ComBank awarded Greenhouse Gas verification statement

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been awarded a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) verification statement by Sri Lanka Climate Fund (Pvt) Ltd. under the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, after verifying that the Bank’s total  Greenhouse Gas emissions for 2017 in accordance with ISO 14064-1:2006 were at a “reasonable level of assurance.” This certification was awarded following an organisational level GHG inventory prepared by Climate Smart Initiatives (Pvt) Ltd. based on historical data submitted by the Bank. The GHG inventory is a comprehensive inventory as it includes all three scopes (scope 1, 2, 3) encompassing most of the direct and indirect emission sources covered by ISO 14064-1:2006. Commercial Bank is the first Sri Lankan bank to include not only the GHG emissions of its domestic branches, but also some of its overseas branches. The Bank said this demonstrates its willingness to promote sustainability efforts beyond the country’s borders. Commercial Bank’s Assistant General Manager Services Mr Chinthaka Dharmasena praised the dedication and commitment of the Bank’s management and staff  engaging in energy saving activities such as the installation of Solar PV, modern low-emission chillers, low-emission lighting and low emission computers, which made this achievement possible.  He said these initiatives have led the Bank to relatively low per capita emissions in the banking sector. Collecting the activity data from 11 GHG sources covering the head office and all 266 branches demonstrates the Bank’s readiness to manage its footprint while enhancing the accuracy of the GHG inventory. The inventory revealed that direct GHG emissions of the Bank were 1,305 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, indirect GHG emissions from electricity were 8,735 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, and other indirect GHG emissions amounted to 3,660 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Contributing factors towards this certification were the Bank’s strategies to interweave sustainability into its business practices via initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint through the establishment of Green Banking Channels, comprehensive waste disposal systems, moving in to solar power, reduction of paper use through the digitisation of processes, and the steps taken to develop Green Buildings for its branches. To date, the Bank has converted 35 of its branches to operate on solar energy. In its effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the Bank has also adopted advertising practices that utilise only LED sign boards, eliminated neon lighting which is harmful to the environment, uses heat reflecting stickers wherever possible to prevent sunlight from affecting the energy consumption within its buildings, recycles all paper waste professionally, and maintains its fleet of vehicles to ensure maximum fuel efficiency. Propagating the use of E-passbooks and E-statements, and encouraging use of automated, Online and Mobile banking channels are among the Bank’s efforts to help customers migrate to paperless banking practices. The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for eight years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 266 branches and 830 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won multiple international and local awards in 2016 and 2017 and 30 international awards in 2018. Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay PyiTaw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.   Photo caption: Green banking: solar panels powering Commercial Bank’s Kollupitiya branch, one of 35 branches already converted.

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