which marked the participation of 55 senior government sector officials. This group consisted of Secretaries to the Ministries, Additional Secretaries and Chairmen of Commissions.

Program for CSR Practitioners

Strategic Business Session for CSR/Sustainability

The final program of the series targeted the CSR practitioners across various fileds. Special case that we witnessed to be positive was, after the first two programs of the series, he business leaders had nominated their subordinates for this third event.

At this interactive program Dr Visser outlined new developments in sustainability management (e.g. ISO updates, eco-innovation) and showed how to deal with the proliferation of voluntary sustainability codes and guidelines – including a practical exercise using the Standards Map tool – with practical steps to Creating Integrated Value.

The 65 CSR practitioners who attended the program got the opportunity to clarify their doubts with the ample time we dedicated for discussions. With this event it marked the final day of a Transformative CSR Trifecta!

Learning Material & Book Collection

Book Collection of Dr. Wayne Visser
Creating Integrated Value
Inspiration - Ages and Stages of CSR
Inspiration - CSR Drivers
Inspiration - DNA Model
Inspiration - Sustainability Leadership
Inspiration -The Rise and Fall of CSR

Knowledge Exchange Programme

CSR Lanka partnered with MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) to bring a unique training opportunity to thirty of Sri Lanka’s leading CSR specialists on 30th of September and 1st of October. MVO Nederland is the largest CSR business network in Europe, and renowned as a knowledge centre for CSR.

The workshop, was restricted by invitation to members of CSR Lanka, as well as few select corporate entities involved in long-term CSR. The participants were provided with exclusive and tailor-made training and knowledge exchange by two global experts.

The knowledge-exchange workshop covered a range of topics including, best global practices in CSR, research and analyses from studies by both CSR Lanka and MVO Nederland, strategies and the way forward for CSR Lanka and participating companies. The sessions were facilitated by Bernedine Bos, the head of projects department at MVO Nederland and Monique Boere, the communications manager for international CSR at MVO Nederland.

With a career spanning over two decades in social work and CSR, Bos has worked with MVO Nederland for the past 10 years in sustainable development and international CSR. She has represented MVO Nederland on numerous occasions around the globe and is an opinion leader for international CSR. Boere has worked in sustainability and development communications for the last decade, with extensive experience working in marketing and advertising focused on sustainability.

National CSR Conference 2014

3 October, 2014

The first ever National CSR Conference in Sri Lanka was held on 3rd of October 2014. More than 250 participants witnessed the latest updates of CSR,from the international arena been shared by the speakers and success stories and practical discussions took place with international and national business leaders. The theme of the event was ‘Responsible Corporate Growth’ in which, the agenda covered below areas;

  • Strategic Focus: Aligning private sector CSR efforts to national priorities for development – Guest speech by Dr. SamanKalegama
  • The Art and Practice of Sustainability Leadership – Key note speech delivered by Prof. Wayne Visser
  • Collaboration: Increasing collaboration between likeminded organizations towards common objectives – Plenary Session
  • Experience Sharing – Session by Mr. KushilGunasekra
  • Resilience: Streamline the aspects of CSR efforts to increase the value proposition – Plenary Session
  • Presentation by Mr. Sujeewa Sellahewa on the BEST CSR PROJECT selected by Netherlands Embassy
  • Sharing the learnings after Knowledge Exchange Program and way forward – Presentation by Ms. BernedineBos and Ms. Monique Boere

P4 Colombo Workshops

2 October, 2014 P4 Colombo Workshops series is CSR Lanka’s first major activity carried out with partnership of University of Sussex (UK) for the benefit of the Sri Lankan private sector who are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Researchers from the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex (UK), organized a series of 1-day workshops aimed at maximizing the impacts of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and social business programmes conducted in Sri Lanka.

Drawing from the results of a 2-year research project in Sri Lanka plus more than 40 years’ experience operating at the forefront of international development, they designed an innovative and exciting 4-step programme sharing the best local and international practices that can help private companies to achieve strategic goals and social objectives through better planned, more efficient, and coordinated activities.

A series of workshops were then carried out for 11 days with an immensely successful participation.

Our aims through the workshops:

  • Leverage the impacts of giving by helping participants to engage more creatively andeffectively with organizational interests and objectives
  • Equip participants with cutting-edge models for private development initiatives building from exemplary principles of engagement
  • Share global and Sri Lankan best practices and state-of-the-art project management, delivery, and evaluation tools to maximize impact and value
  • Support and promote private engagements in Sri Lankan poverty reduction and development activities in relation to core empowerment goals and national priorities

Participant Benefits

  • Acquire new knowledge, skills, and competencies in philanthropy, CSR, and social business aligned with organization’s strategic interests and goals
  • Enhance the developmental impacts of organizational activities, helping the organization to achieve its social potential across internal and external functions
  • Expand funding and partnership opportunities, including a refined understanding of the wants and needs of different partner constituencies and stakeholders
  • Network with charities, foundations,companies, and experts in suitable fields and build links for future collaborations

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