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Empowering Sri Lanka - Sustainably!

 

 

 

 bird's eye view of the LANWA facilities

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Mr. Nandana Lokuwithana, the entrepreneur on a mission “to empower Sri Lanka socially, economically and industrially”, so says the promotional video that ushers in a tyre manufacturing plant; tipped to be the largest in the whole of SouthEast Asia.

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Behind the successful business persona lies a man who is at the forefront of good environmental business practices as well. In Fact, you could say that Mr. Nandana Lokuwithana is a silent environmental activist, working to ensure that the land that has nurtured us is being cared for in return. Here we peek at that sustainable story.

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 LANWA factory

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In 2009, The Chairman lay claim to the pioneering steel manufacturing plant, and the largest in Sri Lanka: Ceylon Steel Corporation. Keeping the heritage of the brand alive, it is today known as Ceylon Steel Corporation Limited, manufacturing a portfolio of products under the brand name ‘LANWA Sanstha Wane’.

Speaking passionately, he opined on sustainability:

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" For us, looking after our parents is a priority. They have given us so much that we cannot adequately compensate for- yet we try, because we care. That is how I feel about our environment, and I encourage all our businesses to maintain this approach consciously, in every project we do. We must take care of mother nature as we would our parents."

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Mr. Lokuwithana insists that “we all must do our part in making sure that our youth have a “tomorrow” to live for." The Chairman understands the extraordinary impact that the industrial sector has on the environment, which is why he personally drives business practices that are centered around mitigating its harmful effects, and providing solutions that will have equal action to ensure that the environmental cycles are not disrupted.

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According to the Chairman, the earth and humanity have a symbiotic relationship- However, he aims to make it one based on mutualism as opposed to parasitism. The way he sees it, humanity has evolved as a whole, and now has the capacity to understand the extent of the damage we have already done, and the power to take the right steps to fix it.

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He began his journey towards achieving sustainable economic development by utilizing his role as the Chairman of Ceylon Steel Corporation Limited; he directed the company towards prioritizing the environment around them- from the flora that stretched across its 185 acres, to the fauna that mingled and thrived among them.

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greenery at LANWA premises

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Whilst focused on productivity, his business practices are never disengaged from the goals of sustainability. Well-manicured, well-landscaped gardens surrounding the factory premises at Oruwala, Athurugiriya, bespeaks of this sentiment; for it is truly an arboretum harboring a biota with distinct characteristics. To the beholder, it offers a colorful tapestry on any day.

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greenery at LANWA premises

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Going beyond the aesthetics, the vegetation surrounding the mills acts as a ‘Green lung’ to purify the air chemically as well as physically. It also acts as a muffler to reduce noise. Moving on, the Chairman worked on other ways to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He sought out and adopted new technology which would filter the emissions that came from the plant, as well as a system that could recycle water via cooling towers that are connected to the main equalizing basin. He also took steps to ensure that his plant was practicing proper waste management, and was producing in a manner that would achieve justifiable sustainability. 

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rainbow beneath the cooling towers at LANWA

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Today, CSCL is Sri Lanka’s only steel manufacturer that abides by ISO 14001 - 2015, and it can all be credited to Mr. Lokuwithana’s passion for taking care of the environment, and to his influence on those around him.

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The Chairman combined functionality with sustainability, and has set an example not only for his employees and the generations that will come after him, but also to entrepreneurs worldwide- showing them the impact they could have if they prioritized their surroundings just as much as they do profit.

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Overall, the CSCL factory premises act as a testament to the correlation between industries and the environment, and Mr. Lokuwithana has certainly set the standards for other local factories to strive towards.