Two manufacturing facilities of Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Lingerie Cluster in Nittambuwa have been awarded Eco Factory Attributes by the global retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) in recognition of achievements in reducing their environmental footprint.
The two factories have reduced energy and water consumption by 30 per cent and 15 per cent respectively and are recycling or reusing 100 per cent of their solid waste, enabling them to score 91 points out of 100 at the M&S Eco Factory Audit.
The Eco Factory Attribute is awarded under Marks & Spencer's 'Plan A' initiative which was launched in January 2007 to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically, and help customers to lead healthier lifestyles with an aspiration to be the industry leader in sustainable consumption and production, by offering customers good value, high quality products and services, sold through an efficient multi-channel operation. It is intended to produce products with integrity by using the most sustainable raw materials available and to work with factories operating to the highest environmental and social standards, thus encouraging suppliers around the world to make their supply chains carbon neutral through Green manufacturing processes.
With the latest certifications, the Brandix Group has seven Eco Attribute recipient factories, at Koggala, Seeduwa, Giritalé and Nittambuwa in Sri Lanka and one each in India and Bangladesh.
"Reducing the impact of our operations on the environment is a key group initiative and a continuing process at Brandix, and progressively encompasses more manufacturing locations, as we reach and surpass enterprise-wide annual targets for reducing our carbon footprint," said Rajiv Malalasekera, CEO of Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Lingerie Cluster. "Along the way, factories that produce apparel for Marks & Spencer qualify for Eco Factory Attributes, which are important independent certifications of their sustainability-linked achievements."
At Plants I and II of Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Lingerie Cluster, the installation of energy efficient air conditioning, solar water heaters and skylights and modifications to the compressed air system brought about the reductions in energy consumption, while the installation of low flow water fixtures and dual flushing systems in toilets generated savings of water, he said. These plants no longer generate solid waste for disposal, and food waste has also been reduced to a minimum.
Overall, conservation initiatives across the Group have enabled Brandix to reduce electricity consumption per product by 12 per cent in 2013-14 over the previous year, and cut water consumption by 2.6 per cent during the same period.
In September 2012, Brandix set itself the target of reducing its environmental footprint by a further 20 per cent by 2020, and released its maiden Sustainability Report, the first by a private company in Sri Lanka. To support this initiative and track its progress, the Group has developed its own ‘Eco Index' -- an assessment tool which can be used to measure the environmental performance of Brandix factories and offices across the Group and facilitates a fair and easy comparison between factories and clusters.
By March 2014, the Group had reduced its carbon footprint by 35 per cent from the base year (2008), principally through switching from furnace oil boilers to biomass boilers. A fifth of Brandix's energy requirements now come from renewable sources.
One of the largest suppliers of apparel to top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix employs over 48,000 associates across several integrated manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, and large operations in India and Bangladesh. The Group is a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice and was earlier this year recognised as Sri Lanka's 'Organisation Committed to Green' by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL).