Unilever wins Gold at the Presidential Environment Awards 2021 – 2022. 

Unilever’s Ceytea factory in Agrarapathana was awarded the Gold Trophy of Commendation for its contribution towards the Environment at the Presidential Environment Awards 2021-2022, by His Excellency Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Organised by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), the Presidential Environment Awards seek to reward individuals and institutions which have made outstanding contributions to the field of environmental conservation and protection. The Presidential Awards is widely recognised as the most prestigious recognition in the field of environment conservation and protection in Sri Lanka. The Award Ceremony for 2021-2022 was held on the 28th of April 2023 at the BMICH under the patronage of His Excellency the President, Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Having successfully integrated sustainability practices into its daily supply chain operations, Ceytea has made great progress towards minimising the impact of its operations on the environment. Over the past decade, the factory has reduced its energy and water consumption levels by 34% and 71% respectively, and its CO2 emissions by 89%. Since 2014, Ceytea has implemented an innovative waste management programme, which has enabled it to repurpose approximately 70% of the waste generated during the manufacturing process to fuel its bio-mass boiler and transform the remaining 30% into Bio fertilizer.

Expressing her delight, Anusha Kotalawala, Factory Manager of Unilever Ceytea Instant Tea Factory said: We are incredibly proud to be recognized as one of the pioneers in leading sustainable development in our nation. My team has been working with deep passion and commitment towards driving our sustainable development agenda. As part of this, 70% of our Spent Tea Leaves are sent to the Biomass Boiler to generate the steam energy required for the factory and the rest is being used to produce Bio Fertilizer to be used in our tea gardens. By doing so, we have created a circular economy for our tea waste, thereby neutralizing our environmental footprint.

Expressing his thoughts, Damith Abeyratne, Supply Chain Director of Unilever said: “At Unilever Sri Lanka, we strive to constantly seek innovative ways in which we can operate a few steps ahead to minimise the environmental footprint of our supply chain. This recognition instils in us a great sense of pride and accomplishment, motivating us to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in our industry. I would also like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the factory manager Mrs. Anusha Kotalawala and her team for going beyond their call of duty to make sustainable living commonplace, staying true to our strategic vision”.

Issuing a statement on this occasion, Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson and Managing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka stated “This is indeed a proud moment for us at Unilever Sri Lanka, to receive Presidential recognition for our positive contributions towards the environment. This is truly a testament of our efforts and commitment to keep our people, planet and communities at the forefront of everything that we do.  We express our gratitude to his excellency the President, the Ministry of Environment, and the Central Environment Authority for creating a robust framework to recognize environmental conservation, encouraging corporates to lead the way towards a sustainable Sri Lanka.” 

Black Instant Tea Powder which is manufactured by Ceytea is used as the base ingredient in Iced Tea manufactured by Pepsi-Lipton International JV, which supplies over 70% of the iced tea requirement globally under world-renowned brands such as ‘Lipton’ and ‘Brisk’. Ceytea procures BMF which is stalk & fibre of the black tea manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka as its key raw material and converts it to black instant tea powder using state-of-the-art technology, thereby creating value out of tea waste.  Thus, in addition to taking the goodwill of Ceylon Tea to the world’s fastest-growing beverage business, Ceytea brings in foreign exchange exceeding USD 17 Mn to the country and is one of the highest value-added tea industries in the country.

Unilever’s Ceytea Factory Manager, Anusha Kotalawala accepting the Gold Award in Food & Beverages Industries Category from His Excellency Ranil Wickremasinghe. Also appearing in the picture, Hon. Naseer Ahamed, Minister – Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary – Ministry of Environment, Supun S. Pathirage, Chairman – Central Environment Authority and P.B. Hemantha Jayasinghe, Director General – Central Environment Authority

Members of the team Ceytea