Business Times

Asia’s first carbon neutral IT company sets up in Sri Lanka

Carbon Consulting Company (CCC), Sri Lanka’s premier carbon footprint expert, has certified Duo Software as the region’s first carbon neutral IT Company.

“Achieving CarbonNeutral® status demonstrates that Duo is committed to environmental sustainability by first minimising and then offsetting its entire carbon output. By certifying Duo, the first CarbonNeutral® IT Company in Sri Lanka and the region, CCC has added immense value to the IT industry and the environment alike,” a statement from the CCC said.

Jennifer Samuel, Chief Finance Officer of Duo Software explains that Duo’s vision, mission and core beliefs are built on the ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet and profits. “Treat your employees correctly, nurture and harness intellectual capital, strive to minimise the business’ ecological impact in all areas and an honest profit can be made in harmony with the principals of People and Planet,” she said.
By partnering with CCC, Duo software has been certified as a CarbonNeutral® company in accordance with the CarbonNeutral® Protocol, which is the global standard for carbon neutral certification used in 32 countries. The Protocol is aligned with the WBSCD/WRIs GHG Protocol for company reporting and is issued by one of the world's leading providers, with every step being verified through international partner agencies to ensure complete compliance.

“We are pleased to partner with Duo Software in this historic achievement,” said CCC Director Fazal Fausz. ‘They had a very clear green vision about making their business a more sustainable and eco-friendly one. It is exactly this sort of far thinking management philosophy that will ensure that they stay competitive in the global market and set them apart from key competitors.’

The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) has been created with the purpose of helping organisations reduce their environmental impact and maximise the CSR and marketing opportunities arising from these efforts.

SL ads must compete in more intl. awards shows

Sri Lanka's advertising community is too harsh in judging its own creative work and some pieces that should be entered in regional and/or international advertising awards programmes never gets entered because of this mentality, according to Chandini Rajaratnam, the Executive Creative Director (ECD) for the Sri Lankan unit of international advertising agency JWT.

Ms. Rajaratnam made these comments at a recent event held to brief the media about "Passion Patrol," the agency's quarterly regional creative review of work, from its 18 Asia Pacific offices, which has been passed on because of international awards potential. The most recent "Passion Patrol" was held in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, according to the agency's ECD for South East Asia, Tay Guan Hin, consistency in JWT's creative product is how the agency is choosing to build its reputation. And Sri Lanka falls short in this regard because, it does not always explain the ideavery well. Another issue is that a lot of Asian markets try and mimic America and this tend to lose their own identity.

It also emerged that the key differentiator of platforms like Facebook and other digital networks was the ability to share faster, but even without these people would continue to share anyway. Also suggested, even the clients that are focused strongly on the bottom line are finding that, in the long run, this sole focus is resulting in their losing followers. Brands have to be perceived as having a very strong point of view, and/or personality, for people to continue paying a premium for them, especially in the age of generics.

Ceylon Chamber to co-host Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) with the endorsement of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Sri Lanka Customs is to co-host the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) 2012 in Sri Lanka.

Harin Malwatte, CCC Secretary General said the chamber will co-host the Asian Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012 in Sri Lanka with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He made this statement at the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum held in Seoul, Korea recently, according to a press release issued by the CCC.
It will be the first time this eminent forum will be hosted by a South Asian country. APTFF was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2010 and in Seoul early this month.

The Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum, launched jointly by the United Nations ESCAP and Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2009, is an annual open regional event to exchange information, experiences and practices for trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region. It identifies priority areas for regional cooperation and integration and participants learn new tools and services that will increase efficiency of cross-border transactions that will ultimately improve the competitiveness of firms in the region.

Every year 200-300 participants attend the forum from countries in the Asia Pacific Region. Participants include government officials, traders, public and private service providers from Central Asia, South, South-East and East Asia as well as the South Pacific.

Union Bank’s new Anti Money Laundering Solutions product

Union Bank of Colombo PLC (UBC) has implemented a technology-based money laundering prevention initiative, the first Sri Lankan bank to do so.

“After a long drawn evaluation in which many global vendors participated, UBC decided to work with InfrasoftTech, a leader in AML systems in the international markets. The bank is focusing on automating its KYC and monitoring processes to enable risk weightage based approach to prevent money laundering in bank’s networks.

This technology upgrade is expected to support the bank to meet compliance requirements with a higher level of proficiency and assist in identifying the bank’s customer needs more effectively,” according to a bank statement.

InfrasoftTech’s solution provides AML compliance supporting most central banks’ directives on financial crime prevention in over 27 countries.

Moratuwa University undergrads become entrepreneurs

The University of Moratuwa with the collaboration of Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka (YESL) has initiated entrepreneurship training for university students for the first time in the Sri Lankan higher education system.

Nine companies formed by around 300 students of the university under this programme will be officially launched off on Thursday, October 27 at the Sri Lankan Foundation Institute where these groups will introduce their products, services and business ideas to the public.

The Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka (YESL) is a Member/Franchise Holder of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide commenced in 1919 in USA, spans the globe with a wide variety of learning experience for young people between 5-25. JA is the World’s largest and fastest growing programme around the world empowering young people to own their economic success through programmes in three core areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness. YESL has initiated these programmes in schools since 1998, and now extended these programmes to cover all 17 universities in the country under the guidance of the authorities.

The University of Moratuwa, under the guidance of the Professor in Entrepreneurship, Prof. Ananda Jayawardane is the first higher education institute to start an entrepreneurial programme differentiating from the conventional approach to produce job creators and not job seekers.

The programme is conducted by YESL personnel headed by its President Patrick Amarasinghe, Department of the Management of Technology of the Moratuwa University and also guest lecturers and experts. It focuses on giving practical knowledge on true to life businesses, functionality, operations and also related topics such as legal background and safeguarding intellectual property rights.

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