From plantation management and manufacturing to packaging and waste management. every process takes into condsidertion the possible impact on the ecosystem.
While many companies in Sri Lanka use furnace oil (a fossil fuel) to power their factories, we run our manufacturing facilities primarily on renewable biomass energy, ensuring that our carbon emissions are significantly reduced. This use of biomass earns our group about 10,000 tonnes worth of carbon credits every year. Between 2006 and 2010 we accumulated around 50,000 tonnes of carbon credits that are used to help other companies offset their carbon emission limits. We are determined to increase our contribution to the ecosystem through the use of biomass while maintaining a heightened environmental consciousness.
We have already established a pilot plant with a capacity of 15,000 meter cube per annum and are planning to establish another with a capacity of 450,000 meter cube per annum with the assistance of the Asian Development bank.
Once this plant is fully established and is fine-tuned to suit the requirements of the manufacturing process, similar purification and recycling plants will be installed in all other manufacturing units of our group.
We are well aware of the benefits trees bring to the environment and community. Apart from minimising the effects of global warming, producing oxygen, supporting wildlife and biodiversity, preventing soil erosion and beautifying our environment they also slow down water runoff following floods, naturally control temperature and enrich the soil they stand on. The Lalan team joined hands to plant over 100,000 trees across three estates (Delmar, Aigburth and Gammaduwa) for the benefit of community and the environment.
We take the environmental impact of our operations seriously by engaging in schemes to minimise these negative ecological effects. One such effort was the introduction of a water purification scheme at our mattress manufacturing factory in Bandaragama. The treatment procedure uses a reverse osmosis process to recycle the effluent and produce water which is ultimately fit for drinking. Daily, 60 cubic metres of water is treated via this process.
We are now preparing to introduce the purification scheme at our largest glove manufacturing factory in Seethawaka, this will result in the purification of a further 1000 cubic metres of water each day. Following successful implementation at Seethawaka, the process will be introduced to GSL's other factories as well.
The management of our plantations is committed to the long term sustainability of its plantations whilst caring for its watersheds, preserving its flora and fauna, enriching its soil through improved agricultural practices, whilst getting everyone participating in protecting the environment. GSL presently maintain about 1,000 acres of natural forestland (nearly 10% of the total extent of natural forest area) and has plans to expand this area to include a further 700 acres. The land will be permanently under forest cover and will not be used for harvesting timber. As such, it will benefit both the environment and the community.
In addition we plant permanent forests in the buffer zones of our ravines and close to waterways in order to maintain moisture levels and to prevent top soils getting eroded. We have also launched a programme aimed at planting specific tree species which will act as windbreakers in areas susceptible to strong winds. This will prevent damage to buildings and crops.
The flora and fauna diversity of our forest areas has been inventoried with the help of experts from leading universities. The diversity is monitored through permanent sample plots established in our forest areas. Furthermore, the threatened species listed in the Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN) have been identified and awareness programs are conducted regularly to keep estate workers and communities living nearby informed.
GSL extends its portfolio of energy substitutes by producing biomass products such as:
Our objective is to provide customers with an economical and environmentally sustainable alternative to generating energy. We create synergies with our group companies by supplying biomass to bring down thier cost of production. Any excess supply is sold to external customers.
One processing plant is located in the paddy cultivation area where most rice millers contribute paddy husk, providing a steady supply to the plant. The Central Province has a large number of timber processing mills. These produce a regualr supply of saw dust and chips which create environmental problems. By collecting this and using it as raw material for a secondary processing plant Lalan protects the environment while adding to its portfolio of biomass products.
The manufacturing process is strictly controlled to achieve GSL's strict quality standards.
GSL receives a steady supply of fuel wood as their plantation companies grow fuel wood plants such as Gliricidia and Calliandra. The Group plantation company owns over 27,000 acres of land mostly cultivated with rubber. Logs are obtained primarily from rubber trees which are removed for replanting. The company plans to acquire new land in the future and grow fuel wood for our requirements.