SLASSCOM to lead sustainability practices within the IT/BPM sector.
Ada Derana: As an industry known for “thinking different” and innovating the future, the IT/BPM industry has been a leader in embracing adaptability and change. With environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles taking center stage due to the pressing climate issues and the “code red for the planet” SLASSCOM, the national chamber for the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka, has prioritized the need to embed ESG across the IT/BPM industry and has been instrumental in encouraging it’s membership to adopt sustainable practices and create awareness across it’s workforce.
The first of these initiatives was in forming an ESG Forum within SLASSCOM comprising of member companies and leaders who have been at the forefront in implementing ESG principals within their own organizations. These experienced personalities are taking a leadership role in guiding and supporting the sector and adapting their organizations to be ESG compliant that will in turn also build credibility and capture the attention of the global marketplace.
Helping the IT/BPM industry take a fresh look at their organizations through the lens of sustainability, implement a comprehensive sustainable strategy within their organizations, from climate commitments, diversity and inclusion efforts, and governance initiatives, the SLASSCOM ESG Forum is launching a set of initiatives that will drive IT/BPM leaders and entrepreneurs alike to examine ways to bring ESG into the core of their enterprises.
ESG Forum Board Representative and Vice Chairman of SLASSCOM Jehan Perinpanayagam stated “we believe that IT/ BPM companies have a significant responsibility as an industry with a very large and educated workforce, increasingly contributing to global emissions. There is also a significant opportunity to differentiate ourselves as a responsible IT / BPM destination and align with customer preferences. Adopting a strong ESG strategy is the right thing to do – we owe it to our people, our country and the planet to act now! It will also help the companies contain costs, be better employers and corporate citizens and align our companies with the requirements of global clients. We will be much better placed internationally as well with the younger demographic of investors who have a greater ESG awareness and desire to “do well while doing good” and are looking to invest their earnings in assets that align with these issues”.
Given this context, the SLASSCOM ESG Forum has rolled out several key initiatives over the last couple of months, from launching a program to motivate employees in the sector to “Bike to work”, publishing the first-ever ESG Report in the country, a CEO breakfast meeting held under the theme “The Business Opportunities in SDGs” and unveiling SLASSCOM’s baseline ESG standards for the industry.
During the following months, the forum has more initiatives in the pipeline such as guiding organizations in the sector to improve their gender diversity and offering employment to people with disabilities, to training companies on ESG reporting, to offering green loan schemes for SLASSCOM member companies and staff.
A series of Webinars are also in the pipeline in educating the sector on the different aspects of embracing ESG, that include transitioning to Net zero, providing sustainable choices for customers, measuring and reporting ESG activity and building sustainable organizations.
Commenting on the end goal of these programmes Jehan said” we are a truly global community that must work together to set the standard and harness our resources and influence into a set of perpetually improving ESG practices. These improved environmental, social, and governance practices would ultimately benefit everyone, that includes the industry, it’s stakeholders and the society at large”.
Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors have become two of the fastest growing sectors in the country whole also opening up a host of new business/investment opportunities. The overall development programme being carried out by the local authorities as well as the target of developing the country in to an emerging business destination in the South Asian region have all resulted in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. The country also boasts of skilled workforce that could help the expansion of these key sectors with the proper investment backing. With Sri Lanka’s growth and business potential, foreign businesses/investors could explore the expanding opportunities in the country’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. Foreign businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors in order to expand operations locally and internationally.
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