Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. Keeping this core objective at the apex of its CSR implementation, Hatton National Bank [...]


HNB – Many People – One Bank

Bridging, developing and empowering for a greater socio-economic existence

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. Keeping this core objective at the apex of its CSR implementation, Hatton National Bank PLC today, has come to an exemplary forefront in bridging, developing and empowering the broader aspects of socio-economic existence in Sri Lanka.

Commitment towards a national requirement

“The history of CSR implementations by Hatton National Bank PLC commenced way back in 1970s with the commencement of operations of the bank. At a time no other lending institution worked towards the dire needs of the society for its sustainable existence and wellbeing, we walked up to them to address their timely needs. Through various CSR schemes we implemented since then, we immensely helped the farmer communities at a number of rural areas to develop, our prime objective being at such occasions to contribute towards the industry of agriculture in the country. Therefore, even during the 70s we had established our branches at Kebithigollewa and Nochchiyagama in Anuradhapura District.

Mancius Paiva Deputy General Manager (Human Resources & Administration) of Hatton National Bank PLC

In place of the one-off philanthropic initiatives of traditional CSR implementations practised by most of the other lending financial institutions, our commitment has always been to serve towards sustainable socio-economic wellbeing of the communities through CSR implementations,” says Mancius Paiva – Deputy General Manager (Human Resources & Administration) of Hatton National Bank PLC.

“Soon after the insurgency period of social unrest that prevailed during the latter part of the 80s in Sri Lanka, we felt that there stood a strong necessity for employment of youth especially in the rural areas and semi urbanized zones. With a careful insight into their aspirations, we spear-headed a novel CSR initiative namely ‘Gami Pubuduwa’ to further strengthen the industry of agriculture. Profit making was not our motive.

At present, this initiative is not only a lending facility but an equal beneficial venture where door step instructions on financial management, training and education on technology of agriculture as well as further guidance on sustainable livelihood are continually extended through professionals, to our customers”, he says.

The bank has well recognized the need to play a positive role in the communities in which it operates. With a legacy that originated deep in the hill town of Hatton, the bank has been consciously and concertedly creating a change momentum for communities across the country. Accordingly, the bank’s community responsibility initially focuses on three strong pillars of healthcare, education and entrepreneurship.

For the betterment of an effective education evolution

Through ‘ Nena Pubuduwa’ programme of Hatton National Bank that aims to provide opportunities to under privileged children in rural schools to enhance knowledge and derive the simple pleasure of exploring the world through books with a special emphasis on stimulating a love of reading and learning in children, 188 library projects have successfully been established throughout the country. The project also works to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, improve and expand knowledge of English and ICT thus creating opportunities for higher education and employment.
“We also make sure that these libraries are running smoothly.

Via the closest HNB branch to the library, each facility is directly integrated to our network where they are monitored regularly to ensure uninterrupted functioning. The team at the closest branch always extends a genuine supportive hand for these facilities to run smoothly and efficiently. Their volunteer service in this regard has been a great reward in making this fully successful. The libraries also get an annual input of essential books, magazines, as well as educational publications through the bank. We also fully support timely renovations of these facilities”, Paiva states.

Currently, the project scope has been broadened to include computer literacy and the Bank has donated fully equipped and facilitated computer centres to 15 selected schools island wide. Through needs-analysis, the Bank continues to add to the Nena Pubuduwa’ project and enhance the educational evolution of Sri Lanka’s children.

HNB believes in the sustainability of these projects and thus continues to support and facilitate the teaching and learning activities of the School, by adding to the collection of books each year and equipping the libraries with computers.
HNB also sponsors the work of the National Trust for Cultural and National Heritage as its principal patron.

Focus on health care to build a healthy nation

The bank’s focus on health care has seen the bank invest into cancer counselling and care of both patients and their families, through financial assistance and simply being there for people at times of financial and emotional need. Expressing views on health care initiatives of HNB, Paiva emphasises that as an organization whose beginning stem from an intuitive understanding of the people and their aspirations, the bank has worked strategically to enhance the lives of the communities across Sri Lanka.
“As a timely response to a request by the Cancer Hospital in Maharagama, we have focused our health care initiatives to bring relief to the lives of patients from all parts of the country being treated there. We have also establlished a cancer counseling centre at the venue. Last year, we invested Rs.3Mn into counseling and providing financial assistance, to needy cancer patients and supporting renovations at the male surgical ward at Maharagama cancer hospital,” he says.

