Sustainability a priority for Port City Project

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By 2017-10-20

Port City Colombo (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Jiang Houliang, speaking at the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka, said that Port City Colombo's vision is to be the benchmark in environmental friendliness and sustainability, stated a press release. The new city, meant to be a showpiece to the world, aims to draw environmentally friendly people, organizations and visitors to enhance its sustainability.

Port City Colombo plans to incorporate sustainability guidelines for third party developers of individual plots of land, in keeping with their commitment to build a completely sustainable city, extending beyond their scope as master developer, added the release.
The Port City Project has an international executive force working on its sustainable development. "We are adhering to the best development practices. For us, CSR and sustainability are not just means to establish a relationship with our communities to channel our philanthropy and do image management. This project will go far beyond that," said Houliang.

"We believe that adhering to global best practices in sustainability is linked with economic and commercial success and this will be demanded by those who invest and live in Port City in the future. That is why we continue to forge real stakeholder involvement and innovative partnerships, as we cannot succeed alone. Therefore, we are mindful that future generations will measure the success of this project by its environmental and social sustainability. That is why we are making investments in these areas today."

Speaking of Port City's view on CSR, Jiang said, "Being a good corporate citizen is an important factor for any organization; however, CSR priorities are not the same in different parts of the world. For example, in a country like Sri Lanka, philanthropy and community engagement play an important role. If you are in charge of a project such as the Port City, you have to be in sync with this. At the same time, one has to also be sensitive to local norms and deep-rooted cultural traditions when it comes to philanthropy projects and community engagement. Therefore, our initial foray into CSR was looking at the well-being of adjacent communities, such as the Fishermen's Livelihood Support Society project we have been sponsoring in Negombo."

"We have allocated Rs 500 million towards the sustainability and well-being of a community living to the north of Colombo. The Fishermen's Livelihood Support Society – which operates under the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Ministry and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development – is an initiative supported and funded by the Port City. Its primary objective is to find meaningful ways to support fishing communities in these areas. Community suggested activities are evaluated independently by officials of the two Ministries and implemented."

Houliang, addressing some of the initial doubts expressed by various parties about the project – particularly the ongoing dredging operation – said that sand-dredging for the project is being carried out after an environmental impact assessment, which had its public comments in December 2015. "It is carried out in a completely sustainable manner at distances of over 7km from the shoreline, and at depths of 15m or more. The dredging has no impact on coastal erosion or livelihoods. Representatives of fishermen have come on board the dredger to personally observe the advanced technology we use. The dredgers used are the best in the world and their GPS tracking records are available for public scrutiny via internet," he assured.

The Port City Colombo was the main sponsor of the 11th AGM of the Institute of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka, held under the theme 'Rescuing wetlands for future economic development,' concluded the release.




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