Fourteen months after it commenced commercial production, the Brandix Group’s maiden venture in Bangladesh has received an ‘Eco Factory Attribute’ from Marks & Spencer (M&S), becoming the first apparel factory in that country to achieve this status.
Brandix Casualwear Bangladesh Ltd., which operates a five-acre, 350,000 garments a month capacity plant at the Comilla Industrial Zone, scored a remarkable 93 per cent at the M&S Eco factory audit conducted recently. M&S is supplied by about 50 factories in Bangladesh.
To secure the M&S ‘Plan A’ Attribute, the factory reduced energy consumption by 27 per cent and its carbon footprint by an estimated 60 per cent, achieved a 45 per cent saving in potable water, recycles or re-uses 95 per cent of its solid waste and complies with Global Sourcing Principles (GSP) ethical standards.
“Commitment to eco-friendly manufacture is in the DNA of the Brandix Group, and it is encouraging to see this manifesting itself in our overseas operations as well,” Brandix Director A.J. Johnpillai said. “Since this factory is intended to be the stepping stone to future operations in the region, compliance with internationally recognised environmental and ethical benchmarks is important.”
“We are proud to establish the Brandix Group’s environmental credentials in Bangladesh by becoming the first M&S attributed Eco factory in Bangladesh,” he added.
Senaka Fernando, Chief Operating Officer of Brandix Casualwear Bangladesh which now employs 3,000 Associates, said the plant had also been approved by Gap Inc. and H&M. In addition, it complies with Marks & Spencer’s Environmental and Chemical Policy (ECP) standards and best practices, he said.
Commenting on the Plan A Attribute secured by Brandix Casualwear Bangladesh, Najeeb Sayed, Head of Region for M&S South Asia Sourcing Offices said: “This pioneering effort of setting up the first Eco factory in Bangladesh underlines the Brandix Group’s commitment to sustainable business. An Eco factory demonstrates that an intelligent focus on energy, lighting, insulation, water and waste management can bring in a saving of about 20 to 40 percent in energy cost. Brandix Bangladesh has shown that intelligent factories can be set up in any part of the world.”
The Brandix Casualwear factory in Bangladesh is designed for maximum use of natural light, and uses energy efficient lights and motors. Clever use of natural ventilation enables reduced use of air-conditioning and the building and heating elements have been insulated for energy efficiency.
Set up to expand the Brandix Group’s Woven Bottoms business, Brandix Casualwear Bangladesh began commercial production in April 2011. The plant specialises in casual bottoms in the Menswear, Womenswear and Kidswear categories.
Marks & Spencer’s ‘Plan A’ initiative was launched in January 2007 to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically, and help customers to lead healthier lifestyles. It encourages suppliers around the world to make their supply chains carbon neutral through Green manufacturing processes.
The Brandix Group is supported by 38 manufacturing locations in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. The Group provides direct employment to over 40,000 Associates in total, while providing indirect employment to at least an equivalent number. The Group’s foray into India in the form of Brandix India Apparel City - a 1,000 acre self-sufficient industrial park - is based on the ‘Fibre to Store’ concept and uses the advantages of scale and strong business fundamentals to leverage global expertise to offer ‘total solutions’ within the site.
Brandix was the first apparel manufacturer in the world to receive ISO 50001 standard on energy management systems for its Eco Centre at Seeduwa, the Group’s lead manufacturing plant for Marks & Spencer (M&S). In 2008, the Brandix Eco Centre became the first apparel factory in the world to receive a Platinum rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). To date, four Brandix business units have received LEED certification.