“You can’t say we didn’t see it coming”, says Vijith Kannangara, Executive Chair of Smart Media The Annual Report Company, adding “Climate science has been around for decades, the dire warnings were there even before the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but complacency got in the way until the lid blew off. The 1.5-degree pathway to curb climate change is daunting, but achievable if every part of the global economy, however small, puts its shoulder – and mindset – to the wheel”.
Back in the year 2011, exactly a decade ago, Smart Media voluntarily decided to measure, manage and offset its residual greenhouse gas emissions to become net-zero GHG. This included not only its own direct emissions but also the indirect emissions arising from third party service providers and products, such as purchased electricity, paper and outsourced printing.
Smart Media turned to the reputed Carbonfund of the United States to offset what was not practical to reduce, by purchasing certified carbon credits. Speaking on the ten-year partnership, Linda Kelly, Vice President of Partnerships at Carbonfund added, “What struck us most was the thorough and professional approach adopted by Smart Media in presenting their annual emission reports.”
Jayantha Nagendran, Chief Officer – Smart Labs, the R&D arm of Smart Media explains, “That’s coming from our long tradition of innovation and being ahead of the curve – be it championing interactive HTML annual reports, or integrating sustainability reporting with financial reporting through a logframe approach to value creation and business modelling, or, as in this case, demystifying the science to operationalize the principles of accounting and reporting corporate GHG emissions. It’s part of Smart Media’s value adding services provided to ‘annual report’ clients through on-the-job capacity building.”
“Net-zero is a catchy watchword” concludes Vijith, “and the ‘Race to Net-zero’ in the run-up to COP26 – the UN climate change conference in November 2021 – is a compelling reminder of its urgency. Legislation and clear codes of practice will soon become global, together with mounting activism by civil society. Businesses are already being scrutinized and singled out for their vague or misleading net-zero pledges. But what is often being missed in the narrative are the other two pillars, namely, action on climate adaptation and access to climate finance. Without these, even a 1.5 degree C temperature rise will be catastrophic for the most climate-vulnerable nations. That includes Sri Lanka.”