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Corporate Social Responsibility | Sustainability |
Aarunya Nature Foundation | Consultants

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Philosophy

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Key Sustainability / CSR Initiatives & Programs

At Aarunya, we embody the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability as integral parts of our corporate ethos. We hold a deep respect for the communities where we operate, whether local, regional, national, or global, and strive to make positive contributions to their well-being.

Our commitment to CSR, and sustainability/green initiatives is unwavering. We operate with the understanding that our actions have far-reaching impacts, and we actively seek opportunities to create meaningful change. We prioritize initiatives that not only benefit society but also foster environmental stewardship and economic empowerment.

+ Commitment to Uninterrupted Guest Services, & Secure Supply Chain/Resources - From the day Aarunya commenced operations in 2018 despite the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the 2022 Sri Lanka Energy/Economic Crisis, Aarunya has invested in and managed to provide without compromise all resources including water, power/electricity, food, and HR in an uninterrupted, high quality, secure, and sustainable manner.

+ Solar Hot Water Supply - For all buildings (front and back of house).

+ Local Water Supply - All water (except potable water for drinking/cooking) is sourced off the grid from water wells on the property, and treated on site using a specialized water treatment plant.

+ Off-the-grid Planning for Energy Supply by 2030 - Using solar arrays coupled with battery storage, and biogas for cooking.

+ Solar Electricity - Panels are being installed across the property to reduce our dependence on the grid and reduce generator diesel usage.

+ Electric Buggies - Used for internal guest/staff transport needs.

+ Solid Waste Treatment - On site waste sorting disposal, composting & recycling programs.

+ Waste-to-Art Program – We are planning to engage local artists and children from the nearby village to turn our waste into artworks on the site,

+ Plastics Policy – No Single use plastic used on the property.

+ Wastewater Treatment - All Black and Grey Wastewater is treated/disposed on site using natural processes.

+ Biodynamic Farming/Agriculture - Are a holistic and organic way of farming that treats the farm as a living organism. Our Consultants (See profiles below) have developed a program for biodynamic practices at Aarunya.

+ Garden to Table – We have a greenhouse, rice/paddy field, coconut trees, and vegetable/spice/tea gardens to cultivate our own fresh, organic produce for use in the kitchens.

+ Low Food Miles & Supporting Local Enterprises – We prioritise local suppliers/enterprises when sourcing produce and products, to reduce food miles and support local entrepreneurs and businesses. E.g. We provide fresh milk for the staff daily from the local village farmers.

+ Organic & Ethically Sourced - Meats, seafood, crustaceans, and produce.

+ Staff Associate Welfare & Employment Policies – We are an equal opportunity employer with anti-discrimination/harassment and child labor policies. We have a Staff Welfare Fund to provide for additional staff and family needs. We are deeply committed to the training/development and retention of our Staff Associates. During the Covid-19 Pandemic we never laid off any Staff Associates (e.g. During Lockdowns Staff Associates were busy supporting the local villages with charity food drives, and also helped to build the Ayurveda Treatment Rooms as part of the re-development of the Aarunya Spa into Aarogya Wellness Centre).

+ Sustainable Developments – We built Aarunya with the loving hard work of local craftsmen, material suppliers, and our Staff Associates. Current development projects continue the same ethos and methods. We always consider the environmental impacts of all development works e.g. No trees were cut down for any developments at Aarunya. 

+ Nature/Village Walk - Our Butlers can take you around the splendid 9 acre property on a nature walk. We can cover the tea estate, vegetable farm, spice gardens, and even our own rice/paddy field. We are in the process of adding new exciting paths through the naturally forested area of the property, and developing the walk as a 'Forest Bathing' experience - Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health.

Aarunya Nature Foundation – Supporting Local Communities & Caring For The Environment

The Aarunya Nature Foundation has a dual mandate to allocate resources to support/empower local villagers in particular underprivileged children & to care for the environment.

Key Projects of the Aarunya Nature Foundation:

+ Supporting underprivileged village children go to school by providing a yearly pack of school shoes/notebooks/stationery/bags.

+ Libraries Projects - Adding books to the local school libraries and also the Aarunya Resort Library.

+ Sponsoring regular village garbage clean-up and beautification program ('Shramadanaya' in Sinhalese) involving Aarunya staff and villagers along with the local village elders/committee/buddhist temple head monk.

+ Village recycling & a Waste-to-Art Program (See above) (In Planning). 

+ Supporting the existing Childrens’ IT class currently in the local village Buddhist temple procure equipment.

+ Setting up and supporting a local Pre-school for underprivileged families (In Planning).

+ Food Drives during the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdowns - Providing meals and rations packs (Sponsored by Aarunya Nature Foundation with Aarunya Directors' friends & past guests) to 7 nearby villages during lockdowns, as locals were unable to make a daily living (As most villagers live off their daily work wages).

