Lanka Business Online
Eco Impact:

Sri Lanka Brandix apparels cuts eco impact, sets new targets

Sept 04, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Brandix apparel group said it had set a target to cut its environmental impact by 20 percent in the next eight year after reaching an earlier milestone ahead of schedule.

The company had switched from using furnace oil to biomass in boilers at its factories with carbon footprint reducing from 95,000 in 2008 metric tonnes to 67,000 this year or a reduction of over 30 percent.

"Over this period production and revenue has increased so the effective reduction is over 60 percent," director Brandix Lanka Ltd, A J Johnpillai said.

Iresha Somarathna, head of energy management at Brandix said the group had switched from furnace oil to burning farmed gliricidia to fire boilers.

The firm estimates that it had replaced 115,000 litres of fossil fuels last year. It also made use of sunlight in factories and invested in other energy efficient technologies.

Brandix said it had invested three million US dollars in energy efficiency in 2011.

Johnpillai said the group electricity bill was down 20 percent from when they began despite increases in production and power tariff hikes.

The firm had recycled 961,000 cubic metres of water or 44 percent of its total intake and collects 1,400 cubic metres of rainwater each year. Brandix had also recycled 430,000 kilograms of paper this year, exported 2.5 million kilograms of cut fabric waste.

In 2011 it had supplied 164,000 kilograms of shredded defective garments to handicrafts and cleaning applications, which would have normally been incinerated.

Experiments were under way to use industrial sludge - a byproduct of water treatment, which was earlier made into construction bricks - in coal boilers.

Somarathne said Brandix had issued a sustainability report which the firm says is a first for a privately held group.

The group is expecting annual revenues to hit 600 million US dollar in the current financial year from around 540 million US dollars last year. The group operates 42 facilities in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

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