Education should place emphasis on environment preservation- Carbon Consulting CEO | Sunday Observer

Education should place emphasis on environment preservation- Carbon Consulting CEO

CEO Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne
CEO Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne

More emphasis on the environment is necessary to mitigate the impact of climate change and make the planet a better place to live in, CEO Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne said.

“We should be mindful of the negative effects to our surroundings as most of the natural disasters are caused by shortsighted human action,” he said.

“Our education system should be geared to place more emphasis on the value of cleaner and greener environment, which we should leave for the next generation. The carbon credit scheme is an income generating avenue where the community receives the benefit of planting trees for environmental sustainability,” he said at an interview with Business Observer.

However, he said that companies should take the responsibility of preserving the environment and to this end the government needs to provide a condusive policy framework.

Q. What is the background of your company?

A. We are essentially a corporate that provides carbon consultancy services. We are Sri Lanka’s only, and one of South Asia’s leading providers of integrated sustainability solutions. The company promotes sustainable development in the South Asian region, by providing customised corporate sustainability solutions. We are proud to collaborate with some of the world’s leading providers of sustainability services. We try to convince companies to ensure a cleaner and greener environment in day-to-day operations. This is not a regulatory compliance.

We also help companies to fight climate change, to reduce environmental impact by way of beliefs and methods. It is not simply about saving money. It is looking at various impacts on the environment and taking action to mitigate it.

Q. Could you give an overview of the operational mechanism of the company?

A. We have a series of services and products and offer a diverse range of consultancy services that cover all avenues of corporate sustainability. Our approach includes the aspects of measure, manage, mitigate, maximise and market. Our Services encompass carbon, water, waste, energy, and biodiversity.

We work with case studies and our partners. We have a resource hub carrying out carbon foot printing, water foot printing and auditing, waste auditing, energy auditing, biodiversity assessments and CCC blog helping companies to offset it emissions. Our sustainability achievements are Hiniduma Bio-link Certified, Carbon Neutral and Asian Tree of the Year. We have embedded sustainable strategies into corporate strategy.

Q. How could the companies, people and the country benefit from the work you do?

A. Today, the world is faced with the impact of climate change as never before. We experience floods and other disasters. Ships have gone through Antarctic as the ice has melted due to climate change. We have changed the way we do business to make a change.

The vision of the company is to make a change and it is by making a change to mitigate the impact of climate change. We encourage companies to reduce the emissions which will eliminate negative effects. To reduce water waste we are planting rain forest trees to create a bio-diversity corridor.

We register bio-diversity projects for carbon credit. We encourage farmers to grow trees on their properties. By doing so their income has gone up by 20 percent due to this benefitting the community. They also look after the soil, protect bio-diversity and promote the eco system impacting the country and people.

This is a first of its kind project to be registered in Asia. We are the global leaders in our sector, and it is a big achievement. All of the company’s sustainability assessments follow international standards, protocols, methodologies and guidelines.

Q. What is the international award that the company won recently? How did it get selected?

A. CCC has been nominated for the top spot on the list of the Top 10 Ground Breaking Companies in South Asia for 2019 by Insights Success Magazine based in India.

With over eight years of experience, CCC has worked with over 100 clients across Southeast Asia and is responsible for the reduction of over 100 million kilos of CO2 emission from the atmosphere as well as saving over 20 million litres of water and planting over 20,000 trees in managed agro forestry projects.

CCC is the regional partner for Natural Capital Partners, the world’s leading provider of carbon offset solutions and creator of the Carbon Neutral certification. Pioneering the certification of carbon neutrality in Sri Lanka, India and Maldives, CCC has over the past eight years expanded its operations to several other countries in the South Asia and the Middle East. The nomination by the Insights Success Magazine, recognises CCC’s innovative approach towards tackling corporate action on climate change.

I am humbled and honoured that our team has been recognised with the prestigious international accolade. It is a result of the concerted efforts of a talented and multi-disciplinary group of people who have come together out of a shared passion for the conservation of the environment and combating of climate change.

Q. What kind of human resources do you need for this sector?

A. The biggest human resource is people who are passionate about the environment before money. Our value systems are built around material things. If they are passionate they can fit in to our sector. Our staff is passionate about the environment and they are a part of the solution. We are in the process of recruiting staff. I have read more than 500 CVs. Most of them have not applied for the right reason. Everybody has technical knowledge, but not passionate about the environment and the planet.

Q. Does Sri Lanka’s education system blend with work related to your company?

A. Absolutely not. Our education system does nothing to help our type of work. Looking at ‘quick fixes’ is not going to help the environment. There should be priorities. Our value systems have not been properly put in place. Our education system has to be changed. We have really good universities. However, they lack teachings that improve thinking and analysing skills in students.

Q. What kind of investments can you attract for the sector?

A. A lot of investment that should have been made in the sector has not been made. We do not have a lot of companies that invest in renewable energy. We have problems with the inputs of energy experts which strongly believe in other sources of energy such as coal. We should be compelling companies to invest more in renewable energy. These are corporate social responsibility projects. There is worldwide mechanism for these investments. The return of these type of investment is carbon credit and carbon tax.

Q. What does company plan to do over the next few years?

A. Right now we have started on regional expansion in the countries, such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, Oman, Laos, Thailand, India, the Maldives and have also receive inquiries from Philippines and Myanmar. We are working more and more on regional basis on carbon emission and reduction.

We help set up carbon reduction projects, work on water box technology which does not require additional water for 6 to 8 months which is a dessert technical expertise on carbon reduction. We are planning to work in this region. As a Sri Lankan, I am proud to say that we are working with so many countries.

However, people still are not investing what it should be for this sector. We have to change this mechanism. It is not a government responsibility and we are not asking for government subsidy as it is not the government’s problem. The companies are polluting the environment.

To prevent this, long term thinking is necessary. The government has a big role to play in providing a policy framework. The companies should have five year plans, just not for the next financial year. They have to make a change to stay green as at now they do not do anything right.

We consider spreading in the region as the biggest mile stone so far. We have got many inquiries and hopefully by the end of the year, there will be two more countries added to our portfolio. We are also in no small way, inspired and guided by the founding directors of the company without whose passion and commitment we would not be able to be here right now. The credit should go to co-founder of our company, Prof. Mohan Munasinghe.

He is an internationally acclaimed scientist. We are also the regional partner of Natural Capital Partners, a world’s leading carbon credit company. As we look forward to the future we are encouraged by the new partnerships forged and our continue work to develop meaningful sustainability action plans for our clients to reach their environmental aspirations.

The CCC has been a change-maker in the region pushing the boundaries of what environmental sustainability can do to empower local businesses and communities.