Continuing its journey of doing good for Sri Lanka, Nestlé Lanka is furthering its investment in the country despite volatilities, with its strong focus on sustainability. Accordingly, the ‘Good food, Good life’ company will be investing over Rs. 1 billion in a biomass boiler project at its state-of-the-art factory in Kurunegala, which will contribute significantly towards the company’s endeavour of achieving net zero emissions across the value chain by 2050. Planned to begin mid-2023, this investment project will be conducted under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) agreement with Thermax Energy & Environment Lanka (Private) Limited.
Nestlé strongly believes in conducting its operations sustainably in a manner which positively impacts not only people, but also the planet. Towards this end, the company has in place a comprehensive roadmap spanning across the entire value chain from farm to end-of-shelf-life, towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, ultimately achieving net zero emissions by 2050. As such, the construction of this biomass boiler is a significant milestone in Nestlé’s sustainability journey in Sri Lanka, resulting in an approximate 37% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing.
Having started its operations in 1984, today, Nestlé Lanka’s Kurunegala factory manufactures over 90% of Nestlé products sold in the country. Standing by the country and its people for over 115 years, the company has become an integral part of Sri Lankan lives and contributes to the livelihoods of more than 25,000 Sri Lankan dairy and coconut farmers and out-growers and provides direct employment to over 800. Over the years, Nestlé Lanka has consistently invested in the country and just last year, the company invested over Rs. 2 billion in a new Vacuum Band Dryer aimed at expanding the capacity of its manufacturing facility for malted food, i.e., Nestlé Nestomalt and Nestlé Milo.
A press conference was held on 9 February 2023 to announce the investment with the participation of Minister of Industries and Plantations, Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana; Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, HE. Dominik Furgler along with officials from Nestlé Lanka, including Managing Director, Mr. Jason Avanceña, and Managing Director – Designate, Mr. Bernhard Stefan.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Guest, Minister of Industries and Plantations, Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said “During this unprecedented time of economic volatility, it is a pleasure to witness Nestlé Lanka consistently investing in the country, especially in green energy. Investments such as this is not only imperative for sustainable economic recovery, but also for a better tomorrow for our future generations.”
Sharing his thoughts, Guest of Honour, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said “Sustainability is important now more than ever and the efforts taken by Nestlé Lanka in this regard is truly commendable. Environmental-friendly alternatives such as biomass is of utmost importance in ensuring sustainable operations and I hope more corporates will undertake similar projects in the years to come.”
“Throughout our operations spanning over 115 years, Nestlé has never wavered in our commitment and endeavour of positively impacting Sri Lankans, be it with our continuous investments, tastier and healthier choices, contribution towards local communities or our initiatives towards a greener and cleaner Sri Lanka. It gives me immense pride to lead by example and embark on this project, which would result in a significant positive impact to the planet. I’m also delighted to note that, this project would help us reduce foreign currency outflow with the reduced use of fossil fuel in our operations. Staying true to our purpose of ‘Unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’ we will work together with fellow Sri Lankans as we progress in our ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050” said Mr. Jason Avanceña, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka.
Nestlé Lanka has been consistently recognized as a force for good in appreciation of its efforts towards doing good for Sri Lanka, most recent of which was receiving six awards at the Best Corporate Sustainability Awards 2022. Accordingly, the company’s wins included Second Runners Up – Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022, Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens, Sector Award – Manufacturing, Triple Bottom Line Award – Environmental Sustainability (Planet), Category Award – Environmental Integration, and Category Award – Financial Performance. Widely considered Sri Lanka’s highest corporate honour, the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards.
Featured Photo Caption: From left to right - H.E. Dominik Furgler (Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives), Jason Avanceña (Managing Director – Nestlé Lanka), Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana (Minister of Industries and Plantations), Dr. Anil Jasinghe (Secretary – Ministry of Environment), Mr. Bernhard Stefan (Managing Director, Designate – Nestlé Lanka)