General Manager's Sustainability Message

BOC - Sustainability

BOC has sought to refine its approach to sustainability by formalizing a policy which is reviewed annually by the Sustainability Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. In executing the policy, emphasis has been placed on corporate values, stakeholder engagement, monitoring risks and impacts, policy coverage, management and governance and management disclosures in order to derive at sustainable, accountable and responsible business decisions that are reflect in all business operations of the bank.

The establishment of a Sustainability Risk Management (SRM) Framework embedded into the policy covers the gamut of the impact of risk factors in the short-term and long-term and takes remedial action to mitigate the adverse impacts and risks towards the bank. Detailed analysis is conducted every year to review the key material topics of the Bank, the impact on the Bank and the Stakeholder involvement and associated risks.

We have ensured that the bank’s Sustainability Policy has been aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) with the vision of “sustainable development through social, environmental, and economic bottom line”.

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The Bank issues a report on sustainability on an annual basis covering Bank’s contribution towards the enhancement of the economic, the environmental and the social bottom-lines. In reporting we have incorporated internationally accepted GRI standards to ensure the transparency and accountability of reporting. The Bank lays considerable emphasis on the impact of its activities across the social spectrum, particularly on its contribution to society at all levels.

Significantly, Bank of Ceylon’s mandate as ‘Bankers to the Nation’, drives the decision-making process across all measurable criteria. 

Mr. W. P. Russel Fonseka
General Manager

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Sustainability Policy Framework of the Bank of Ceylon

BOC - Sustainability

Bank of Ceylon has a fully-fledged, comprehensive Sustainability Policy which is reviewed annually by the sustainability unit, Sustainability committee, and the board of directors of the bank. Following is a brief extract of the said Sustainability Policy.

The Banking Sector is one of the cornerstone industries in the economy and plays a pivotal role in the sustainability of the planet. The role of banks in contributing toward sustainable development is potentially enormous, because of their intermediary role in an economy. 

BOC Sustainability Vision

Sustainability Vision

"Sustainable development through social, environmental and economic bottom-line"

BOC Sustainability Vision

Sustainability Mission

"To be a Responsible Corporate Citizen by operating the business in an Environmentally Responsible, Socially Equitable and Economically Sound manner"

BOC Sustainability Vision

Sustainability Goals

To ensure that the bank creates value for the society and through every decision and action taken, minimizes adverse impacts to the environment and society, to engage in meaningful and sustainable CSR initiatives that will uplift society and promote national economic growth, to inculcate socially responsible values among the bank employees.

Sustainability Objectives

  • Integrate sustainability into key business decisions and initiatives
  • Implement an operational process to minimize the Bank's carbon footprint
  • Implement responsible waste disposal systems
  • Promote renewable energy
  • Implement CSR initiatives that will promote national economic growth through the Bank's strategic CSR initiatives
  • Uplift society's most needy segments
  • Inculcate sustainability values internally among staff
  • Inculcate sustainability values externally
  • Maintain healthy supplier relationships and responsible supplier contracts
  • Environment and Social Risk Management through fully-fledged Environment and Social Risk Management Systems (ESMS)
  • Respect HR principles in our business operations
  • Financial inclusion
  • Promote ethical finance
  • Promote green economic growth
  • Promote collaborative partnerships and no competition, with peers on sustainable issues
  • Transparency and accountability

Management Approach

Management Approach
BOC - Sustainability

The management approach for Sustainable Business of BOC consists of corporate values, stakeholder engagement, identifying impacts, risks, and opportunities, policy coverage, management and governance, and management and disclosure.

Corporate values refer to the operating philosophy of the bank which caters to the public/community. Stakeholder engagement decides how the bank engages with its stakeholders in the operating environment. Identifying impacts, risks and opportunities are critical to analyzing risks and opportunities faced by the bank and mitigating those risks. 

Policy coverage provides the process of establishing a bank's commitment to implement accountability as a corporate citizen. Management and governance also lead to maintaining good governance and management accountability for its stakeholders, management, and disclosures provide transparency of performance management and information to stakeholders. 

This sustainability outline of BOC reflects sustainable, accountable, and responsible business within its operating environment. 

Sustainable Business

Economic Sustainability

The most important aspect of the Bank’s sustainability approach is managing the impact that its operations, products/services, and customer relationships have on the national economy. BOC ensures the highest level of integrity and transparency in all its operations, whilst delivering on customers’ expectations in a fair and responsible manner.

Strategic Initiatives – Economic

  • Financial inclusion
  • Fiscal contribution to the Government
  • Partnering on national development initiatives by funding large-scale government infrastructure projects
BOC - Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

An important component of the sustainability agenda is the environment where the Bank ensures that its direct and indirect environmental impact is minimized or removed.

Minimising the Carbon Footprint of the business operations through the “Green Banking” process

  • Increasing environmental literacy
  • Encouraging the use of renewable energy sources
  • Environmental conservation
BOC - Sustainability

Social Sustainability

Bank of Ceylon lays great emphasis on its broader role as an enabler to the people. Within this scope, BOC continues to give back to the people through key initiatives covering education, encouraging entrepreneurship, livelihood development, while ensuring the well-being of each individual, giving our rich heritage and ancient culture its due priority within the social construct.


