Tuesday, 14 January 2020 06:48

Port City unveils inaugural Social Responsibility report

This is the first Social Responsibility Report released by the Port City Colombo by its parent company China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). The report documents the company’s commitment to the communities, employees, customers and the planet covering the period from September 2014 till November 2019.

The launch was graced by the Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan and State Minister of Urban Development Gamini Lokuge as Chief Guests, while the Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama, CCCC Head of Publicity Liu Yan, China Harbour Engineering Company Vice President Huang Yongye and CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. Managing Director Jiang Houliang were Guests of Honour.

The report follows four guidelines in its compilation, namely the International Organisation for Standardising’s (ISO) Guidance on Social Responsibility, GB/T 36000-2015 Guidance on Social Responsibility, GB/T 36001-2015 Guidance on Social Responsibility Reporting issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, and the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) issued by Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

CCCC Chairman Liu Qitao in his message given to the report states, “The Port City Colombo project is one of the flagship projects of the China-Sri Lanka pragmatic economic and trade co-operation under the ‘Belt and Road’ construction framework, which has adhered to co-negotiation, co-construction and sharing. We aim to work with the people of Sri Lanka to strive to build a community of interests, a community of destiny and a community of responsibility for common development with the people of Sri Lanka.” He added that CCCC will continue to implement the concept of sustainable development, better fulfilment of its CSR, and work with governments and global companies to deepen co-operation and development, while the exhibition, innovative green development and mutual trust development communities will collaborate to help flourish Sri Lanka’s long-term stable development.

In keeping with its commitment to building Port City Colombo into a world-class city for South Asia and a dynamic economic centre, CCCC will ensure economic and social benefits for Sri Lanka including excellent infrastructure, land value enhancement, promoting urban development and offering stable employment opportunities. As detailed in its inaugural CSR report, the Port City Colombo project has integrated the social responsibility concept into its day-to-day work across its staff base, consisting of concept integration, system establishment and practice guidance.

Highlights of the report

A project of value: Giving priority to the local elements and localised procurements ranging from construction materials to office supplies, the company has established long-term partnerships with competent local suppliers. Offering a win-win situation for local suppliers, Port City Colombo invites third-party organisations to offer systematic training for 1,500 local suppliers and issue certificates. Local designers were employed for the planning, designing and construction of this mega project, and the company was able to create stable job opportunities that directly supported 8,000 locals.

A project of integration: From engineer to administrator, the company has consciously cultivated a highly skilled and well-experienced set of employees. Port City Colombo has been actively promoting annual staff training schemes, including on-site demonstrations, interaction between lecturers and trainees, IQ-based knowledge contests, etc. By the end of October 2019, 16 training programs were conducted involving 620 participants. A total of Rs. 37 million ($203,000) was allocated for the training budget, of which 90% has been effectively utilised for these purposes.

A project of livelihood: Through this project, the Port City Colombo aims to promote community development and provide tangible benefits to the local community by tracking the needs and improvement of local livelihoods. Subsequent to the insights gathered pertaining to the difficult living conditions of fishermen in Negombo, the company proposed and financed Rs. 550 million for the Fishermen Livelihood Improvement Program in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Government and NGOs. Approximately 15,450 fishermen from Negombo were offered insurance and the company organised 35 health camps that served 6,000 in the fishermen community. A total of Rs. 154 million was allocated to 77 fishery organisations from Negombo to Wattala to offer financial assistance. Furthermore, to address coastal erosion issues, the company has invested Rs. 300 million for the restoration of beaches and building of breakwaters.

In partnership with the Sri Lanka National Youth Services Council and Capital Maharaja Organisation, Port City Colombo inaugurated the Ran Bhumi Rally for Unity campaign with the theme of national unity and reconciliation. The 40-day campaign brought in more than 10 million participants covering nine provinces, 25 districts and 1,500 villages from around the country.

The Hope Project was initiated in association with the Ministry of Education to donate school supplies, and enhance teaching and learning facilities to provide better education. Various projects were launched subsequently including the upgrading of Angels Play School’s supporting facilities, organising the World University Debate Championship, selecting children to be involved in mass media campaign of the Port City Colombo project and partnering with NSBM Green University Town to empower local youth. Moreover, the company actively carried out charitable donation activities such as participating in local rescue programs for natural calamities and funding public welfare organisations, including the donation of Chinese cultural books to the Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS).

A project of quality: The Port City Colombo project meticulously guarantees the safety of all activities related to the project to minimise the risk of injury or damage during construction. The project conducted more than 192 safety training sessions involving over 4,224 participants and has successfully achieved approximately 12 million safe working hours with zero accidents.

An eco- friendly project: Adhering to the concept of sustainable development by respecting the local diversity, improving the environment, reducing pollution and conserving resources during the implementation of the project, the company was felicitated with several accolades. These include the Honourable Mention of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Africa, Asia Pacific and Middle East (AAPME) Awards; the Gold Award of the 2018 Yuan Ye Urban Design Awards; and the Silver Award of Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards 2017 organised by the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects.

Port City Colombo is a brand new city development built as an extension of the existing Colombo CBD, with an initial investment of $1.4 billion and an expected $15 billion overall investment when completed. Spanning 269 hectares, it is a sea reclamation project connected to the current central business district.

Port City Colombo is made up of five precincts – a financial district, central park living, international island, the marina and island living. When completed, Port City Colombo is estimated to have 5.7 million square metres of built space, boasting some of the best in design in terms of Grade A offices, medical facilities, educational facilities, an integrated resort, a marina, retail destinations, hotels and other lifestyle developments. Using the latest sustainable city design and smart city concepts, Port City Colombo will be the hub of South Asia.

CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. through China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is a part of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC). Incorporated in 2006, CCCC is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges, and currently employs over 120,000 individuals, with a presence in 145 countries and regions. CCCC is the world leader in port design and construction, road and bridge design and construction, dredging, and container crane and heavy machinery manufacturing. In addition, CCCC is a leading player in building construction, and a major real estate investor and developer.

For the financial year ending December 2017, CCCC recorded revenue of $79.4 billion, with total assets of $183 billion. CCCC was ranked 91st among Fortune 500 companies in 2018 and third on the ENR Top International Contractor in 2018. Among its illustrious accomplishments, CCCC is proud to have designed five out of 10 of the world’s largest container terminals and cross-sea bridges. CCCC has been actively involved with developments in Sri Lanka since 1998, executing massive construction projects such as the Southern Highway, Outer Circular Highway, Hambantota Port, Mattala International Airport, Colombo South Container Terminal and many other major infrastructure projects.

(FT)

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