This release was originally posted on The Sunday Times. To view the original article, please click here.

Expolanka Freight (EFL) has marked another milestone in its sustainability journey with an official commitment to the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global project that aims to provide business leaders with the accountability framework they need to reduce their carbon footprint.

SBTi is a collaboration between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The initiative defines, promotes and showcases best practices on setting science-based targets to reduce emissions, and independently assesses and approves targets set by committed companies. Businesses can transform society by setting these targets, delivering on ambitious but achievable reductions in emissions and demonstrating to governments that it is possible to reverse the rapid deterioration of climate health.

In a media release, EFL said it is the first logistics company and only the third organisation in Sri Lanka to make the SBTi commitment. “This puts us on a path beyond mere good intentions,” says its EFL Global Lead – Sustainability, Sabrina Yusoof. “SBTi gives us specific targets that we can measure our progress against. It’s a real call to action within EFL- we’re signalling to our employees, shareholders and clients that we mean to make real change.”

The company has already made significant strides across its structure to implement concrete changes; earlier this year it announced that it was further expanding the capacity of its solar powered facility at Orugodawatta; the first LEED Gold Accredited facility of its kind which follows an ISO 14064:2006 certification to quantify and report on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

EFL has already completed the first step of setting science-based targets by making the commitment (for which it is formally recognized on the SBTi website). The next step is to get a plan for achieving the SBTs approved by SBTi within the next 24 months, and work towards EFL’s commitment along the supply chain to achieve the common goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This could mean 11 million fewer people exposed to extreme heat, 61 million fewer people exposed to drought, and 10 million fewer people exposed to the impacts of sea level rise. Apart from the human and environmental benefits of achieving this target by the turn of the century, it could result in preventing severe global economic losses-the value of services provided by a functioning biosphere averages approximately US$ 125 trillion a year.