The Social Enterprise Pushing for a Greener Tomorrow
Established in 2010, The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) was founded to bring to life the vision of the co-founders of building a dedicated enterprise, based in Sri Lanka to offer World Class environmental advisory and sustainability consulting services to the private sector and local industry. The company was created to help organizations and individuals measure and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions arising from their activities ( also known as a carbon footprint), and to then compensate for this environmental pollution by financing projects that would reduce or prevent the same amount of greenhouse gases being emitted into the environment – through the instruments known as Carbon Credits.
It was the aspiration of CCC for companies to take necessary measures to incorporate sustainability initiatives into the day to day operational aspects of their businesses. Initially, the company was established to be the Asian Partner to Natural Capital Partners, the world’s most recognized and awarded Carbon Offset Retailer, and the organization behind the Certified CarbonNeutral® certification brand mark.
The Carbon Consulting Company is a “profit for a purpose” Social Enterprise, and has to date worked with over 100 clients across a range of services mainly in the South Asian region- Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, but also with clients in Sweden, Norway the United Kingdom, The United States, Oman, and Australia as well.
The Green Leader
A visionary personality, Sanith is the CEO and Head of Strategic Planning of CCC. Spearheading the company from its start-up phase, his experience in strategic planning, branding, and marketing has helped propel the company to attain regional recognition. Leading his company towards greater success, Sanith along the way has racked up several remarkable achievements in environmental conservation and corporate sustainability, notably being awarded the coveted Global CSR Leadership Award at the global awards held in Mumbai.
In October 2017 in Pittsburgh, USA, Sanith was inducted into The Global Climate Leadership Corps by former US Vice President Al Gore, in recognition of his leadership in fighting climate change. This year he was nominated to be a mentor at the upcoming Climate Reality Leadership Corps: Global Training in 2020 in recognition of his continuing leadership role as a climate advocate. He has been invited to be an expert speaker at climate change forums in India, Nepal, South Korea, The United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Oman, Sri Lanka, and The USA.
Before his role at CCC, Sanith holds over 12 years of experience in Advertising and Marketing Communications with international agency networks Leo Burnett and DraftFCB as well as being one of the co-founders of the local boutique agency WORDS, having held positions in Client Management and Strategic Planning. He pursued his Executive Training at the prestigious Harvard University and holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. He is also an Attorney-at-Law.
The Journey towards Excellence
Initially starting with a team of 4, CCC’s mission was to engage with the private sector and convince them to adopt “greener” and more sustainable practices as a part of their day to day business operations. Needless to say, in Sri Lanka (and by extension South Asia) this is a difficult proposition to sell, as companies are myopically focused only on the cost efficiency side of things. However, with perseverance, the organization was able to bring some commendable clients around to its perspective by convincing them of the bigger picture. And a few of the early adopters of these measures managed to achieve global and regional landmarks in their categories. Eswaran Brothers Exports became the World’s First certified CarbonNeutral® Tea Company, Mihila Factory of the Hirdaramani Group became Asia’s First CarbonNeutral® apparel manufacturer. Duo Software became Asia’s first CarbonNeutral® IT company, and EPSI Computers became South Asia’s First computer hardware company.
Over the years, the company has worked with many remarkable companies and brands and has added even more landmarks to its portfolio. Linea Aqua became the first WaterConscious® factory and then went a step further to become the World’s First WaterNeutral® apparel company. The Bodyline Group of factories was the first to be certified as CarbonConscious®. More recently Eswaran Brothers Exports pushed the boundary yet again by launching the World’s first PlasticNeutral® Tea product. Today, the company has worked with more than 100 clients across carbon, water, waste, plastic, and forestry-based initiatives.
Currently, CCC has a team of 12 consultants in disciplines ranging from Environmental Engineering, Energy, Forestry, Environmental Management, and Industrial Processes along with senior expertise in International Project Design and Carbon Asset Development, Strategic Planning, Client Relationship Management, and Marketing Communication. It also has an advisory team of highly specialized senior advisors covering Energy, Social Sustainability, International Project Management, Life Cycle Analysis, and Organizational Verification.
