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Community & Environment

Corporate Sustainability has been a long-standing commitment that has been embedded into the very fabric of the LOLC Group.

It also forms an integral part of our strategy to tackle the issue of social inequalities by aligning our business model to address major national priorities. Our goal is to identify critical areas of development that require investments and intervention, followed by proactive support to ensure meaningful socio-economic development reaches a broader islandwide demographic. We believe that in doing so, we can enable a larger number of people to participate in, and benefit from economic progress. Further, to make a more meaningful impact, we make sure our contribution to social sector developments are carried out mainly through direct project implementation as opposed to extending financial support to other organisations.

LOLC Divi Saviya

Conceived as a humanitarian project to provide food for underprivileged families facing the harsh challenges stemming from the economic crisis, the Divi Saviya initiative is founded on the empathy that the LOLC Group has for the citizenry. We realised the need for sustenance and support across the island, as countless families struggled to survive the hardships brought about by the rising cost of living where helpless households were unable to fulfill even the most basic needs such as food.

LOLC is driven to uplift communities from poverty; and in line with its alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the group has prioritised social and economic development of people. This business philosophy has guided and shaped the role it has undertaken to help Sri Lankan communities emerge from the challenges they are facing at this juncture.

The unique project was launched in May 2022 and focussed on distributing food rations to households that were most in need of support during this difficult time. LOLC has worked in collaboration with News First as well as government authorities- namely, the Divisional Secretariats and Grama Sevaka Niladari units- to ensure transparency in distributing food supplies to households living below the poverty line.

The initiative has thus far distributed 150,000 packs valued at $1.6Mn, supporting around 4.5 million people across the island covering all districts, communities, age groups and religions. In collaboration with News First and the Divisional Secretariats, LOLC will continue to support Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable communities to survive.

Sri Lankan Leopard Conservation

The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is the largest of the four wild cat species found in Sri Lanka, and the apex mammalian predator on the island. It is believed that there are less than 1000 leopards roaming in the wild within the island. Further, the leopard is threatened globally by habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade, while in the human-dominated land-use areas in Sri Lanka.

In addressing this knowledge gap, LOLC Holdings PLC partnered with Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a 05 year project to establish a network of specialised leopard conservation locations and research centers across identified geographically important areas, within Sri Lanka.

In the initial phase, six research stations will be set up in identified locations across Okanda or Panama, Morningside, Killinochchi, Belihuloya, Maskeliya or Nallathaniya, Sigiriya or Ritigala. The Project will monitor the presence of leopards in selected geographical areas, using camera traps and surveys. The Research Centres will liaise with local wildlife and forest officers, and also serve as educational hubs to generate awareness amongst the local communities, including knowledge dissemination and generating research-based human-leopard conflict mitigation measures.

The Project will provide a critical context for the management and conservation of the Sri Lankan leopard, currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Recent research has shown that leopard habitat suitability in Sri Lanka is heavily influenced by forest cover, patch size, connectivity, and the level of protection of the landscape, a critical requirement to conserve the island’s biodiversity.

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Reforestation and Eco System Restoration Project

Endowed with a diverse range of forest eco-systems, Sri Lanka is inherent of different topographic, climatic, bio diversities found around the country. However, the recent environmental reports signal a rapid increase of deforestation in Sri Lankan forests and a degradation of the entire eco system. The reports further identify that the catalysts of deforestation drives are mostly socio-economic in nature, and varies from land encroachment, development projects to expansion ventures.

With a sound understanding on the commitment required, LOLC Finance PLC, the largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) of the country, recently entered in to an agreement with Mathurata Plantations and Vibhawa Solutions Private Limited, to concentrate on replanting endangered and endogenous species in degraded natural forests and private lands to support the reforestation efforts to enrich the natural order.

The core target of this project is to plant 20,000 trees ranging from 12,000 fruit plantations, medicinal herb plantations to few other selected native plants. The venture will be entirely funded by LOLC Finance, whereas the planting undertaking will be handled by ‘Thuru’, under Vibhawa Solutions.

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LOLC’s primary contribution to the SDGs

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Nurturing Growth Shaping the Future

  • No poverty

    The LOLC Group sets its strategies in line with the goal of extending credit for income generation purposes to lower-income populations. By providing group loans, administering credit in rural areas, and administering FinTech-based credit, the Group targets a greater outreach to relatively poorer borrowers.

  • No hunger

    LOLC firmly believes that access to credit, savings products, and micro-insurance can improve rural livelihoods. LOLC Group companies in territories like Sri Lanka have been the largest financier of agriculture equipment. By lending to poor households, LOLC has influenced the reduction of hunger levels in those communities.

  • Quality education

    The LOLC Group’s subsidiaries offer lending for educational purposes to directly contribute toward the goal of quality education. Financial literacy training and technical assistance for business development are seen as meeting this goal. Further, the savings products of LOLC enable increased spending on education, which raises awareness of the importance of savings (i.e. financial literacy training).

  • Gender equality

    LOLC’s model prioritizes empowering women, who are identified as the most effective route to alleviate poverty and enhance social standards. The Group also sets itself apart with its emphasis on fostering business fundamentals for the borrower to promote inclusive financing.

  • Clean water and sanitization

    The LOLC Group emphasizes lending for projects related to providing safe and affordable drinking water, building infrastructure and sanitation facilities, protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands, and rivers, and promoting people's hygiene.

  • Renewable energy

    LOLC believes that expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean and more efficient energy will encourage growth and help the environment. For example, as the largest sugarcane producer in Sri Lanka, Gal Oya Plantation generates renewable energy at its 2 MW power plant, which supplies the entire factory’s energy requirement. Moreover, Sunbird Bioenergy has the largest renewable energy power plant in Sierra Leone, which produces about 32 MW of renewable energy from waste as a by-product of the ethanol production process.

  • Good jobs and economic growth

    LOLC’s approach is different from conventional microfinance, where the Group focuses on elevating its micro clientele to an individual client/SME client in a few loan cycles, helping them to engage with more economic activities. LOLC’s inclusive financing approach promotes assists clients in fundamentals of business such as environmentally friendly conduct, bookkeeping, and inculcating a savings culture.

  • Innovation and infrastructure

    LOLC believes in using Automation and FinTech as Key tools for extending its customer reach and thus look forwards to continue investing in R&D. All the subsidiaries currently utilize some tech-driven product in their operations. LOLC’s lending portfolios also comprise sizable exposures to infrastructure loans.

  • Reduced inequalities

    LOLC continuously strengthens the processes with global best practices to prioritize the well-being of all customers. The Group’s concentrated effort to uplift and empower entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid directly addresses the fundamental demographic concern of a lack of financing for the households falling into the ‘low-income’ bracket in the Asian and African regions.