Bank of Ceylon partnered with Open University of Sri Lanka to kickoff ‘Less Plastic Movement’

In recent years, increasing consumption of macro and micro plastics has emerged as one of the largest threats for the future of our oceans, seas and the marine life. The United Nations has declared conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development as the 14th Sustainable Development Goal.

In fulfilling its commitment as a corporate sustainability citizen towards advancing the sustainable development agenda, Sri Lanka’s No.01 Bank, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) partnered with the Open University of Sri Lanka to commence the national campaign ‘Less Plastic Movement’.

This National Campaign was kicked off and a collective effort was organized to collect plastic and polythene waste, from 50 selected locations across the island in order to prevent further harm to our ecosystems. These locations include reef sites, inland areas, coastal belts and other ecologically sensitive regions.

Bank of Ceylon has stepped forward to sponsor such cleanup activities in six locations around the island including Trincomalee Uppuveli, Venparei white rock, Cassurina Beach Jaffna, Trinco-Dutch Bay, Kayankeni, Batticaloa and Boiler wreck- Baticaloa to clean the reefs in partnership with the Center for Environment Studies and Sustainable Development of the Open University of Sri Lanka, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), Central Environment Authority, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Provincial Councils, Local Government Authorities and other stakeholders.

The total amount of waste collected from the BOC Sponsored sites in the cleanup is 438.65 kg which includes 220.8 kg recyclable waste and 217.85 kg non-recyclable waste. Masks and PET Bottles are the biggest source of waste found in the collection followed by food wrappings and shopping bags.

Collected waste was sorted and sent for recycling with the support of registered plastic recyclers in adopting latest sustainable practices and hence resulting in a reduction of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or in the environment. Simultaneously, the non-recyclable plastic collections are disposed in the dumping sites with the assistance of relevant Local Government Authorities. As part of the campaign, the OUSL has carried out an extensive education and awareness campaign regarding the health and environment impact of plastics.

Over the past year, BOC invested in CSR activities towards advancing climate actions under SDGs. In 2022, the Bank was able to save Rs. 56.7 million worth of paper and toner through process automation while recycling 21.9 MT of paper under SDG number 12.

As a leader in green and sustainable financing, BOC grants green financing loans while disbursing loans in accordance with the Central Bank’s taxonomy and nearly Rs. 1 billion in funding for sustainable manufacturing in 2022.

The Bank has introduced various loan products including loans for Solar, electric bikes, bio gas plant to advance the national sustainable agenda during past year. Similarly, the Bank has introduced new green deposit products, Haritha Kekulu and BOC E-Thuru, and continue to promote among the Bank’s customer base.