Earth Hour Global Founder in Sri Lanka to Launch Local Campaign For 2013

7 January 2013, Colombo: Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour™, has called on business leaders and media institutions to do their part to go beyond the hour for our planet, as he launched the Earth Hour 2013 campaign for Sri Lanka today (7th January 2013). Earth Hour will be observed globally on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 8:30PM.

Speaking in front an audience of government, business and media leaders at the Lakshman Kadirgarmar Institute, Mr. Ridley spoke on how Earth Hour has become a symbol for action on climate change and sustainability, touching every pillar of the community to connect and show their desire for a sustainable planet.

“We’re seeing an extraordinary level of participation in the campaign from governments, businesses, organisations and individuals, who are inspiring ongoing action for the planet and driving some incredible environmental outcomes,” said Mr. Ridley. “The collective impact of those who have lent support to Earth Hour in Sri Lanka has been immense, so it’s not hard to imagine the possibilities when this impact from businesses, governments and media organisations is translated into action beyond the hour.”

Mr. Ridley called on Sri Lankan business to get involved in the I Will If You Will campaign, to reinforce that Earth Hour is not merely an event celebrated every year, but an ongoing movement for change to better the environment we live in.

“A CEO can challenge their staff, a celebrity can challenge their fans, a kid can challenge their schoolmates – the idea is that anybody can become the inspiration to their friends, family, colleagues and even their nation, to encourage ongoing action for the environment.” Mr. Ridley further added.

Also speaking at the event was Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment, Hon. Champika Ranawake, Minister of Power and Energy, Hon. Udaya Gamanpila, Minister of Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Minor Irrigation, Industries and Environment (Western Province) and Mr. Abdul Qadir Uvais, the Country Manager for Earth Hour Sri Lanka.

Earth Hour began in Sri Lanka in 2010, and has since gathered support from all government institutions and many private institutions such as Fonterra Lanka, Expolanka Group of companies, Hilton Residencies, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Jetwing Hotels, Environment Foundation Limited, Expo Rail and others.

Earth Hour encourages individuals, businesses and governments to show leadership on environmental solutions through their actions, and use the Earth Hour platform to show the world how they are reducing their environmental impact. Earth Hour asks everyone to take personal accountability for their impact on the planet and make behavioural changes to facilitate a sustainable lifestyle.

In 2012, Sri Lankans joined hands with the global community in dialogue and efforts to save our planet with the initiative led by H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, who hosted and observed Earth Hour at his Official Residence in Kandy.

This year, Earth Hour Sri Lanka, together with the ministry of Environment Western Province, challenges the local community, businesses, celebrities, and government agencies to switch off non-essential lights for Earth Hour as a demonstration of Sri Lanka’s concerted commitment to the planet with the rest of the world, and also to go beyond the hour by committing to ongoing actions that will reduce the country’s environmental footprint year round.

Mr. Ridley arrived in Sri Lanka on 27 December 2012 and visited H.E the President, Mahinda Rajapakshe and Hon. Udaya Gamanpila, to thank them for the support extended towards Earth Hour in the country and to discuss environment related topics.

Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 23 March