Sustainability – State Trading Organization PLC

Sustainability - State Trading Organization PLC

Serving the Community: The Founding Principle of STO

National interest and social responsibility are integral to STO’s organizational values. We aim to merge business success with ethical values, human dignity, and sustainable development. Accordingly, we adopt a proactive approach towards sustainability reporting, helping us gauge and push ourselves forward.

Corporate Social Responsibility Approach

Our CSR efforts are divided into four main categories: society, market, staff, and environment. Nine years ago, we joined the United Nations Global Compact, committing to its ten principles based on human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption. Recently, we endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed by the United Nations to address global economic, social, and environmental issues, setting the format for this report.

Commitment to Sustainable Development Goals

As a prominent PLC in the Maldives, we are committed to leading by example and working towards these goals. We strive to reduce the negative impact of our actions on the ecosystems and communities we engage with. Each of the seventeen SDGs has a specific target to be achieved by 2030.

Food Security

The uninterrupted provision and affordability of essential goods are part of STO’s mission statement, with staple foods being a crucial component. We act as a regulator of staple food prices and quality. Currently, we are executing a program to equalize the availability and price of staple foods across all 187 inhabited islands. We plan to build a new central distribution center with vastly improved capacity, conditions, and access. Food security is one of our core mandates and an important national obligation.


Healthcare is one of the biggest areas of contribution to the public by STO. STO Medicals routinely hosts or sponsors key medical symposiums. As the organization entrusted with the supply of controlled drugs, key equipment, and consumables, we work closely with the Health Ministry, other organizations, and healthcare facilities and professionals on various projects to advance national healthcare. STO is always among the first to respond and provide assistance during nationwide pandemics.

Quality Education

The Maldives has made admirable progress in primary and secondary education over the past few decades. However, the quality and access to early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities still vary greatly across island communities. We support education by assisting smaller schools and private or community establishments in the atolls with their resource needs and integrating technology. To promote educational achievement at the crucial secondary level, we honored the top students for the seventh consecutive year.

Gender Equality

We stand firmly against gender-based discrimination. We do not tolerate gender-based differentiation in employee benefits and opportunities such as salary, training, promotion, or decision-making. We are one of the first local PLCs to meet the CG guideline of appointing two female directors. Additionally, we donated MVR 318,500 to NGOs working for gender equality and women empowerment.

Reduced Inequalities

Given our scattered island communities, access to basic services is a key focus in addressing inequalities. STO continues to reduce the gap in accessibility to essentials such as medicine and staple foods. We work with government agencies and NGOs to assist special needs groups. Our sponsorship of trained staff and facilities at Fiyavathi helps improve the odds for a better future for these children.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

The rapid urbanization of the Greater Malé Area raises concerns about adequate housing and infrastructure, environmental impact, and vulnerability to disasters. We introduced Powermix (our ready-mix concrete service) in Hulhumalé, where most large-scale construction projects are concentrated. Powermix significantly reduces air and noise pollution, construction safety, and quality issues that plagued the conventional method of concrete mixing in the Maldives. We also address the housing problem by introducing our own housing scheme for the neediest staff.

Climate Action

We are the first local PLC to manage recyclable and general waste separately according to industry best practices. All our business operations adhere to WAMCO best practices in waste management. We use biodegradable bags across all our outlets and continuously look for more eco-friendly options. In 2018, we launched a plastic reduction initiative. Our subsidiary MIFCO is MSC-certified and has adopted sustainable fishing methods to help oceans remain teeming with life for future generations.

Life Below Water

Life below Water has been chosen as a theme of STO’s CSR efforts. Hundreds of coral reefs in the country are delicate ecosystems important for both environmental and economic reasons. Fisheries and tourism sectors, which form the backbone of our economy, are heavily dependent on them. As an MSC-certified fisheries company, our subsidiary MIFCO uses sustainable fishing methods to ensure the world’s oceans remain teeming with life today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. We transported, free of charge, over 25 jumbo bags of recyclable plastics for Parley Maldives from the atolls to Malé. Reducing plastics and microplastics going into the ocean is an area we continue to explore for more meaningful contributions.

Husen Amru Mohamed Rashad, CEO & Managing Director