Nov 21, Colombo: The Hambantota International Port (HIP) won in the Corporate Social Responsibility category at the Maritime Standard Awards 2022 held in Dubai, becoming the first Sri Lankan Port to win an international award for CSR.
The award, which was presented at a grand ceremony held at the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm, Dubai, was accepted by Jeevan Premasara, Senior General Manager of Human Resources of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG).
HIP was pitted against 5 other finalists Abu Dhabi Ports Group, DP World UAE, Glander International Bunkering, The Shipping Corporation of India and Tristar Maritime Logistics for the CSR award.
The Port’s win at the Maritime Standard Awards is backed by a series of well-planned initiatives to sustain people and the planet. Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG said, “CSR plays a key role in the strategic development of the port and is strongly supported by the China Merchant Foundation, the CSR arm of our global partner CMPort. CMPort who is mission driven to develop surrounding communities has set us a gold standard and in line with that, our CSR programs are developed under a sustainability master plan which connects 4 pillars i.e. environment, health & safety, community development, religious & cultural engagement. Each of these silos are important and there are activities earmarked on our CSR calendar for their development. We believe that our business success is aligned with the contribution we make towards the sustainability of our surrounding communities and our environment. Today we have received international recognition for our efforts.”
Some of the key socially and environmentally conscious projects undertaken by HIP include a waste management/recycling plant and tree planting to create green lungs within the port and surrounding areas.
While these activities ensure environmental sustainability, they also emphasize the value HIPG places in operating as a green port.
Rebuilding a derelict state-owned school in the Hambantota District’s Weerawila area was a project of the port, because of a firm belief that education is the first step towards building a skilled knowledge-filled future generation. The school was completely overhauled and new buildings and a playground added to it to ensure a conducive learning environment for students. Assistance to rural schools in the district remains an ongoing activity in the port’s CSR calendar.
In line with the emphasis they place on health & safety, HIP made a real difference to the community during pandemic times, not only supporting families with essentials but also providing medical equipment. A wholly equipped PCR testing facility was established at the Hambantota General Hospital, which helps the district and adjacent areas.
The Hope Village concept is the port’s flagship projects to build and develop communities, where the port selects a village to uplift, providing it with infrastructure, opportunities and training for villagers to become self-sustaining.
More recently the port established the Human Elephant Peace fund, supported with a grant by the China Merchant Foundation, to collaborate with state agencies for investment in projects that are aimed at resolving the human elephant conflict which is becoming a growing concern nationwide.
The Maritime Standard Awards, held for the 9th consecutive year is one of the world’s premier shipping and maritime events that takes place in the region.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, the prestigious Awards is attended by 900 plus senior executives from the ship owning, ports, terminals, shipbuilding and repair, maritime law and finance, classification, ship management, ship agencies, bunkering, marine insurance, education, training and other sectors of the maritime industry. Several key influencers from government agencies and international organizations were also present.