A Brandix apparel factory manufacturing lingerie for international labels has been recognised as Sri Lanka's best in energy conservation with the 2014 'Vidulka' Gold award at the country's apex awards for energy efficiency.
The Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited (BASL) - Lingerie business unit's manufacturing plant at the Wathupitiwela EPZ in Nittambuwa received the main award in the 'Large Scale Manufacturing' category for its impressive achievement of a 34 per cent reduction in electricity consumption in the period of evaluation.
Another Brandix business unit, Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Essentials at Ratmalana received a Merit award in the 'Commercial Building' category, for the effort it has made to improve its level of energy performance over the past five years. BASL - Essentials is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified facility by the US Green Building Council and is certified for ISO 50000, ISO 14000 and ISO 18000.
Commenting on the award won by BASL - Lingerie, the Company's CEO Rajiv Malalasekera said: "The process of reducing the environmental footprint of our operations is a continuous one at Brandix. We keep exploring the boundaries of what is possible in our search for reductions in the use of natural resources, and this has resulted in noteworthy results in energy efficiency and water conservation."
The National Energy Efficiency awards are presented by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA), a unit of the Ministry of Environment, as part of the government’s Vidulka Energy Week programme. Energy consumption data of three years is evaluated to determine the winners in each of the award categories.
Among the initiatives taken by BASL - Lingerie to reduce its electricity consumption were an upgrade of its central air-conditioning system with a high energy-efficient water cooled chiller, equipping the plant with a building management system (BMS) to monitor, control and evaluate its energy performance, installation of a solar hot water system for the kitchen and laboratory, the replacement of all clutch motors with energy efficient servo motors and the optimisation of the compressed air distribution network.
The lighting system of the plant is a combination of natural and artificial lighting with skylights, LED and fluorescent bulbs, the company said.
Enterprise-wide Green initiatives have enabled the Brandix Group to reduce its energy cost per product by 15 per cent in 2013-14 over the preceding year, cut electricity cost per product by 12 per cent despite increased tariffs, and reduce its carbon footprint by 9 per cent. Renewable energy now makes up 20 per cent of the Group's energy mix.
Previous Brandix Group winners of the 'Vidulka' National Energy Efficiency Awards include the Brandix Casualwear plant at Seeduwa in 2010 (Gold), Brandix Casualwear, Ratmalana (Silver) and Phoenix Industries, Makandura (Bronze) in 2011, and Phoenix Industries (Gold) and Brandix Essentials, Koggala (Silver) in 2012. The Group did not participate in the awards programme in 2013.
Brandix is the pioneer of and process leader in eco-friendly manufacture in Sri Lanka, and the first apparel manufacturer in the world to receive Platinum status for Green manufacture from the US LEED Green Building rating system.
In September 2012, the Group 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, Brandix 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.