COLOMBO : South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd (SAGT), Sri Lanka’s first Public Private Partnership Container Terminal and BOI flagship project was awarded “Best Practices in Sustainability” at the 2023 Maritime SheEO Awards in Mumbai. Since launching its sustainability strategy in 2018, SAGT has been at the forefront of driving sustainable operations both within its terminal and the Port of Colombo.
SAGT’s four pillared approach to sustainability covers environmental stewardship, social responsibility, good governance and an enabling work environment focused on health, safety and wellbeing. This award stands as a testament to the Company’s commitment to sustainability operationalised through its comprehensive sustainability strategy.
SAGT’s sustainability report accredited by globally acclaimed DNV was the first and to date is the only report published by a single terminal operator in the Indian ocean and aptly charts the Company’s progressive journey in sustainable terminal operations. SAGT’s fourth consecutive report for the period 2022/23 depicts a 25% reduction in its scope 1 and scope 2 carbon footprint. The reduction is largely attributable to a significant investment converting 22 of the Company’s Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes to hybrid energy consumption. This initiative eliminated 3601 metric tons in carbon emissions into the environment.
In pursuit of achieving net zero ahead of the 2050 IMO target, SAGT has partnered with Greenstat Hydrogen to underwrite a feasibility study in the green hydrogen space for the Port of Colombo. This initiative is set to bolster sustainable operations within PoC creating greater value to stakeholders.
SAGT’s sustainability metrics are governed and implemented through comprehensive policies. The Company’s waste and water management policies emulate the 3R principle of reduce, reuse and recycle. In 2022/23 SAGT’s waste generation was down 21% in comparison to the previous reporting year. Furthermore, the Company achieved a 51% reduction in A4 paper usage in 2022/23 equating to 93 trees saved during the year!
Setting the bar for ethical, responsible and transparent practices SAGT was the first and to date remains the only terminal in PoC to implement a whistleblowing and anti-sexual harassment policy aiming for zero tolerance for discrimination.
Moving beyond the confines of the terminal SAGT’s efforts in the reforestation and thereby restoration of degraded land area contributes to offsetting the Company’s carbon footprint while benefitting surrounding communities. At present SAGT is engaged in reforesting and maintaining 5 acres of the Yagirala Forest Reserve in Partnership with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. A further partnership with the same university intends to plant mangroves on five acres of land in the South of Sri Lanka.
Shouldering its commitment to the wider community, SAGT partially funded restarting the stalled Thriposha Program of the Government of Sri Lanka. The Thriposha initiative of course provides nutritional supplement free of charge to malnourished pregnant and lactating mothers and children aged 6 months to 5 years. The donation enabled the procurement of milk powder as the key ingredient in the production of Thriposha.
Receiving the award on behalf of SAGT, Ms Udara Cumaratunga, Senior Manager Commercial and Marketing stated “Sustainability initiatives are not just another nice to do. It is the right thing to do. Our operations, service offerings, Staff and Stakeholders have greatly benefited from these initiatives. I am honoured to be receiving this award on behalf of TEAM SAGT. We are grateful to Maritime SheEO for recognising our efforts in the sustainability landscape.”.