Social Capital

DFCC’s commitment to Sustainability and the community has continued with an ambitious sustainability agenda and calendar, despite the enormous challenges the banking industry weathered in 2022.


DFCC Sustainability Strategy

The Financial Sector continues to be impacted by the many uncertainties that challenged Sri Lanka, which are also expected to remain unchanged in the short term. Against this backdrop, and in its efforts to contribute towards building a resilient Sri Lanka, the Bank stayed on course with its Sustainability Plan that drives its Social and Environmental Capital initiatives, grounded on top-down accountability to its stakeholders.

The Bank believes that the best sustainability framework to adopt to achieve our sustainability purpose; contribute towards a resilient Sri Lanka is the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach comprising People, Planet and Profit (the three Ps). The Bank is committed to conducting its business in a responsible and inclusive manner that adds value to all its stakeholders on the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability or People, Planet and Profit.

In applying the TBL approach to the Bank’s Sustainability Vision, the Bank has focused on three key Sustainability Dimensions: Resilient Business; Impact for Resilience and Resilient Communities to achieve three key goals as depicted in the DFCC Strategic Sustainability Framework outlined below:


Diagram of Sustainability Vision


The Bank’s overall sustainability strategy is aligned with the thirteen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as depicted in the graph, as well as the three Key Goals identified under the strategy, which were pursued by the Bank in 2022.

Three Key Goals

Goal 1 – The Bank for Green Finance

The Bank is committed to seeking out and specialising in environmental, energy, and sustainability related projects and project advisory. To this end, the Bank has in place a Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), which ensures that projects funded by the Bank adhere to required environmental and social regulations. Developed and implemented by the Bank’s Sustainability Unit since 2016, it ensures that the Bank does not fund any projects that are harmful to the environment or society while also encouraging clients to be more vigilant about the possible impact of their actions on the environment and society.

Goal 2 – Carbon Neutral Bank by 2030

Towards meeting its objective of being a Carbon Neutral Bank by 2030, DFCC partners with a number of organisations to set the pace for carbon neutrality, combining energy conservation and efficiency, as well as renewable energy.

Goal 3 – Achieve Sustainable Work-Lifestyles by 2030

To promote diversity, inclusivity and sustainability-oriented productivity, the Bank engages with both staff and customers alike with the aim of achieving sustainable lifestyles by 2030.

Sustainability Governance

Sustainability governance is an integral part of the Sustainability Policy of the Bank, and is driven by the cross-functional Executive Sustainability Management Committee (ESMC) that was formed in November 2020. Chaired by the CEO and consisting of 18 staff, including many C-level staff, the ESMC meets every six weeks. It ensures the proper implementation of the Sustainability Strategy, as well as providing the required guidance and support.

DFCC Sustainability Organogram


Employee Engagement in Sustainability

Encouraging and Building Staff Volunteerism

To inculcate an attitude that “Sustainability is a way of life” at DFCC, sustainability-oriented tasks, action points and measurement matrices are built into staff evaluation and appraisal processes, while the Sustainability Pledge forms a part of their HR tool kit. Sustainability Champions, a group of people with a passion for protecting the environment and society, have been appointed from the staff.

Sustainability-Focused Training

From the ESMC through to staff at all levels, training is provided to ensure that sustainability becomes a way of life at the Bank. Additionally, Training of Trainers sessions were held for Sustainability Champions to train staff in their respective branches or units on Sustainability.

DFCC Sustainability Pledge

I promise that I will make every endeavour to care for Planet Earth and all living things;

Contribute towards DFCC’s Sustainability activities for a more resilient Sri Lanka by actively supporting DFCC’s sustainability goals and targets;

To treat all persons with dignity, respect and friendliness;

Use as little of our non-renewable resources as possible;

Minimise use of toxic chemicals, pesticides and other poisons and encourage others to do the same;

Support the less fortunate to become self-sufficient and have a decent life including clean air and water, food, health care, housing, education and individual rights;

Contribute towards the six cross cutting themes (6Es): Education, Elderly, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Emergency Relief and Exercise.

I will make a difference for the environment and society. DFCC Bank can count on me to help protect our planet.

Sustainability focused training for the staff 2022 – Summary

Programme description Target Audience Number of sessions
DFCC Sustainability Strategy and related topics, Role of Sustainability Champions Sustainability Champions 9
Sustainable and social entrepreneurship Branch Managers, Credit Officers, MSME Officers 6
Sustainability at DFCC New Recruits 6
Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) Credit Officers 2

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The key three sustainability dimensions of the DFCC sustainability strategy are implemented across six cross-cutting themes, known as the 6Es: Education, Elderly, Emergency Relief, Entrepreneurship, Environment and Exercise. DFCC initiated and implemented several CSR activities during the year, despite the adverse economic challenges the banking industry encountered in 2022.


Alignment with UN SDGs:

DFCC “Samata English” – Educational Programme for Youth

DFCC “Samata English” (“English for Everyone”) social support and development programme is the Bank’s flagship project under the “Education” pillar, one of the 6 cross-cutting themes under the Bank’s sustainability vision, contributing towards resilient communities.

