Flying High: Sri Lanka Catering Wins for CSR Efforts

Sri Lanka Catering has been hailed for its CSR efforts after winning two Merury prizes recently. It is the most prestigious award in travel catering worldwide, sought after by the best and most pro-active companies in the industry. SriLankan Catering, although a 100% owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, is a standalone operation responsible for its own economic infrastructure, management and profitability. Under the guidance of its CEO, the company’s prime responsibility is the preparation of in-flight meals for SriLankan Airlines. It also caters for foreign airlines, like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.

Airline catering is an oft overlooked part of airline CSR and focus on this area can have a huge impact on emission savings and waste management. SriLankan Catering has many CSR initiatives and among these include policies to protect the environment, energy conservation, recycling, disposal of waste and environmental awareness among its employees.

The company was also awarded with the National Energy Efficiency Gold Award in the large scale state sector category by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority last year. It also holds the ISO 14001:2004 certification for Best Environmental Practices, as well as ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems, ISO 22000:2005 for Food Safety Management Systems, and HACCP-Codex Alimentarius for Food Safety and Hygiene.

The company's efforts to reduce its energy consumption resulted in an extraordinary 40% reduction in fuel usage and a 10% reduction in electricity consumption between 2009 and 2010. The company also has a highly successful recycling program where all types of waste products can be recycled.

Among its most impressive programmes, has been the successful conversion of food waste into food for farm animals. The company's pioneering use of an AutoClave food sterilization machine was the initiative that won it two Mercury Awards. Through the use of this technology, they have reduced  food waste disposal cost. It also saves them 175,200 litres of diesel and 45,990 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. It conforms to all international and local regulations on preventing contamination by destroying all fungi, bacteria, virus, and spores by heating the food waste for 30 minutes at 121 degrees centigrade. The animal feed is then purchased by an environmental model farm nearby.

The key aspect of its CSR success have been in creating awareness among its staff. They run comprehensive training processes in environmental best practices. The company is currently implementing a three year plan for conservation, with subsections for Community Development, Training and Promotional Matters, Standards and Accreditation, Energy and Water Management and Waste Management under its new CSR plan.

It aims to channel the revenue earned from its conservation programmes into staff welfare and community welfare projects.

Photo: Airline Catering