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"When you take something from the earth today, you must put something back tomorrow."
At GAC, sustainability is both an environmental and business imperative. By adapting, innovating and reducing, we are making positive changes towards a more sustainable future.
In Sri Lanka, sustainability is more than just a corporate buzzword, it is a way of life. As a leader in the maritime industry, we feel a strong connection to the ocean, and have tailored our sustainability initiatives towards protecting the seas around Sri Lanka. Our programs are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Our on-going projects include:
Coral reefs around the world are under increased threats due to ocean acidification, destructive fishing practices, land-based pollution and more. More than 70 % of the worlds coral reefs are directly impacted by these threats. The destruction of coral reef systems has a knock-on effect on the livelihoods of the fisheries sector as well as the tourism industries in these areas.
In line with UN SDG 14 Life below Water, GAC Sri Lanka identified the importance of the coral reef systems around Sri Lanka and in partnership with the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) of Sri Lanka, launched a coral replanting programme in the waters of the Dodanduwa costal town to propagate the Acropora Fermosa coral variety. The ongoing project is monitored by MEPA which provides GAC with regular updates on the progress of growth and health of the corals.
Mangroves are an incredible group of plants which can play a critical role in mitigating climate change. With their ability to capture and store carbon, four times more than those stored by other tropical forests, mangroves are a natural defence in the fight against climate change.
Their strong and complex root systems also provide natural protection for the coastal communities and landscape against extreme events such as storms and floods and offer habitat for marine species vital for the local communities. However, mangrove forests, like most sensitive environmental areas, are under increased threat due to human activity, primarily aquaculture.
GAC initiated a mangrove replanting project with participation of employees to propagate the Sonneratia Caseolaris variety of mangroves in the Matara, Kiralakale Sanctuary. Carried out in partnership with the Department of Wildlife and in consultation with experts in the field, as per UN SDG 13 Climate Action, this project is a key sustainability project by GAC Sri Lanka.
Through working closely with local authorities and departments according to UN SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals, we strengthen the means of implementing our programs for sustainable development.
Generating power on-site using climate-friendly energy resources including solar power is among the strategies that GAC is implementing in its quest to reduce the Group’s Co2 emissions and being Net Carbon Zero by 2050 under UN SDG 13 Climate Action. GAC Sri Lanka endeavoured to join this initiative by converting its office at the Port City of Galle to operate on solar energy. Our Galle facility is now completely run on solar power with any excess energy channelled into the national grid.