This year, the Bank initiated the programme to empower a broad spectrum of youth aged 18-25 who have completed the GCE Advanced Level Examination in the Hambantota, Trincomalee and Nuwara Eliya Districts through the promotion and development of English language and soft skills.

Over the past years, from 2017 to 2021, DFCC Bank’s “Samata English” programme has directly benefited over 350 young people across the Island in Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Kurunegala, Galle, Ampara, Rathnapura, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Badulla, Anuradhapura and Vavuniya. This programme is part of DFCC Bank’s long-term sustainability strategy and focuses on one of its core pillars, Developing Resilient Communities.

On average, the “DFCC Samata English” programmes go on for 4 months and are conducted by the Gateway Language Institute on behalf of DFCC Bank. The course includes a module on General Skills Development, which will further help enhance the participants’ attractiveness to would-be employers. The Spoken English segment of the course is conducted over three months and includes training on improving communication skills, basic grammar and sentence structure, listening skills, reading skills, and writing skills needed in the job market and activity-based learning, including pair and group work. The soft skills segment of the course is conducted for one month and includes areas such as teamwork, time management, presentation, writing skills and equipping them with skills to face an interview. Applications for the course are advertised through the DFCC Branches as they are conducted in the vicinity of the branch network, and candidates are selected based on an initial assessment.

Each participant in the programme will be entitled to free access to the course and all course material, leading to a Certificate in Spoken English and Soft Skills Development, endorsed by DFCC Bank and the Gateway Language Institute. They will also receive a free savings account funded with an initial deposit from the Bank. Participants who perform well during the final assessment will also be provided internship opportunities within DFCC Bank’s island-wide branch network.

DFCC Education Scholarship Programme

In collaboration with CARITAS Sri Lanka – SEDEC, the Bank embarked on a five-year journey to support the continued education of students from under-privileged families by granting financial support for secondary and tertiary education levels. Commenced in 2020, the Bank invested LKR 1.25 Mn in the programme supporting 174 students during the year.

Beneficiaries of the DFCC Education Scholarship Programme – 2022

O/L and Other A/L Vocational Training Undergraduates Total
66 71 13 24 174


Emergency Relief

Alignment with UN SDGs:

DFCC Community Kitchen Programme

The near-collapse of the economy greatly burdened those who either lost their daily income or were subjected to pay-cuts when industries floundered sending every area of normal daily life into a tail spin, as the foreign exchange crisis deepened. One of the worst outcomes of this was the inability to afford food by many segments of society due to dwindling incomes and high rates of inflation. Against this backdrop, the Bank stepped into ensure that food was available to the most affected, by conducting nine Community Kitchens in Colombo, Badulla, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Rathnapura, Kandy, Matara, and Kilinochchi Districts. Conducted as a “Green Initiative”, these were “Plastic Free” events. The Bank invested LKR 1.9 Mn for this programme in 2022 which benefitted 4,218 people.

Beneficiaries of the DFCC Community Kitchen Programme – 2022


DFCC Vesak Initiative

In line with the Bank’s Sustainability Strategy, 25 selected branches in key areas distributed dry rations to needy and deserving families using the funds allocated for Vesak decorations at branches during the Vesak Week in the month of May 2022.

Educational Assistance to the Children who were Affected by the Easter Sunday Attack

Being the “Bank for Everyone”’, DFCC Bank always comes forward to assist people in difficult times. Thus, the Bank initiated an Educational Support programme for the children who were affected by losing either one or both of their parents due to the Easter Sunday Attack in 2019 at Katuwapitiya Church, so as to enable them to continue their education. Accordingly, from 2019, the Bank is making an annual contribution of LKR 180,000/- to selected 12 children until they complete their secondary education.


Alignment with UN SDGs:

DFCC Bike to Work Initiative

The fuel crisis was the springboard that allowed the Bank to popularise its “Bike to Work day” of the month, among all DFCC staff. This was gradually expanded to include participation of other banks from time to time as well. A supplies area was opened at Head Office to carry out minor repairs and services to bikes. Additionally many concessions were made available to employees to facilitate the purchase of bicycles and related equipment. While promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, this initiative sought to contribute towards lessening the carbon footprint of the Bank in a practical manner, which can be easily replicated across the branch network.


Benefits of Cycling

  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Prevent global warming
  • Environment friendly, silent transport mode
  • Fuel efficient transport mode
  • Improve strength and healthy living
  • Reduce chances of suffering Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • Improve sustainable lifestyles

OMMM Virtual Cycling Challenge

As an initiative to set a trend to reduce emissions through employee commuting, the Bank conducted OMMM Virtual Cycling Challenge among employees. The challenge of the competition was to cycle 400kms, a distance equal to travelling from Colombo to Yala and back. The competition spanned over six weeks, starting from 10 October 2022. The cycling performance of participants were monitored through the “Strava App”. Fifty cyclists representing 10 teams participated in the competition. Best performing teams and individuals were commended and awarded cash prizes.


