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TEG Group celebrates 25 years of sustainable innovation

Plantation Industries and Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and TEG Managing Director and CEO Dinesh Fernando
Plantation Industries and Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and TEG Managing Director and CEO Dinesh Fernando

TEG Group, comprising Tropicoir Lanka Ltd., Euro Substrates Ltd., and Growrite Substrates Ltd., is proud to commemorate its 25th anniversary as a pioneer in sustainable innovation. Since its inception in 1998 with the establishment of Tropicoir Lanka, the group has remained steadfast in its commitment to harnessing the potential of coconut husks, as a renewable resource in the form of coir substrates, to create environmentally friendly products for markets around the world. These products are used globally today for horticulture, environmental protection, and pet bedding.

Founded by visionary entrepreneur TEG Group CEO/Managing Director Dinesh Fernando, embarked on its journey with a small team and an unwavering purpose – to create the highest value for all stakeholders. Today, the group stands tall as an industry leader, backed by an illustrious legacy of innovation and sustainable practices.

In 2000, pursuing its commitment to innovation and growth, TEG Group partnered with Vander Knaap Group, Netherlands, resulting in the establishment of Euro Substrates in 2000 and Growrite Substrates in 2006 (BOI Approved). This alliance paved the way for revolutionary changes in the industry, bringing scale and innovation that rivalled global multinational players. As a result, TEG’s coir-based products not only offer sustainable crop-specific solutions but also contribute to lowering ecological footprints, propelling the growth of the overall Sri Lankan coir industry.

In 2011, Tropicoir joined forces with Premier Tech, Canada, to develop a ground-breaking application in environmental protection – coir chips as a bio filtering media for wastewater treatment. This innovation opened new horizons for sustainable growth while championing the cause of protecting our planet. Over the years, TEG Group has expanded its reach and influence across six continents, exporting over 2000 containers of value-added coir substrate products to more than 40 countries, annually, earning valuable foreign exchange for Sri Lanka.

In addition to its commercial success, the group has left an indelible mark on society through its various CSR initiatives. Notably, TEG has built 85+ houses for the underprivileged, renovated schools and hospitals, and empowered students through the Growrite English and ICT Academy, and by the establishment of two children’s homes looking after 85 kids in Kuliyapitiya. The Group has also created 1,300 direct, and over 2,000 indirect, employment opportunities in Sri Lanka, and operates six production facilities across the Island, having also expanded its network into the Indian Subcontinent.

Dinesh Fernando expressed his gratitude for the success he, his business, its partners and its stakeholders have enjoyed saying, “Our journey has been defined by a passion for sustainability and a commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives. We owe our success to the unwavering dedication of Team TEG and the enduring support of our partners and clients. By looking to help solve a problem in society, we have managed to create immense value for all stakeholders. Together, we are honoured to be sowing the seeds for a greener and brighter future. We are humbled by our achievements over the two and a half decades in empowering people, protecting and improving the planet, and earning much-needed foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. As we look confidently toward the future, we remain steadfastly committed to our purpose.”

This slight revision maintains the original sentiment while improving the flow and coherence of the statement. It emphasizes the group’s accomplishments in a humble manner while expressing optimism for the future and reinforcing their ongoing commitment to their mission.

Driven by this ethos, TEG Group’s “Anagathaya Wawamu” (Let’s Grow Our Future) program reflects its dedication to resource sustainability. With over 150,000 coconut trees planted across the island, the program is aiming at a target of 500,000 trees by 2027. This effort is not only supporting the environment but is also helping to cultivate a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship among the younger generation.

With 25 years of expertise in process and product innovation, and a strong network of world-class partners, TEG Group is poised to revolutionise global horticulture industry through sustainable coir solutions. Its commitment to the green economy remains resolute as TEG now sets its sights on the next 25 years and beyond.


Solar generation


Our dedication to sustainable energy led to solar projects in our factories, generating 320,169 kWh of clean energy in 2023, reducing 230,521.68 metric tons of CO2. This initiative significantly reduces our dependence on non-renewable energy, contributing to a more sustainable future and mitigating climate change impacts. Our solar efforts demonstrate our commitment to the use of clean energy striving for a greener, sustainable future for generations to come.