Consultants & Key Personnel

Dr. M.A.P.K. Seneviratne (BSc, PhD Agriculture - Uni. of Peradeniya, SL & MPhil - Uni. of Reading, UK)

Dr. M.A.P.K. Seneviratne is a seasoned professional in agricultural extension and rural development, boasting a rich academic background and extensive experience in both academia and the public sector.

 

With a Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension and significant contributions to research, he has established himself as a leading authority in the field. His career spans various roles, including Director General at prominent institutions like Ceylon Green Ayurveda Manufacturing and Mudiyannegama Agro Ltd. Notably, Dr. Seneviratne has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing agricultural value chains, such as his consultancy work for the Market Development Facility and the World Bank.

 

His expertise extends beyond Sri Lanka, as he has served as the country liaison officer to the International Pepper Community in Indonesia and as Country Chairman for the CODEX committee on culinary herbs and spices.

 

Dr. Seneviratne's commitment to knowledge dissemination is evident through his involvement as a visiting lecturer at multiple universities and his contributions to various professional societies and committees, further solidifying his reputation as a distinguished figure in agricultural development and research.

Dr. P.S.B. Wanduragala (BSc, MSc, PhD Agriculture - Uni. of Peradeniya, SL)

Dr. Wanduragala is a distinguished academic and professional with extensive experience in environmental and agricultural research, education, and project management.

 

Dr. Wanduragala has made significant contributions to the field of plant neurobiology and environmental science. Throughout his career, Dr. Wanduragala has held various roles, including Secretary to the Board of Governors at the National Institute of Fundamental Studies in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and Senior Project Manager at the Wayamba Development Authority. He has also served as an Assistant Lecturer and Demonstrator at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya.

Dr. Wanduragala's research interests span a wide range of topics, including the effect of electromagnetic potential gradients on plant growth and the development of environmentally friendly bio-fertilizers. He has published extensively in international journals and has received prestigious awards, including the international Green Apple Award for his innovative contributions to sustainable agriculture.

In addition to his research and academic pursuits, Dr. Wanduragala has been actively involved in teaching and organizing seminars and workshops on organic farming, project appraisal, and eco-tourism. He has also played a key role in establishing tissue culture laboratories and promoting post-harvest technologies in the agriculture sector.

Dr. Wanduragala's passion for environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, combined with his expertise and leadership skills, make him a valuable asset to any organization or project aiming to address global environmental challenges and promote sustainable development.

Dr. Lal Rankothge (BSc, MSc, PhD Environmental Management - UNSW)

Dr. Lal Rankothge is a distinguished environmental management professional with over 25 years of experience in environmental protection, sustainability, and commercial agriculture across the Asia-Pacific region.

 

Dr. Rankothge has held prominent roles in various organizations, showcasing his expertise and leadership abilities. As the Managing Director of Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa, he combines his passion for environmental conservation with the development/management of a sustainable hospitality venture.

Additionally, Dr. Rankothge served as a Freelance Lead Technical Consultant specializing in Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS), ISO14000 certification, and environmental auditing, providing invaluable expertise to a diverse range of clients. His contributions extended globally, with roles as a Senior Consultant/Team Leader in ESMS at the International Institute of Development Training (IIDT) and EML Consultants in Sri Lanka, as well as a Consultant for the World Environment Program in Africa.

 

Furthermore, his tenure as a Former Senior Professional at the Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water (Environment Protection Authority) of NSW, Australia, underscores his commitment to environmental governance and policy development on an international scale.

 

Dr. Rankothge's multifaceted career exemplifies his dedication to advancing environmental sustainability and fostering positive change within the global community.

Mr. Nath Rankothge (BDESARCH, MARCH - USYD)

Mr. Nath Rankothge is an accomplished Australian Registered Architect and Property Developer with a distinguished career spanning architectural design and property development.

 

Nath has amassed a wealth of experience in prestigious architectural firms across the globe. As the Founder of Nath Rankothge & Associates (NRA), an esteemed international property development and architectural design firm, he brings visionary leadership to the forefront of innovative design and development projects.

 

Nath's expertise extends to his role as the Architect and Property Developer for Aarunya, showcasing his ability to seamlessly integrate sustainability and aesthetic excellence into hospitality ventures.

 

His previous roles as a Senior/Project Architect in renowned firms such as SOM (New York), UNStudio (Shanghai), Aukette Swanke (London), and Balmond Studio (Colombo/London) underscore his proficiency in delivering exceptional architectural solutions on a global scale.

 

Nath's role as Founder and Director in NRA and Aarunya exemplify his commitment to driving forward-thinking design and development initiatives that redefine industry standards, and elevate the built environment with social and environmental sensitivity.

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