Strategic CSR Initiatives in the fields of

  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship development
  • Livelihood development
  • Social development
  • Protection of National Heritage 

Philanthropic CSR Initiatives 

  • Uplifting society's most needy segments 
  • Employee Volunteerism

Employee Relations

  •  Human Rights
  • Employee Development
  • Openness and Transparency 
BOC - Sustainability

Process of Identification and prioritization of Key Material Topics

It is important to identify the magnitude of the impact in the long term and short term and take alternative actions to mitigate those adverse impacts and risks towards the bank. Detailed analysis is conducted every year to review the key material topics of the Bank, the associated impact to the bank and the stakeholders, and the risk involved. These material topics are selected covering the Economic, Environmental, and Social triple bottom line.

The following process determines the identification of impacts and risks towards the bank and its influence on shareholder decisions. Key material topics and their impacts on the Bank and the stakeholders based on the identified risk are disclosed to the general public via the Annual Report and or website of the Bank each year. According to the impact and risks analysis, those identified risks and impact areas have been assigned among the sustainability committee members under their responsibilities in this policy to mitigate those risks and impacts. Those responsibilities are included in their action plans, and all action plans are incorporated into the corporate plan of the bank in terms of developing goals, strategies, and action items under their respective units to address risks and impact areas identified in the policy.

Step 1Relavance
  • Identification of issues relavant to the value creation process of the bank.
  • Identifying impacts on the ability of the bank to create value in the short, medium, and long term
Step 2Importance

Determination of importance of the issues identified based on

  1. - likelihood of occurance
  2. - impact of the event if it occurs
Step 3Prioritisation

The issues to be ranked according to their importance to the bank and the stakeholders

Step 4Reporting

Matters to be reported based on outcomes of the prioratization process

Meterial Issues

Stakeholder groupRelevant material topicRelevant material topicESG guidance: CSE
  1. Talent management
  2. Industrial peace and labour management relations
  3. Diversity and equal opportunity
  • GRI 401:Employment
  • GRI 402:Labour/Management relations
  • GRI 403:Occupational health and safety
  • GRI 404:Training and education
  • GRI 405:Diversity and equal opportunity
  • GRI 406:Freedom of association and collective bargaining

Training and education

Occupational health and safety

Workforce diversity and equal treatment
  1. Customer experience
  2. Customer privacy and data security
  3. Responsible banking practices
  • GRI 417:Marketing and labelling
  • GRI 418:Customer privacy
Government/ Regulators
  1. Financial performance
  2. Socio-economic contribution
  3. Financial inclusion
  4. Governance and compliance
  • GRI 201:Economic performance
  • GRI 202:Market presence
  • GRI 413:Local communities
  • GRI 203:Indirect economic impacts
  • GRI 419:Socio economic compliance
  • GRI 307:Environmental compliance
Business Partners
  1. Responsible procurement
  2. Bribery and anti-corruption
  3. Labour rights (outsourced/contract)
  • GRI 204:Procurement practices
  • GRI 205:Anti-corruption
  • GRI 406:Non-discrimination
  • GRI 408:Child labour
  • GRI 409:Forced or compulsory labour
Other Factors
  1. Digitisation and technology
  2. Environmental footprint
  3. Brand reputation
  • GRI 302:Energy
  • GRI 305:Emissions
Energy intensity

Direct and indirect emissions


Material Issues

BOC Risk Management

Material Issues Table

Stakeholder groupRelevant material topicWhy it is material to BoCOur response to the material topic during the yearChange    
Corresponding reporting standards (GRI, CSE-ESG Guidance, SASB Standards for Commercial Banks)Contribution to UN SDGs
Customer support and business revival
The Bank has continued to lead the country’s economic recovery by supporting business revival through rescheduling/restructuring facilities, cash flow monitoring and access to finance.Refer: Business Line Reviews.    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers    
_SASB FN-CB-240a.1 Financial inclusion and capacity building    

SASB FN-CB-240a.2: Financial inclusion and capacity building
SDG 09    
SDG 10
Customer experience
Customer service has emerged as the key differentiator in the intensely competitive banking sector of    
Sri Lanka
Refer: Business Line Reviews.    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers



 SDG 02
Customer privacy and data security
Increased thrust towards digitisation has heightened vulnerability to customer privacy and security issues, thereby requiring organisations to strengthen IT security frameworksRefer: Business Line Reviews.    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers
_GRI 418: Customer privacy    

SASB FN-CB-230a.2: Data security
Responsible banking
Responsible lending practices underpin BoC’s ability to drive impactful socio-economic changeRefer: Business Line Reviews.    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Community and Environment
Digitalisation and technology
Driving digital excellence is a key strategic aspiration for the BankRefer: Business Line Reviews.    

Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers
Employee health and safety
During the tail end of the pandemic in early 2022 health and safety remained an area of concern. Ensuring employee well-being in a high inflation environment was another point of concern.Refer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Employees_GRI 403: Occupational health and safetySDG 05    
SDG 08
Talent management and labour relations
Employees are vital in driving corporate strategy and are one of the Bank’s most valuable assets, underscoring the importance of managing employee related issues effectively.Refer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Employees^GRI 401: Employment    
GRI 402: Labour/Management relations    
GRI 404: Training and education    
GRI 407: Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Diversity and equal opportunity
BoC is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce in which employees can thriveRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Employees_GRI 405: Diversity and equal opportunity 
Labour rights (outsourced/contract)
BoC is committed to providing a safe and conducive work environment for all outsourced and contract employees engaged by the BankRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Employees_GRI 408: Child labour    
GRI 409: Forced or compulsory labour
Community and environment    
Macroeconomic developments and policy trends
Multifaceted challenges affecting Sri Lanka’s economy and related policy developments have a direct impact on the financial sector’s operations, performance and sustainability.Refer: Operating Context    
PESTEL Analysis    
Stakeholder Outcomes: Community and Environment
_ SDG 07    
SDG 13    
SDG 15    
SDG 01
Climate change    
and environmental    
BoC is committed to driving down the environmental footprint of its operations while propagating sustainable practices through green lendingRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Community and Environment_GRI 302: Energy    
GRI 305: Emissions    
SASB FN-CB-410a.2: Incorporation of ESG factors in credit analysis
SDG 03    
SDG 04
Brand reputation
Consistently ranked as Sri Lanka’s No.1 banking brand, the BoC brand is a key source of competitive advantage, underpinning its strong market positionRefer: Business Line Reviews.    
Stakeholder Outcomes: Customers
_ SDG 06
Shareholder and fund providers    
Financial performance
Critical in ensuring commercial sustainability and continued value generation to stakeholdersRefer: Financial Review    
Business Line Reviews    
Shareholder Outcomes: Stakeholder and Fund Providers    
_ SDG 12    
SDG 16    
SDG 17
Socio-economic contribution and financial inclusion
As a state-owned bank, BoC’s role extends beyond traditional banking to drive financial inclusion and socio-economic empowerment across the islandRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Community and Environment_GRI 201: Economic performance    
GRI 202: Market presence    
GRI 413: Local communities    
GRI 203: Indirect economic impacts    
SASB N-CB-240a.3: Financial inclusion and capacity building    
SASB FN-CB-240a.4: Financial inclusion and capacity building
SDG 01    
SDG 16
Regulatory environment, governance and compliance
A strong compliance culture and robust corporate governance practices underpins BoC’s value creation processRefer: Operating Context    
PESTEL Analysis    
Corporate Governance report    
Risk Management report    
Stakeholder Outcomes: Regulators    
_GRI 207: Tax    
GRI 419: Socio-economic compliance    
GRI 307: Environmental compliance
Business partners    
Responsible procurement
BoC engages with a large base of suppliers and ensures responsible practices in procurement through propagation of sustainable practicesRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Business Partners    
_GRI 204: Procurement practicesSDG 11    
SDG 16
Bribery and anti-corruption
As a state-owned entity, nurturing a culture of anti-bribery and anti-corruption is vital in the responsible creation of shared valueRefer: Stakeholder Outcomes: Business Partners    

Corporate Governance report    
Embedding Sustainability    
_GRI 205: Anti-corruption    
GRI 406: Non-discrimination    
SASB FN-CB-510a.2: Business    


Bank of Ceylon's approach to sustainability through CSR is built on best practices. The Board of Directors has the highest level of governance of sustainability in the Bank and therefore board has approved the establishment of the Sustainability Committee and the structure of which is given below.

Sustainability Committee

BOC - Sustainability Committee

Sustainability Committee of the Bank

The core purpose of the Sustainability Committee is to ensure that sustainability is integrated into all key business decisions, processes and initiatives with the goal of becoming a responsible corporate citizen by operating the business in an environmentally responsible, socially equitable and economically sound manner. The committee evaluates, develops, promotes, implements and monitors sustainability principles and practices through the organisation, which will deliver value to our stakeholders.

Structure of the Sustainability Committee

The Board of Directors regularly oversees and monitors the sustainability policy implemented by the Bank through the Bank’s Sustainability Committee headed by the General Manager (Chairman of the Sustainability Committee). The management of the Bank’s sustainability activities is the responsibility of the Sustainability Committee.

BOC - Sustainability Committee

Sustainability Unit of the Bank

The key functionalities of the Bank’s Sustainability Unit,  
which operationalises and coordinates all sustainability aspects and CSR initiatives of the Bank, are detailed below:

Operationalise the strategic decisions/directions of the Sustainability Committee. 
Enhance and streamline the Sustainability Reporting of the Bank. 
Coordinate with Marketing and other relevant divisions to initiate the Bank’s CSR projects. 
Coordinate with provinces and divisions to initiate CSR initiatives, and to drive and monitor those initiatives. 
Coordinate and drive proposals received to partner with nationally significant, long-term CSR projects. 
Suggest projects/initiatives to the Sustainability Committee to improve the sustainability footprint of the Bank. 
Actively engage with relevant external expertise/represent the bank at industry forums relevant to Sustainability.