- 15th year of flagship ‘A home for every plantation worker’ initiative highlights improvements to community
- 1st plantations company to complete verification for achieving SBTi
Talawakelle Tea Estates (TTE PLC), a member of the Hayleys Plantations Sector, won two major global awards over the recent months, consolidating its position as a global leader in reporting its value creation and ESG performance to its stakeholders.
The Regional Plantations Company (RPC) was recognised among Asia’s leaders in adopting strategic and proactive approaches to promoting work-life harmony by empowering and supporting its employees, at the Asia Community Business Awards 2022. Its stringent governance standards were recognised at the globally renowned Hallbars Annual Report Awards 2022 with the company’s 2022 Annual Report receiving top honours for transparent and effective disclosures and at the World Sustainability Awards as a Finalist of the “Profit with Purpose” Award.
Locally, TTE became the first plantations company in Sri Lanka to be bestowed the “Five Excellent Integrated Reports Award – Tea Industry Category” at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2022 for an unparalleled record of maintaining transparency. The RPC was further recognised with a Special Award for “Best Disclosure on Materiality” and the “Best Integrated Report – Plantations Sector”. Most recently at the first-ever CA Sri Lanka TAGS Awards 2022, TTE won the Silver Award – Plantations Sector.
Speaking on IR & Integrated Thinking Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg and member of the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards, Graham Terry said, “We are aware of the challenges faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka over the past few years, from the COVID crisis to the more recent economic and political challenges. All of these have played out in Sri Lankan organisations in various ways. It is pleasing to see the way in which some organisations are building elements of the key SDGS into their strategies because they recognise that these issues are affecting the organisation’s ability to create value now and in the future.”
Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai further added, “As a member of the Hayleys Group, sustainability is ingrained into our DNA. These prestigious global and local accolades won by Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC serve as a strong validation of this philosophy.”
“Our flagship project, “A Home for Every Plantation Worker” is in its 15th year of operation and continues to invest in housing in partnership with the Plantation Human Development Trust, with over Rs. 100 million invested in the previous year. Estate employees own their houses through the Estate Worker Cooperative Housing Society in each estate,” TTE PLC Director/CEO, Senaka Alawattegama said.
Over Rs. 7 Mn has been invested in health and nutrition benefiting over 200,000 people, including a 24 hour ambulance service, zero anemia programme, antenatal and postnatal care, and a comprehensive immunisation programme to prevent Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B, Influenza Type B, Mumps, Measles and Rubella amongst others.
All employees have healthcare from cradle to grave and the maternal care programme ensures that 100% births are in hospitals. Child Development Officers operate pre-schools which enable mothers to work. Child protection and maternal health initiatives are guided by the public-private partnership agreement with Save the Children, Sri Lanka which was signed in 2019. The ResponsibiliTEA online platform for accountability and learning, was launched in 2022 to facilitate effective and efficient data management, monitoring and evaluation of child protection within the estate communities.
Community capacity building programmes worth Rs. 33.7 Mn have focused on the provision of housing loans, microfinance and savings schemes, and training programmes from household financial management to home gardening.
“TTEL PLC is the first plantations company in the world, and the first organisation in Sri Lanka to have committed to and completed the verification process towards achieving the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) targets. Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint in line with globally accepted practices and processes are already showing tremendous progress with a 5% linear annual reduction and a 37% reduction in emissions last year.
“Our efforts in this field will help to provide global leadership on sustainable tea production under the framework of the SBTi Climate Ambition Accelerator programme, building risk resilience whilst continuing to attract key export markets to source Ceylon Tea.” Alawattegama noted.
Image 01: The Community Capacity Building Centre established for ‘A Home For Every Plantation Worker’ initiative