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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon began 2014 on a winning note, taking Gold and Silver for its corporate social responsibility initiativesin Education and Healthcare respectively at the JASTECA CSR Awards presented by the Japan Sri Lanka Technical & Cultural Association.
The Bank’s multifaceted community programmes in the sphere of Education& Training received the JASTECA CSR Gold award, while its many initiatives in the sphere of Health were acknowledged with the Silver Award at the awards gala on Friday 17th January.
This is the first occasion that the Commercial Bank participated in the JASTECA CSR Awards competition.
The awards recognise the tangible impacts and sustainability of the programmes conducted by Commercial Bank in these two areas, under the guidance of the Bank’s CSR Trust.
The 24-point evaluation used by the panel of eminent judges to assess the CSR projects considered for the JASTECA awards cover multiple aspects including community goodwill generated, social integration, social and environmental impacts, engagement of stakeholders, sustainability, fulfilment of objectives, engagement of public sector agencies, social compliance standards, conformity with values of communal harmony and respect for minorities, integration with business processes, environmental responsibility, budgets and continuity.
“These are aspects that receive a great deal of attention when the Bank selects and implements its community projects,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dias said. “The Bank supports a well-defined, comprehensively-structured series of high priority initiatives that are in-sync with national needs and the Bank’s own vision and mission, and provides its CSR Trust with an annual budget that is linked to its net profit.”
The JASTECA CSR Gold award presented to Commercial Bank is in recognition of its nationally significant initiative to present fully-equipped IT Labs to schools in all provinces of the country, the annual presentation of scholarships and laptops to undergraduates and a programme to help school children with better access to English language education. The Bank donated 43 IT Labs to 37 schools and six other institutions in the year ending 31st March 2013 and launched and completed the first of its English language programmes with the inaugural batch of 200 students. By the end of 2013, the Bank had provided English education to over 300 students.
In the sphere of Health, the JASTECA CSR Silver Award acknowledges the donation of essential medical equipment to 15 hospitals in Sri Lanka during the period assessed for the award. The Bank concentrates mainly on donating medical equipment and other accessories and refurbishing maternity and paediatric wards.
All of Commercial Bank’s centrally-funded Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives come under the purview of the Bank’s CSR Trust, established in 2004. The Bank defines the overall goal of its CSR policy as ‘to generate measurable and sustainable social dividends for different segments of society, in particular those which require empowerment and enrichment.’
The Bank’s IT Education programme is designed to empower younger generations and the country to face the future with confidence with world-class knowledge. This programme shares synergy with the Bank’s vision of being the most technologically-advanced, innovative and customer-friendly financial services organisation in Sri Lanka. By end of 2013, the number of IT Labs donated by Commercial Bank had reached 125 benefitting 125,000 children.
All computer laboratories donated by Commercial Bank are equipped with brand new computers with licensed software. The schools are also provided accessories such as computer tables, printers and chairs, and the Bank provides assistance to maintain and upgrade these computer labs when necessary to ensure that the facilities benefit many batches of students.
Other CSR initiatives of the Bank include the annual presentation of scholarships and laptops to undergraduates, projects that promote the preservation of cultural heritage, donation of health equipment to hospitals, regional projects and assistance to war heroes.
Commercial Bank’s commitment to the community was also recently acknowledged at the 2013 Best Corporate Citizen awards presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The Bank received the award for ‘Governance’ in the Category Awards, the award for ‘Education’ in the awards for Long Term Projects, a merit award for ‘Infrastructure’ for its healthcare projects and was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens at this prestigious event.
The largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed three years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 235 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank has been adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by Global Finance magazine for a record 15 successive years and has also won multiple awards as the country’s best bank from ‘The Banker,’ ‘FinanceAsia,’ ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.
Commercial Bank's Deputy General Manager Marketing Mr.HasrathMunasinghe (above) and CSR Coordinator Mrs.PriyanthiPerera (below) accept the Gold Award for Education & Training Projects and the Silver Award for Healthcare Projects respectively from the Chief Guest His Excellency Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka.