Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporter Brandix extended its globally-acclaimed commitment to the environment to the youth by supporting a forum on the sustainability of the environment, held as part of the first-ever Sri Lanka International Youth Forum of AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organisation.
More than 40 participants who attended the workshop sponsored by Brandix gained exposure and knowledge of sustainability practices and explored how they are put into practice through a thought-provoking case study, which challenged participants to find creative solutions to implement sustainable practices in a real-world situation amidst constraints.
The case study required participants to come up with solutions conforming to regulatory requirements for energy, water and disposal of waste in a hypothetical scenario involving a proposal to construct an eco lodge in the vicinity of the Sinharaja forest. The participants were divided into five groups and instructed to present solutions within a given time period, for managing resources and disposing of them responsibly during the building and operation of the eco lodge.
Among the issues for which participants were required to find solutions were minimising operational energy consumption, possible alternatives to satisfy energy demand, designing a sewerage treatment plant in accordance with the local environmental specifications and finding the relevant government authorities that approval would be needed from, to proceed with the project.
The Sinharaja forest was specifically chosen for the case study mainly to highlight the Brandix philosophy that like the forest, every inch of land in the world is precious, and needs to be protected with utmost care, the company said.
In addition to the case study, to further the knowledge of participants in sustainability, Brandix representatives made presentations on the topic.
“As a thought and practice leader in the sphere, Brandix is strongly committed to disseminating knowledge on sustainable practices, especially to members of the younger generation, the leaders of tomorrow,” said Brandix Head of Environment and Energy Management Iresha Somarathna. “Forums of this nature which encourage knowledge sharing and the participation and intellectual engagement of youth in matters pertaining to sustainability are important for the future.”
Apart from the sustainability of the environment, the AIESEC Sri Lanka International Youth Forum themed ‘Diversity towards Development’ focused on several aspects including social responsibility, entrepreneurship, tourism and youth and business. The event was held at the University of Moratuwa and was attended by 300 delegates.
In Sri Lanka AIESEC – Association Internationale des Étudiants En Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (International Association of Students in Economics and Management) is currently present in six universities. Globally the organisation has a membership of over 60,000 students and recent graduates of 2,100 institutions of higher education from 110 countries. The membership comprises of individuals who are interested in world issues, leadership, and management.
Brandix’s commitment to sustainability through eco friendly practices has been recognised with top national and international awards. In 2009, the Group was presented the Energy Globe Award, the world’s most prominent and prestigious environmental prize, for its Eco Centre at Seeduwa. The Group was also honoured with the country’s apex award for energy conservation at the first ever Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards in 2010. In addition, the Brandix Eco Centre has been commended as a global model for sustainable production by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and in Britain’s House of Lords.