“The power to make a difference is in each of us – we just need to stop listening to the voices telling why we shouldn’t.”
The defining aspect of CCC is its business approach. “We are not “tree huggers” in the traditional sense” the company quotes. Instead, it tries to find a middle path that equally addresses with integrity the environmental impacts made by corporate clients while trying to show them the business value that they can create. But fundamentally, the team is passionate about being true to its duty of environmental stewardship. It is a professional consulting service that works hand in hand with clients to make a sustainable difference to the planet.
Areas of Competence
Carbon Consulting primarily focuses on sustainability assessments such as Carbon Footprinting & Offsetting, Water Footprinting & Offsetting, Water Auditing, Energy Auditing, Waste Auditing, Life Cycle Analysis, and Biodiversity Assessments. It also provides management/technical consultancy and advisory services on Corporate Sustainability Strategy, Risk & Opportunity Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, GRI/Integrated Reporting, Green Building Strategy/LEED Certification, Carbon Offset Development Projects (VCS/CDM), and International Renewable Energy Certificates (IRECs). All the sustainability assessments follow international standards, protocols, methodologies, and/or guidelines.
A Unique Positioning
The first point of difference is the adherence to the value of making a real difference to the planet. The consultancy is passionate about the accuracy and verification of all data that it uses often going beyond practices adopted by others. It also takes the time to engage with each level of stakeholder at the client end, carrying out awareness and training sessions from the factory floor level up to the Board Room to ensure that the entire organization is well versed with their work.
The company engages with the C-suite membership on a strategic and long term level, while at the same time looking at hardcore operational issues with the shop floor staff. It also offers a range of in-house communication tools and external PR initiatives that will help drive the client’s actions to a wider audience and help to create better business value. This complete package of services and tools is not matched in one offering across the entire region. Hence, CCC stands tall amongst all as it bestows its clients with premiere and customized services for a longer run.
From the CEO’s Desk
“Providing leadership and guidance to the team as well as the responsibility for the economic and social well-being of the team members and their families rests with me. While each team member is responsible for their role in a project, I have to ensure that we plan for the future and secure our clients (and therefore our jobs) for the years to come – and not just for this financial year. I am very fortunate to have the support and guidance of a very committed (and distinguished) Chairman and Board of Directors, who are also all co-founders of the company. Hence, they have a very high commitment to our work and provide all the support they can to help us reach our objectives. My management style has always been participative with a focus on getting the job done – not watching the clock or marking the number of hours worked”.
Carbon has bagged multiple recognitions front for its top-notch performance in its field. It was acknowledged as ‘The Best Provider of Environmental Solutions in the Middle East – Asia’ by the World Leadership Federation at their international award ceremony in Dubai in 2017 and recently was ranked Number 1 in Insights Success Magazine’s Top 10 groundbreaking companies to watch in South Asia in 2019.
A Plan of Action to Battle the Pandemic
The working set-up at CCC has always stressed having a degree of flexibility and high-level responsiveness. Hence, the company was better placed to adapt to working from home and social distancing measures that have come into place to combat the virus. It has always had a flexible work ethic with people working from home when a sudden need arises.
One of the big challenges for the company is getting clients to re-commit to their sustainability projects and initiatives. Currently, most industrial and corporate clients are in a survival mode with large scale layoffs and plant closures in the offing. The organization is working closely with some of these clients to make the best of this drastic situation to re-tool and re-think some of their processes and initiatives to better enable them to face this new and uncertain future.
Moving Forward in the New Normal
Carbon Consulting strived to create an environment based on the values of transparency and teamwork. The key decisions are shared among the team openly and everyone is free to voice their respective opinions.
It continues to consolidate its base in South Asia with the core offering of Environmental Auditing, Sustainability Strategy, and Certification. It will also continue its expansion in other global markets with the expanded scope of Carbon Asset Development, Product Carbon Footprinting, and Lifecycle analysis. The company is guided by the core principle of making a positive difference to the planet and its future citizens and hence it abides by its tagline “Stop Talking – Start Acting”.