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Sunday July 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s Star Garments achieves carbon neutrality

ECONOMYNEXT- Star Garments group, owned by the US-based Komar is now CarbonNeutral certified for its entire portfolio of 14 factories, officials said.

Star Garments earned the certification by the Sustainable Future Group (SFG), a sustainability verification and certification body based in Sri Lanka on Thursday.

“We as a company engaged in the apparel industry basically operates as B2B business with no dealing with the end consumer,” Star Garments Managing Director A Sukumaran said.

“But these days end consumers tend to be more concerned on how products are manufactured, he said.

“Customers look to purchase goods manufactured in an ethical and sustainable manner.”

The CarbonNeutral certification is given by Natural Capital Partners (NCP) to companies that have reduced their carbon footprint to net zero in accordance with The CarbonNeutral protocol. SFG is the regional partner of NCP.

The protocol is the global standard for carbon-neutral certification, assisting businesses to measure Greenhouse gas emissions and help reduce it with credible solutions.

Sukumaran said businesses must strive to help reduce carbon emissions.

“Businesses are the main reason for carbon emission which is now a growing concern among the masses since global warming is affecting the whole world,” he said.

“As businesses, we have to do everything within our power to help alleviate global warming,” he said.

He went on to say that the company “endeavours to reduce whatever carbon we emit in our operations by investing in carbon credits and other sustainable businesses.2

Having achieved its carbon-neutral status two years ahead of schedule, Star Garments is currently the largest company in Sri Lanka and the only apparel company with all 14 of its facilities assessed and certified.

“Star Garments has expanded about 40 per cent over the last few years and we are continuing to expand within the next two years in factories, backward integration and also overseas process,” Sukumaran said.

Sanith de S. Wijeratne, chief executive of the Carbon Consulting Company, said Star Garments had achieved carbon neutrality in a short period.

“We applaud Komar’s leadership in driving sustainability in Star Garments and we are honoured to be their partner in achieving this goal,” he said.

Sukumaran claimed that the Sri Lankan apparel industry stands in a good place at the moment.

“If you look at the 2019 numbers, we have increased our exports by about 6 per cent to 5.3 billion US dollars and I think it will only grow this year and next year,” he added.

“There are challenges but we cannot sit back and complain or take a step back from where we are,” he added.

“As businesses, we have to be able to work with these challenges in the industry. We have to keep moving forward.”

Meanwhile industry experts predict Sri Lanka’s garment exports to drop till April 2020 due to poor conditions in key markets after growing 5.1 percent to a record 5.3 billion US dollars in sales in 2019.

Sri Lanka expects a boost in exports if preferential trade conditions are extended from markets like India and China and the inception of the fabric processing zone in Eravur. (Colombo/Jan24/2020)

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Ex-US President Trump shot at in campaign rally

ECONOMYNEXT- Republican nominee to the upcoming polls and former US President Donald Trump has been shot during a campaign rally, media reports said.

The bullet grazed the ear of Trump, who is reported to be doing well.

The gunman was shot and killed by secret service snipers within second of firing the shots at Trump.

At least one civilian was killed reports said.

Television footage showed blood in Trumps ear.

As he was hustled out of the venue by Secret Service officials Trump was seen shaking his fist in the air. (Colombo/July14/2024)

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UNESCO DG to discuss archaeological endeavours in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s president has said that he will discuss initiatives for long-term archaeological endeavours in the Anuradhapura city with visiting UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay.

Azoulay will visit Sri Lanka from July 16-19 and take part at the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership of UNESCO at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo.

She will also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the island, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“I have invited the Director General of UNESCO to visit Sri Lanka and discuss initiatives for long-term archaeological endeavours in the Anuradhapura city. Several universities overseas have shown interest in supporting us for these activities, and we are moving forward with their collaboration,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“Anuradhapura boasts a rich history spanning over a millennium, once renowned as a hub of trade and economics. Preserving and exploring this ancient city’s archaeological treasures remains a significant endeavour.”

“New archaeological efforts in the Anuradhapura district are now imperative,” Wickremesinghe said during a ceremony to inaugurate a 150-kilowatt solar power system installed by the LTL Group at the Sri Maha Bodhiya premises in Anuradhapura on Saturday (13).

Wickremesinghe pointed out that UNESCO has undertaken extensive archaeological projects in Angkor Thom in Cambodia, and Luang Prabang in Laos.

“However, we have not taken the necessary steps to implement these activities in Anuradhapura city. Therefore, I have advised both the Department of Archaeology and the Cultural Triangle to undertake these initiatives.”

These efforts are part of a comprehensive program aimed at establishing Anuradhapura as a globally renowned city, Wickremesinghe said.

While Sigiriya has gained international fame, Sri Lanka has not adequately highlighted Anuradhapura’s historical significance as a major trade and economic center in the past, the president pointed out.

“Cities like Tanjore (Thanjavur), Madurai, and Sanchipuram are often discussed, yet Anuradhapura, the fourth city, has been overlooked. Therefore, it is crucial to develop Anuradhapura city.”

As part of these initiatives, preparations are underway to establish new hotels in Anuradhapura, which will contribute significantly to its development, Wickremesinghe said. (Colombo/Jul13/2024)

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Government committed to improving living conditions in Jaffna: Sri Lanka PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s prime minister, who is in Jaffna “to monitor the progress” and “get a little feedback” has said the government is committed to improving living conditions of the people in the northern peninsula.

“This government is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the Jaffna Peninsula,” Dinesh Gunawardena told a Jaffna District Coordinating Committee meeting on Friday, according to a statement by his media division.

“In order to increase the living conditions, we have embarked on an increase in most of the expenditure needed by the departments, and also special allocations for rural and urban development in the local government area.”

Nationalist Gunawardena met with Tamil politicians at the Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Office and participated in the distribution of rice and egg incubators for low income families.

“A special privilege to be with you all, in order to monitor the progress made by all of you, as well as to get a little feedback where we stand today in relation to the reports given.”

Gunawardena joins a string of leading political figures who have visited the north ahead of upcoming polls.

The government was, he said, “committed to improve the services and living conditions, therefore, to provide the necessary infrastructure for developments, which means much to your area.”

The prime minister said he appreciated the efforts of farmers because “farmers are all private sector, I would say. Let us not forget, farmers are all in the private sector, either in the ownership or in the tenancy. They are private contributors to the national development of the economy.”

The poverty numbers are “fairly managed” in the country. Gunawardena said, pointing out that poverty was a key problems in any economy. “Any country, you would agree with me, the richest country, in the United States even, food stamps have been given. So all economies the world are going through difficult situations in relation to the poor.

“We have to look after the poor especially in these remote villages of the Northern Province…”

Minister Douglas Devanada, MPs M A Sumanthiran, Angajan Ramanathan, C Vigneshwaran, Dharmalingam Siddharthan, and other officials participated in the meeting. (Colombo/Jul13/2024)

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