Thermo Plastics receives ISO 14001:2004 certification

Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Thermo Plastics Ltd., an apparel shrouds manufacturer operating under its parent company BAM Holdings Ltd., was recently awarded the ISO 14001:2004 certification for establishing and implementing the Environmental Management System (EMS) in its state-of-the-art factory located in Homagama, becoming the only apparel shroud manufacturer in Sri Lanka to receive this prestigious certification. The certificate was awarded by SGS Lanka in collaboration with Swiss Accreditation Services (SAS), one of the leading accreditation bodies in the world. Thermo Plastics is a pioneer in the Sri Lankan apparel shrouds industry and commenced operations in 1984 (29 years ago) with a work force of just 12 persons, in an area of 4,000 square feet and with a capacity of 8 MTS per month. The company obtained BOI status in 1992, being the first ever, non apparel company, to have this status in Sri Lanka. While working to provide total customer satisfaction, the company grew to achieve greater heights, and strove to pave the path to expand its operations with a diversified range of products, thereby catering to an increased customer base in a range of industries. As such, currently, the company operates as an indirect exporter that supplies shrouds to exporters of apparels, gloves, coco peat and desiccated coconut. With promising expansion of business over the years, the company currently has 160 MTS of installed capacity and a staff numbering 150, while the production area has been expanded to 30,000 square feet, set up on 3.5 acres of lush greenery. With proven commitment to quality, Thermo Plastics was awarded ISO 9001 certification for Quality Management in 2001. This achievement marked an important milestone in its journey and spurred was towards systematic management of its operations, leading the company to focus on green initiatives as well. In 2006, the company adopted many of the green initiatives focusing sustainable growth, with the operations receiving a boost with the introduction of the 100-point plan under “Plan A” launched by the world’s renowned  apparel retailer, Marks and Spencer, which exercise set in motion, a range of steps to conserve the environment. To begin with, the lighting system of the factory was adjusted by fixing glass panels on the side walls and installing sky lights on the roof, allowing natural light to filter into the building. As a result, 95% of the factory began to function with harvested natural light during the day. Thereafter, the rows and rows of lights fixed over the production floor were replaced with high bay lights, and energy efficient task lights over machines that are used only when necessary. Along with these steps, motored exhaust fans were replaced with self ventilators leading to zero electricity consumption. Moving ahead further, the company had invested in a wide range of measures to conserve the environment by modifying and improving the production process, and in turn, these measures have brought in direct financial benefits as well to the company. Within these measures, the installation of the in-house polythene recycling plant that recycles the entire clear production waste of PE and HDPE films and bags, the installation of 30 KW Solar Power System connected to the national grid under the Net Metering System which approximately generates 10% of the company’s electricity requirement, all the machines being equipped with inverter type motors and capacitor banks had been installed to improve the power factor. All these measures along with the other measures that had been put in place can be undoubtedly counted as effective steps to minimise its carbon footprint. The management’s intensified eagerness to achieve continuous sustainability to conserve the environment was further mooted, with the decision to work towards standardisation from a green perspective. As such, the company chose to pursue the ISO 14001:2004 certification for Environmental Management Systems. In pursuance of this goal, the company coined its own driving motto “Mother earth is our sustenance, and going green is giving life.” Thus, the company was committed to creating and maintaining a green and bio-friendly, internal and external environment, complying with applicable legal and other requirements. The effort to go for the certification itself provided grounds and guidance for ensuring complete and comprehensive Environmental Management Systems by fine tuning all aspects of the operational scope of Thermo Plastics Ltd. Accordingly, the company set its own objective and targets even to the extent of minimising the most minimal, adverse environmental impacts. As such, the company set up programs for waste management where all the food waste generated in the factory is used to turn out compost which in turn is used for its own cultivation on the factory premises, putting up a rain water harvesting system which caters to the watering of the cultivation, and installing a solar water heating system to obtain boiled water which is pre-heated up to 70° C. Further, the company has established procedures and controls to ensure the efficient and optimum use of water, electricity or any other type of resource used in its operations, minimising or avoiding adverse environmental impacts and exhibiting corporate social responsibility when interacting with the external environment. Thermo Plastics has now set its sights on obtaining the ISO 50001:2011, the certification for Energy Management and the company’s target is to achieve this goal by the end of March 2014.  The focus thereafter would be on obtaining the ISO/IEC 27001 Certification for Information System Management in order to keep its information network absolutely secure, which target has been set for end 2014, thereby ensuring that Thermo Plastics would have every vital area of its operations ISO certified.