GHG Inventory


With our strong commitment to sustainability, we annually assess greenhouse gas emissions across our facilities to gauge our environmental impact and pinpoint carbon footprint sources. This enables strategic reduction tactics, aligning with responsible consumption and production. By calculating our GHG inventory, we focus on efficiency, waste minimization, and resource optimization, fostering responsible consumption in our organization. These actions support global sustainability goals, reducing our carbon footprint and reaffirming our dedication to protecting our planet.

Kruthugana piyasa- Hospital


Since its inception in 2014, the “Kruthaguna Piyasa” project which is our Annual Housing Assistance Program has been a cornerstone of our commitment to team member welfare. Each year, we carefully select 10 employees from each factory to receive housing stipends. As of 2023, this initiative has provided housing support to a total of 253 team members, excluding those who benefited from the construction of full houses. This program highlights our dedication to fostering a supportive workplace, ensuring our team members have the means to secure comfortable and stable housing, thereby contributing to their overall well-being.

Development of Kalubowila Hospital


Our commitment to healthcare advancement led us to actively take in this project with financial contributions towards the development and repair of the high-dependency ward at Kalubowila Hospital in 2021. This investment reflects our dedication to enhancing medical facilities and ensuring a more resilient and supportive environment for patient care in our community.

Development of Health Care Facilities


The renovation of Nikarawetiya Hospital’s mental health ward, previously in disrepair, revitalized essential facilities like beds, toilets, and fans. This upgrade ensures local access to quality mental health care, reducing the need for travel to distant hospitals. Our commitment to this project highlights our dedication to enhancing healthcare quality and accessibility, particularly in mental health services, benefiting community well-being.

Grants for undergraduates


Annually, we support children of our team members starting university after their Advanced-Level exams, providing a monthly grant until degree completion. This initiative, aiding 16 students in 2023, fosters academic motivation and cultivates a skilled workforce. By financially empowering students, we promote higher education access and nurture talent for community and national development.

TEG English and IT Academy


Since 2011 and 2013, our TEG English and IT Academy has been pivotal in educating 330 village students. In 2023, 253 of them are excelling in English (grades 1-11), and 79 in IT (grades 6-11). We strive to transcend local education limits by boosting English proficiency and IT skills, preparing students for a global society. TEG Academy is more than a school; it is a catalyst of societal change, promoting critical thinking, innovation, and adaptability. This commitment reflects our vision for an empowered, future-ready community.

Annual Book donation and student grants


Our initiative aims to create a positive learning environment and provide vital educational resources, supporting students’ academic paths. We go beyond material aid, rewarding academic excellence by annually recognizing students who excel in grade 5 scholarship exams. These top performers receive a grant until completing their Ordinary Level exams. This sustained financial support encourages their academic efforts and ensures ongoing educational support while providing relief to their parents who face economic hardships.
Our dedication to this project reflects our belief in education’s transformative power. By offering resources and financial incentives, we motivate students and support their academic success. This commitment underlines our focus on nurturing quality education and positively impacting students’ educational experiences.

Anagathaya Wavamu (Grow Your future)


Launched in 2018, the “Anagathaya Wavamu” (Grow Your Future) coconut cultivation project is on track to plant 500,000 trees by 2027. This effort aims to enhance rural Sri Lankan economies and contribute to the country’s food system, recognizing the vital role of coconut plantations in value creation and environmental protection.   The project focuses on boosting economic and food sustainability by teaching tree care and providing income sources. Our commitment to this project reflects our dedication to sustainable growth and resilience in local communities, embodying our broader social and environmental stewardship goals.

A key aspect of the “Anagathaya Wavamu” project is its focus on involving children in tree planting, aiming to instil this habit in the younger generation. The project is structured to engage thousands of children from various regions of the country, fostering a widespread appreciation and understanding of environmental stewardship among the youth.