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Corporate Social
Responsibility

Commercial Bank landscapes 1.5 acres of National Hospital gardens

The Corporate Social Responsibility Trust of Commercial Bank has partnered with the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo (NHSL) for a gardening and landscaping project covering an area of one and half acres of the hospital’s gardens.

The project is intended to facilitate the mental wellbeing of patients and includes the planting of C02 -absorbent trees in specified plots of land belonging to the hospital to minimise carbon dioxide emissions in its immediate environs. In addition to existing trees in the garden, more mango and jack trees have been planted. The existing ponds have been cleaned and repaired along with the benches. Lush lawns enhance the aesthetic and environmental values of the property.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Commercial Bank of Ceylon and the National Hospital to formalise this partnership, and the major part of the work has already been completed, the Bank said.

The contractor entrusted with the work will also maintain the landscaped areas for a period of five years.

The National Hospital situated in a 32 acre block of land is the largest teaching hospital in Sri Lanka and the final referral centre in the country consisting of 3500 beds and serves over 10,000 outpatients daily. Consisting of 80 wards and 30 treatment units, 38 operating theatres and 18 intensive care units, it is the training centre for undergraduates and post graduate trainees of the Faculty of Medicine. The nurse’s training school, Colombo, PBS, and schools of Radiography, Pharmacy, Cardiograph, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are affiliated to the National Hospital.

Commercial Bank contributes a percentage of its post tax profits annually to its CSR Trust, established in 2004 with a start up capital of Rs 25 million. 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 Flagship CSR initiative of donating fully-equipped IT laboratories to schools across the country reached a milestone recently, with the donation of its 150th IT lab. The programme has to date benefited more than 150,000 students. 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.

The Bank has also commenced the second phase of its IT education programme by implementing an on line learning programme via the IT laboratories it has donated. More than 50,000 children from 50 schools are now accessing carefully selected mathematics and science lessons via a specially created web platform, to supplement their regular lessons in these subjects.

Other initiatives of Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust include presenting scholarships and laptops to undergraduates, providing English education to rural school children, supporting healthcare projects around the country, supporting facilities for war heroes, and funding projects for the preservation of culture and heritage.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Commercial Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

Photo caption:
Mrs Priyanthi Perera, CSR Coordinator of Commercial Bank (second left) and Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director of the National Hospital exchange the agreement in the presence of (from left) Mahesh Ratnayake of the Bank’s CSR unit and Dr Ramya Premarathne, Coordinator of the NHSL landscaping project (centre)