SriLankan Airlines received the prestigious Best Aviation Sustainability Program Award at the recently concluded Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (SMBR) Global Aviation Awards, defeating 118 other submissions for its groundbreaking signature upcycle project, ‘Mathaka.’
SriLankan Airlines’ response to reducing landfill waste and the ecological footprint was Project Mathaka, which repurposed the airline’s scrap material into a variety of lifestyle products.
SriLankan collaborated with House of Lonali, a Sri Lankan organisation that designs and manufactures upcycled lifestyle products, to create the exclusive ‘Mathaka’ brand of travel bags, wallets, books, key tags, and jewellery. The items, which are entirely made from discarded airline uniforms, aircraft interior components, and other materials, will eventually be available for purchase onboard SriLankan Airlines flights as well as through the House of Lonali website and retail partners. The project’s proceeds will be used to fund the airline’s other corporate sustainability initiatives.
The project allows the airline to expand on its environmentally friendly corporate philosophy by transforming waste into new products, reducing landfill waste and environmental pollution. Furthermore, effective waste management from upcycling provides a practical solution in this age of economic scarcity and raw material scarcity by extending the use of waste material in a sustainable manner.
Furthermore, SriLankan will empower women through its project partner, House of Lonali, a social entrepreneurial venture focused on providing employment opportunities to talented women from low-income communities. Individuals employed by the House of Lonali throughout the Project Mathaka production process will be able to showcase their talent on an international level while also earning a living.
The SMRB Global Aviation Awards were presented at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 41st General Assembly in Montreal, Canada. The SMBR Global Aviation Awards, which debuted in 2016, aim to recognise the contributions of business organisations and individuals to the success of the global aviation industry. An international team of strategic partners guides the evaluation process and winner selection.
Project Mathaka is one of several initiatives launched by the airline’s Environmental Affairs and Sustainability team to advocate for the environment in measured and impactful ways.
SriLankan was the first airline in Asia to introduce ‘Planet Friendly Flights’ in 2009 and was named the second lowest carbon-emitting airline in the Asia-Pacific in 2016 by Business Traveller.
The only way to combat climate change is to work with like-minded partners and be a part of the solution. As a regional pioneer in aviation sustainability, the airline’s Environmental Affairs and Sustainability team works tirelessly to instill an environmentally conscious mindset in its employees. The community is frequently involved in its projects, and the airline believes that small steps will lead to greater success in terms of sustainability in the long run.