DFCC “Rise and Shine” Programme

The internal campaign, “Rise and Shine”, was launched to support DFCC staff and their families in overcoming physical and mental challenges that impacted their physical and mental wellbeing. In this regard, the Bank has put together a range of initiatives under the 6E framework of the sustainability strategy, to help them cope with, build resilience and embrace change. During the year, the Bank focused on the following topics in conducting awareness sessions and engagement activities under this programme.

  • Stress Management
  • Economical Meal Plans
  • Meaningful Relationships
  • Financial Literacy and Budgeting
  • Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Exercise for a healthy life
  • Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Sustainable Living Journey
  • Improving mental health at work
  • Home gardening to ensure self sufficiency in food
  • Provided vegetable seed packs to all staff, in addition to awareness sessions on cultivation

All online sessions were shared with all staff via emails and WeConnect. In addition, e-flyers were regularly shared with all employees to educate them on important tips to manage their lifestyles. Hence, all employees and their families benefitted from these programmes.



Alignment with UN SDGs:

DFCC Entrepreneurship Development Programme

Entrepreneurship development is at the core of the Bank’s corporate responsibility efforts. We continue to support different micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs, not only providing required financial assistance but also facilitating the programmes to get the required technical know-how, competency development and financial literacy aspects that will empower budding entrepreneurs as well as others to develop their businesses. We support different micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs including youth and women who represent different sectors: agriculture, export, manufacturing, health, education, construction, energy, etc.

“DFCC Sahaya Hamuwa” is a specially designed financial literacy programme for MSMEs, collaboratively conducted with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. “DFCC Vyapara Athwela” is the Bank’s business competency development programme to provide entrepreneurial guidance. Through these programmes the Bank guides MSMEs to seek new business opportunities as well as to ensure the business continuity.

DFCC Entrepreneurship Development Programme – Summary

Programme Mode of delivery Year Progress
DFCC “Vyapara Athwela”* Online sessions on YouTube Available on YouTube for reference since 2020 to date More than 100,000
YouTube views
MSME development programme
for women entrepreneurs
Physical workshops 2022
  • Number of programs covered: 01
  • Number of
    participants: 75
  • Districts covered: Kurunegala
Biogas awareness and pilot project launch for dairy farmers Physical workshops 2022
  • Number of programs covered: 01
  • Number of
    participants: 25
  • Districts covered: Kurunegala

Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions imposed within the country, DFCC Vyapara Athwela was conducted via online sessions on YouTube to assist entrepreneurs.

DFCC Aloka was the frontrunner in the Bank’s efforts to infuse new life into a business segment that was adversely impacted by the ongoing crisis in 2022. Empowering women and making an indelible footprint in supporting women entrepreneurs, DFCC Aloka led the way in the MSME development programmes the Bank implemented in 2022. For more information, please refer to the Financial Capital chapter on page 62.

Signatories and Affiliations for Sustainability Initiatives

The Bank partnered with the following institutions to execute sustainability initiatives

Partner Institution Purpose/focused initiatives/focused content
Sri Lanka Banks’ Association Sustainable Banking Initiative DFCC Bank is a pioneering signatory to the 11 Sustainable Banking Principles of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA) under the Sustainable Banking Initiatives (SLBA-SBI). DFCC Bank is also represented at the “Core Group” of the SLBA-SBI to promote the SLBA-SBI to all banks.
Global Sustainable Finance Network Global Sustainable Finance Network DFCC Bank is a member of the Global Sustainable Finance Network (GSFN), which is a voluntary membership based global initiative launched in 2011 under the auspices of the World Federation of Developing Financial Institutions (WFDFI) by the European Organisation for Sustainable Development (EOSD) and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). The Vision of GSFN is to create a thriving pre-eminent global community of financial institutions and other stakeholders working together for projects, programmes and activities that are socially beneficial, environmentally responsible and economically viable.
Good Life X MoU signed for the Climate Adaptation Accelerator Initiative To promote sustainable entrepreneurs by working with start-ups already in the market and
to develop their businesses and products to match market requirements.
Ministry of Agriculture Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Programme.
Export Agriculture Department Developing smallholder farmers engaged in cultivating export agriculture crops.
Market Oriented Dairy (MOD) –
(funded by the “Food for Progress” programme of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Empowering dairy farmers through capacity development and financing.
National Innovation Agency Signed an MOU connecting Bank’s Dairy farmer clients and entrepreneurs to biogas technology to promote circular economy innovation.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka Small enterprise development by providing financial literacy and funds at
concessionary rates.
Small Enterprises Development – SED Small enterprise development by providing required capacity development and training.
Caritas To promote education for underprivileged segment of the society.
Gateway Education Center To promote English education for youth.
Neptune Papers Private Limited To promote recycling initiatives of the Bank.
Think Green Private Limited To promote recycling initiatives of the Bank.