‘Garments Without Guilt’ – Creating ripples across the globe - Part 2

Next we asked both of them as to how far has it helped their company as well as association in means of gaining acceptability in overseas markets and increasing sales, to which he Mr Somarathna said, “As mentioned above, our efforts for sustainable means of production are purely based on our corporate responsibility for the betterment of society and the financial benefits are yet to be measured, if at all and we have had good support from Marks & Spencer, UK during the conversion period of our Green plant”.



He explained, “With regards to international recognition, our Green factory in Seeduwa was awarded the highest Platinum rating in September ’08, by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation process and is first apparel factory in the world to obtain the Platinum, more so, amongst all the Platinum Manufacturing facilities in the world, our factory received the highest marks (76 out of a possible 85)”.


“In April ’09 the Brandix Eco Centre was adjudged the National Winner for Sri Lanka, and was named one of three nominees for the Energy Globe World Award in the ‘Air’ category at the World Energy Globe Awards for Sustainability held in Prague, Czech Republic. The ‘Air’ category, in which Brandix was honoured, recognises measures that contribute to improving air quality, including avoidance of CO2 emissions, optimization of combustion processes, reduction of green house gases and improvements in indoor air quality, he concluded by saying.


Mr Masakorala had this to say. “This steady resolve of conducting business conforming to both ethical and sustainable practices by Sri Lanka’s Apparel Industry has instilled a great confidence in our customers as it helps grow their confidence in their brand with their customers (the end consumers). Again the assurance and consistency in its delivery has gone a long way in gaining acceptability”.


Mr Masakorala added, “In fact, when the industry was formulating its 5-year strategy in 2002, its competitive advantage was re-affirmed by its top buyers as that of ‘best-in-class compliance standards’ and while the Sri Lankan Apparel Industry is renowned for its sophisticated industry what is ‘top of mind’ with customers is the ‘assurance’ of its product.


Next we asked Mr Somarathna to delve on the initiatives taken by Brandix to which he said, “We are committed to ‘greening’ our operations in acknowledgement of the impact every business has on the environment. The Brandix Group has systematically built a framework to proactively drive economic, environmental, social and ethical imperatives in line with its vision and values. As a part of implementing sustainable business practices, the Group established a 5-year plan in 2007 to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2012 and in order to achieve this goal, a Green House Gas inventory System was implemented in 2007. Through this system, the Group-wide Carbon Footprint is monitored on a monthly basis.