Sri Lanka as a nation grapples with an affliction rate of approximately 10,000 per annum and has commendable infrastructure in place for preventive screening, radiotherapy and treatment through the National Cancer Control Programme, the National Cancer Institute and the National Cancer Hospital. However, despite the availability of medical infrastructure, many patients and their families continued to be psychologically scared by the effects of the disease on their lives and relationships. “On the bank’s part, we feel that the most telling of our focus on community relations, however, has been the voluntary involvement of our staff members in the cancer counseling process. The bank has invested towards training volunteers and supported them to invest time into counselling at the Cancer Counseling Centre there. Our training schedules have also included training doctors, nurses and other related staff in this regard, When the bread-winner is affected we have even implemented a scheme of financial allowance to the family for a maximum period of six months.” Paiva emphasizes.

In collaboration with the Colours of Courage Trust, the bank will be supporting the establishment of a Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Maharagma cancer hospital.

“Our safe drinking water and sanitation project is also a critical contributor to community development. We have grown this project over the last few years to touch the lives of over 1000 families and 50,000 pilgrims and have assisted towards reducing the high incidence of bowel disease that was otherwise prevalent across the rural areas. Dengue prevention, flood relief and HIV awareness remain high on our agenda for proactive change,” he states. Last year the bank’s employees collectively acted to assist communities affected by floods across Sri Lanka. Its flood relief efforts included the provision of fresh drinking water, clothes, medicines and food.

The green pledge to protect our environment

A green pledge taken by each and every member of the bank guarantees his or her dedicated performance to enhance totally environmentally friendly banking in each sphere they serve. “I know that my everyday actions leave a big impact on the environment. I know that what I do affects not just my future, but that of my peers, my customers, my family and my fellow countrymen. Therefore, I pledge to commit myself to creating a greener office..” they make promise through the pledge.
“Having a team of 4500 our commitment to perform as a front liner in our activities to preserve the environment. Towards this end we have done numerous activities to safe guard the environment around us, that included a mega tree planting campaign last year at which we distributed more than 18,000 saplings among customers, staff and schools,” he says.
This year in addition to planting 20,000 trees HNB has extended their green bridge towards waste management to cater towards several areas of dire and urgent environmental requirements.

“Today, the e- waste being produced by larger scales of industrialization and domestic usage of electronic appliances is creating an alarming and hazardous situation in the entire global environment. In the near future we are going to have an e-waste day campaign which is open to our customers as well as public so that they can bring all their e-waste to be discarded and hand over to our centre at the campaign.

We have also noticed the rapid decrease of bird population at the Bundala Birds sanctuary due to an invasive plant. We have identified this as a cactus invasion. This invasion has threatened the existence of a number of endangered flowers and plants as well. Together with the wild-life authorities and other like minded organizations we have embarked on a programme to clear the affected areas of the sanctuary to eliminate the threat and offer it back to nature as a priceless piece of bio diversity,” he says.
The Nittambuwa branch of the bank which is named as ‘Haritha Kedella’ offers a fully fledged model of environment friendly banking to all its customers. The building was rated Gold under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification by the US Green Building Council.

Collaborative efforts to the CSR mainstream

Besides the main stream of CSR initiatives implemented at HNB, the bank’s branches island wide have also contributed at large, during the past, in a number of regional CSR campaigns implemented upon the objectives of healthcare, education and entrepreneurship development that have brought immense benefits to the communities. The bank’s employees going beyond their call of duty to touch the lives of thousands of citizens in need, through a multitude of CSR projects have done a tremendous service to uplift the socio-economic standards of the nation.

Prestigious awards of CSR

Amongst a number of prestigious awards won at various national and international awards ceremonies during the recent past, the bank’s glory and reputation for its exclusives CSR implementations have also been well identified many an accession. In 2011, HNB Towers was nationally recognized as one of the most energy efficient buildings in Sri Lanka and was awarded the Silver Award in the large scale category for Commercial Sector Buildings at the Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards – 2011 organized by Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.

At the Best Corporate Citizens Award Ceremonies Presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in 2010 and 2009, the bank has achieved the 1st Runner-up award in the Best Corporate Citizen category, for the last 3 years and the Winner at the employees relations category in 2010 and Governance and Economic Contribution Category in 2009 and 2011. At the Best Corporate Citizens Award Ceremony in 2008 presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, HNB was awarded Winner for the ‘Gami Pubuduwa’ Micro Finance Project at the Special Project Category and also received a Merit Award for ‘Nena Pubuduwa’ School Library Project.

Today, with a national business perspective, Hatton National Bank PLC has been championing behavioural change to create a more conducive social and economic focus in view of the future national objectives and the need for greater productivity of Sri Lanka’s human resources.

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