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CA Sri Lanka, CFA Society encourage corporates to embrace environmental and social responsibility by adopting ESG

Amidst challenges stemming from global warming to social unrest, two of the country’s top professional bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and the CFA Society Sri Lanka have banded together to encourage corporates to be more environmentally and socially responsible by embracing the concept of ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) in business practices.

ESG is fast becoming an important determinant and is increasingly being analysed by investment analysts, fund managers, rating agencies, and providers of debt capital who are continuously looking at how companies recognize, measure, manage and report the impact and implications as well as how they mitigate and manage environmental and social trends, risks and opportunities and how such companies continue to promote the importance of governance, in terms of accountability, and disclosure of true, fair and reliable financial and non-financial information.

In an effort to stress the relevance, importance and to promote more companies across the country to embrace ESG, the CA Sri Lanka Corporate Governance Faculty and the Corporate Governance Committee together with CFA Society has organized a webinar on this important initiative titled 'ESG: A Corporate and Investor Perspective" on 17th August 2021 from 3.30 pm onwards which will be live streamed on the official Facebook Pages of CA Sri Lanka and CFA Society Sri Lanka.

The webinar will host an exciting line up of speakers including Ms. Mary Leung, Head, Advocacy, APAC of CFA Institute and Ms. Ruby Ojha, Senior Environmental and Social Development Specialist of International Finance Corporation who will set the tone at the event as the lead speakers. The programme will be hosted by Mr. Manil Jayesinghe, President of CA Sri Lanka and Mr. Dinesh Warusavitharana, President of CFA Society Sri Lanka.

Following COVID-19 there has been increased attention paid on ESG and the importance to embrace these three factors by corporates, across multiple industries and sectors. While ESG is not part of the mandatory financial reporting, more companies across the globe and even in Sri Lanka are encouraged to include these factors as a part of their annual report, or as a stand-alone sustainability report.

The webinar will also comprise of a panel discussion on the increasing demand for ESG to be incorporated by corporates, while in particular how COVID-19 has rippled into serious discussions at board level on the possible correlation of ESG and the sustainability of business models, risk mitigation and access to finance.

The panel discussion will feature Mr. Asite Talwatte, Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee of CA Sri Lanka, as well as Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange and Mr. Mohan Thanthirige, Group Financial Controller of John Keells Holdings.

According to Mr. Talwatte, John Keells Holdings (JKH) is among the Sri Lankan companies which has embraced ESG. Every year, in its annual report, JKH measure the fossil fuel used each year by their companies for various reasons, and each year, they try to reduce the usage in a conscious effort to be ‘environmentally responsible.’

Most companies engaging in business has some emission and or pollutant aspects ranging from fuel to fossil fuel and carbon emissions, or pollution of waterways when disposing dyes, etc., and or other forms of industrial, solid and e-wastes. “On thn the long term, these are all.

detrimental to the environment, therefore, while most companies cannot totally eliminate the use of these, they must focus on how they can be environmentally and socially responsible by minimizing these in their day-to-day business,” Mr. Talwatte said.

Companies which wish to adopt ESG and want to reduce their emissions and pollutants and thereby their carbon footprint are encouraged to join the free webinar which will be live streamed on