IUCN Facilitates Sustainability Declaration by Dilmah Tea

05 August 2010 | News story

 IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature today facilitated the addition of sustainability as one more pillar to the core values of Dilmah Tea. This declaration of a core commitment to sustainability was made by founder Mr Merril J Fernando, at the inaugural session of the Global Distributor’s Conference of Dilmah.  

Dilmah sees the current situation as an opportunity to build on its market-leading position by pursuing new sustainable expansion initiatives. It also aims through this work to influence change in biodiversity performance standards in the tea industry and its supply chains.

IUCN’s association with Dilmah and the MJF Foundation started immediately after the Asian tsunami in 2004. The alignment at the time was purely humanitarian and the association had numerous outcomes which were manifest in positive change to the lives of several thousand tsunami survivors. Over the years that association evolved and grew into a commitment to the environment with the establishment of Dilmah Conservation in 2007.

Understanding the need and opportunities for mainstreaming and integrating environmental aspects into business, Dilmah Conservation is working in partnership with IUCN in innovative projects and programmes. These initiatives have formed visible impressions in the betterment of lives of communities dependent on natural resources and in enhanced appreciation by communities on the need for wise use of natural resources for future generations.

“This declaration is a milestone since today sustainability is an imperative which has no viable option” says IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefevre. “Without the involvement and commitment of business, the urgent action that is required for mitigating climate change and environmental degradation cannot be avoided. A partnership of business and the environment is of critical importance for the preservation of our way of life. I am delighted that IUCN has had the opportunity of facilitating this inspiring declaration and will continue its work with Dilmah in its sustainability journey”.

A rapidly globalizing world is putting increasing pressure on the environment, while also creating new opportunities to engage business and markets in biodiversity conservation. Like many of its members, IUCN is developing links with business in order to enlist new sources of support for the mission of the Union. This includes efforts to encourage improvements in corporate environmental performance, as well as increased private investment in biodiversity conservation. The skills and entrepreneurship of the business world are seen as key resources for conservation across the globe.

Dilmah’s efforts in conservation which has as its objectives to explore biodiversity programmes that help off set negative impacts of monoculture on tea estates, ecosystem and habitat enrichment and species conservation.

“In extending the strong humanitarian commitment that is at the heart of Dilmah, to embrace the environment recognizes the fact that human and environmental welfare are inter-twined. I believe Dilmah Conservation will demonstrate a new way of doing business” says Mr Merril J Fernando, the Founder of Dilmah Tea, one of the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverages companies, active in production, processing and marketing of tea as its core business.

For more information on this event please contact:

Shiranee.Yasaratne@iucn.org