JKH adjudged the overall winner at the ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards!

The John Keells Group was recognised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka for its Triple Bottom Line reporting at the recent Sustainability Reporting Awards 2019 ceremony which awarded companies for their sustainability performance disclosures in industry group categories as well as overall.

The awards ceremony saw John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) being adjudged the Overall winner of the ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards 2019 as well as the winner of the Conglomerates & Diversified Category, while John Keells Hotels PLC was awarded as the runner-up for the Leisure and Connected Services Category.

This recognition stems from the John Keells Group’s ongoing commitment to sustainable development and a holistic view of performance within the lens of ‘People, Planet and Profit’ as a guiding principle in its business model. Operating across seven diverse industry verticals such as Transportation, Leisure, Property, Consumer Foods, Retail, Financial Services, Information Technology and Plantation Services, the Group has in place a robust sustainability structure and management framework which incorporates the integration of sustainability and CSR objectives with financial aims.

Chairperson Krishan Balendra said that “while we ensure that all our business, at the minimum, adhere to country laws, we place emphasis on continuously and proactively seeking innovative, ‘green’ alternatives; for example, we scientifically evaluate all our properties for key resource usage and have established long term goals. Installation of renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting, recycling of waste water, recycling and reuse of waste and methods of reducing energy and water consumption are some key initiatives that have been implemented successfully to safeguard biodiversity, especially around our operational sites, in Sri Lanka as well as the Maldives. Further, our CSR activities – in the areas of education, health, livelihood development, environment, disaster management and arts and culture, have touched the lives of over 3.5 million people in the last decade.”

The Group’s sustainability strategy incorporates corporate governance, environmental stewardship, human capital development, product and service excellence, value chain development as well as social development, integrated with financial and non-financial risk management and has entrenched these values within its corporate DNA. Over the years, the Group has continued to strive for ongoing improvement and development of its processes and policies, whilst deepening its commitment to sustainable business performance and value creation for all its stakeholders. In addition to seeking to minimize its environmental impacts, a vital part of this strategy has also been to build and maintain social and relationship capital as a means of creating trust and reciprocity, with mutually beneficial relationships, be it engaging with local communities, uplifting and developing its value chain or investing in the training and development of its workforce.

With its understanding of the interrelationships between business interest, human and social development as well as environmental conservation, the Group has been able to navigate successfully along its sustainability journey.

This was reflected by the Group’s achievements at the ACCA awards with its sustainability reporting showcasing the values espoused by the Group through transparent and comprehensive performance disclosures to its varied stakeholders. Since its first stand-alone report in 2009, sustainability reporting at John Keells has continually evolved and progressed, now taking an integrated approach, encompassing the Global Reporting Initiatives Standards framework and the IIRC Reporting Framework, whilst also relating disclosures to Sustainability Development Goals and UN Global Compact Principles, providing insight to its operating model of sustainable performance. Its reporting goals are to provide stakeholders with a clear, reliable and concise view of its stakeholder relationships, material impact areas, strategic priorities and focus areas and its future orientation.

Within this framework, Group businesses have been able to embrace a sustainability mindset and reap the benefits of cost savings, operational efficiencies and new opportunities, implementing business strategies and projects to support sustainable operations.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts (John Keells Hotels PLC) was also awarded for its sustainability efforts in Leisure and Connected Services. Representing eleven hotels in Sri Lanka and four resorts in the Maldives, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to sustainable tourism is exhibited through its concerted effort in delivering service excellence, enhancement of the workforce, guest and staff health & safety, environmental management, conservation of biodiversity and enhancing local communities within which it operates. The company’s annual report adopted the principles of the IIRC Framework as well as GRI Standards in order to showcase how its business is conducted in a sustainable manner through well balanced disclosures and concise assessment of its strategy, performance and outlook in relation to its triple bottom line goals.

The recognition of the Group’s efforts is testament to its commitment to continuing to deliver stakeholder value and the awards received reflect its efforts to ensure its sustainability priorities, strategies and outlook are communicated to its wide and varied stakeholder groups as clear and transparent disclosures.

JKH is Sri Lanka’s largest listed company in the Colombo Stock Exchange operating over 70 companies in 7 diverse industry sectors and in 2020 John Keells Group celebrates 150 years being in business and contributing to the Sri Lankan economy and development of the country.

JKH provides employment to over 20,000 persons and has been ranked as Sri Lanka’s ‘Most Respected Entity’ for the last 14 Years by LMD Magazine.

Whilst being a full member of the World Economic Forum and a Member of the UN Global Compact, the Group drives its vision of “empowering the nation for tomorrow,” through the John Keells Foundation and through the social entrepreneurship initiative, ‘Plasticcycle’, is a catalyst in scientifically reducing plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.

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