PPP discussion held by SL “blue-chip” companies
Unilever Sri Lanka together with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sri Lanka recently hosted the first ever forum to discuss public-private partnerships (PPPs) to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition to Presidential Secretary, Austin Fernando; public and private sector C-suite executives, academics, media and non-government organisations also attended the forum.
In line with Goal 17, Partnerships for the goals the organisers explained the necessity of forming strong partnerships in order to collaborate and propel Sri Lanka to the future along with achieving the SDGs.
Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka, Carl Cruz brought to attention serious world matters and explained the necessity of forming strong collaborations to promote sustainable development.
He emphasised Unilever Sri Lanka‘s commitment to sustainable development by ensuring that sustainability was at the heart of its operations, adding that the company adhered to its motto, “Doing well by Doing Good”.
He elaborated on the Company’s various community-based and other stakeholder-related collaborations that benefitted all parties involved, informing of the Corporation’s global and local achievements 6-years after its roadmap for sustainable operations, the “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan” was released.
Head of Business Development and Plantations plus Director of Aitken Spence and UNGC Sri Lanka Chairman, Dr. Rohan Fernando elaborated on Aitken Spence’s sustainable initiatives like the successful Heritance Kandalama hotel and the Aitken Spence carbon neutral printing facility, adding that the dividends yielded by these businesses were not only the benefits to the business itself but the value-addition to the community. He also spoke about the contributions of other UNGC-member countries from all across the globe.
MAS Holdings Group Human Resources Director, Shakthi Ranatunga spoke about the sustainable development model adopted by his company and stressed the importance of forming PPPs to succeed in promoting SDGs adding that the public sector’s steadiness and vast connectivity could be effectively combined with the private sector’s dynamism and productivityin ensuring the success of such partnerships.
A panel discussion titled the “Synergetic advantage of partnerships in driving the SDGs” concluded the event.
Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Executive Officer Supun Weerasinghe, Ceylon Biscuits Ltd. Group Managing Director Shea Wickramasinghe, United Nations Country Representative – Sri Lanka Una McCauley, Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) Chief Executive Officer Asoka Abayagunawardhana and COSTI Project Director Prof. Ajith De Alwis took part in this discussion which was moderated by Unilever Sri Lanka Director – Human Resources and Corporate Relations Sumeet Verma.¹
A comment that arose in the panel decisions stated that, “…time is running out and a sense of urgency must set in towards action. Furthermore mutually beneficial partnerships where purpose and profit go hand in hand will ensure sustainability of projects, which will benefit more. “
The audience was then split into three groups for moderated round table discussions on three of Sri Lanka’s key country call outs related to the SDGs viz. sustainable agriculture, economic inclusion of women and waste management. Identifying key issues faced by the nation in these areas, the groups deliberated on possible solutions and corrective actions, focusing on enabling greater partnerships and collaboration amongst all relevant stakeholders.²
The outcomes of these discussions as well as key learnings from the rest of the forum are to be compiled into an action policy document which will be handed over to the Secretary to the President, the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Sustainability and Wildlife to garner greater support from the Government and drive necessary action by the relevant ministries and departments.³
This event shows that Sri Lanka is beginning to heavily concentrate and explore the possibilities that exist for PPPs. At this juncture any new entrant will be a pioneering enterprise that will not only influence the Sri Lankan economy but also have the benefit of capitalising on such an accolade.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/18092017/Z_1|