INSEE Cement, Sri Lanka’s largest and leading cement manufacturer, closed the first half of an unprecedented year by continuing to invest in a number of community development projects, impacting over 500,000 beneficiaries. The projects were carried out around Puttalam Cement Works (PCW) and Ruhunu Cement Works (RCW), with INSEE Cement nurturing strong synergies in the communities in which they operate through employment, empowerment, community development, and numerous social projects that have ensured the communities’ advancement alongside that of the company.
By launching the comprehensive, long-term, group-wide strategy titled INSEE Sustainability Ambition 2030, INSEE Cement aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global frameworks, and made social, economic, and environmental sustainability a defining part of INSEE Cement’s identity. One of the fundamental pillars of INSEE’s Sustainability Ambition 2030 is Community & Stakeholder Engagement.
Earning the License to Operate
To create impactful community engagement, INSEE Cement has established plant-level Community Advisory Panels (CAPs) that bring together community leaders, District Secretariat authorities, woman and child bureau, Sri Lanka police, Heads of religious places, Department of education, Central Environment Authority, Department of agriculture, department of health, Municipality, Grama Niladari’s (Village Level Administrative Officer) and an internal cross-functional INSEE team. With ground-level access to the community, CAP identified and prioritized a number of projects for INSEE Cement for 2022, out of which several have been completed with Social Impact Assessments scheduled for the second half of the year to obtain feedback from the respective communities.
Community Development remains one of INSEE’s core areas of focus under Community & Stakeholder Engagement and is further segregated into access to education, healthcare, clean water supply, and sanitization. In terms of access to education, INSEE Cement supported four pre-schools – two in the vicinity of PCW, RCW and one in Eluwankulam – both financially and in-kind, to ensure a strong cognitive, emotional as well as physical foundation in early childhood education, to nurture a more well-rounded future generation in Sri Lanka. The company also collaborated with the ISURU Reading Club to establish a library in Attavilluwa, Puttalam supplying a range of books across multiple genres and maintaining the library and its resources to ensure its benefits can be enjoyed by the community members for years to come.
Under access to healthcare, INSEE Cement continued its far-reaching and long-standing community wellness initiative of facilitating free weekly medical clinics as well as annual medical camps that provide free screenings and consultations. In Puttalam, free medical clinics continued to be facilitated twice a week at community development centers, with the annual medical camp this year reaching over 1500 villagers in the Eluwankulam area. In Galle, medical consultants from the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Mahamodara Maternity Teaching Hospital, nurses from Ruhunu Hospital (Pvt) Ltd, and another volunteer paramedical staff participated, issuing over 500 spectacles at the camp which was supported by the Lions Club International District 306A/1, the Galle District Health & Medical Service Unit, Ruhunu Hospital, and the Eye Care Unit at the Lions Gift of Sight Hospital in Panadura.
INSEE Cement renewed its commitment to deliver access to clean water this year to a number of schools located in close proximity to PCW by maintaining six Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants to purify water, benefiting the children, teachers, parents, and communities. The company also sought the help of the Puttalam CAP including Grama Niladhari Officers in the area to identify families in need to provide access to sanitization and hygiene by aiding in the construction of lavatories, a much-needed facility in the area.
The Welfare Association of RCW also voluntarily organized ‘Api Yamu Pansal’ – a special event as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility for the elderly population in the vicinity – an underserved segment of the community. The company partnered with Bounavista, an elder’s home in the area, to respond to a CAP request to facilitate a tour for the elderly residents of the home to the Hambantota Birds Park, Kataharagama and Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, to elevate their spiritual as well as mental wellbeing. All logistics as well as other spiritual facilities were provided by the company.
INSEE Cement also extended the expertise of their industry-leading industrial waste management arm INSEE Ecocycle to address the growing challenge of waste management across the island and partnered with the Sri Lankan chapter of the global youth volunteering platform AIESEC to launch an initiative to educate school children and nurture good practices on proper waste management and highlight its benefit to the society. INSEE Ecocycle worked together with selected AIESEC resource persons to equip them with the necessary knowledge on waste management and waste segregation and carried out a successful pilot program at Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya Galle. The promising response saw the program scheduled to be launched at six more schools in close proximity to PCW and RCW in the coming months.
“Despite the challenges we have faced this year as a country, INSEE Cement understood the importance of continuing to support and develop our communities, in a time when they truly needed a helping hand as well as the assurance of our loyalty to them,” Nandana Ekenayaka, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer at INSEE Cement said. “Our every action reflects INSEE Cement’s commitment to our people and our communities, and we will continue to invest in their development as the country continues on its road to recovery.”