Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) Project Lead, Energy & Carbon Management Pasan Fernando, CCC Assistant Manager, Client Relationship Management Ruwanthi Halwala, Sustainable Future Group (SFG) Assistant Manager, Sustainability Assurance and Advisory Services Sajeewa Ranasinghe, SFG Director Customer Engagement and Global Partnership Development Shamila Suhaib, with Hirdaramani Knit Mihila Deputy General Manager Layan Jayathilaka, Senior Production Manager Chaminda Sampath, Maintenance Manager Priyantha Rathnayaka, Stores Manager Malinda Sanjeewa, Human Resource Manager Amila Kurupita, Senior Quality Manager Ganga Panagoda, Senior Executive Planning Deshan Chathuranga, Executive Environmental Sustainability Supun Sandaruwan
For the Hirdaramani Group, making decisions centred on the planet and people is an instinct honed by years of commitment to sustainability. In 2012, the company became the first CarbonNeutral® Manufacturer in Asia, driven by the phenomenal efficiencies achieved at its Mihila Factory in Agalawatta. With the group’s consistent commitment to upholding rigorous sustainability standards, the Mihila factory was once again certified as a CarbonNeutral® Manufacturer for the eighth consecutive year in 2020.
Mihila commenced operations in 2008 and is the world’s first custom built eco-friendly factory. The facility’s sustainability is founded on four core areas - energy consumption efficiency, water consumption efficiency, waste generation reduction and biodiversity improvement. It received its first CarbonNeutral® certification in 2012 through productivity measures in the factory that delivered a 48% energy reduction within the building in comparison to similar factories, and on-site renewable electricity generation of 22,000 kWh per year. The group has also invested in external emission reduction projects, such as financing small-scale hydroelectric power projects as well as large-scale solar power plants across Sri Lanka that have contributed towards the achievement of its CarbonNeutral status.
This innovative approach has delivered several rewarding firsts for the company. Mihila was home to the first industrial scale production of upcycled fashion for Tesco’s F&F brand. It was also one of the first to have a biodiversity refuge on its premises and to introduce LED task lights. The factory is one of Sri Lanka’s most accredited, with certifications ranging from LEED (USGBC) Gold to WRAP, GSV, Fair Trade, HACCP, ISO 14001 & 45001, Carbon Neutral, Ethical Trading, & BSCI.
For Hirdaramani, it’s about making good decisions today that benefit everyone in the long-term. The future-focused integrity of the organization has successfully enabled it to evolve to where it is today with a global footprint in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Bangladesh and an employee base of 55,000. The factory is home to over 2,000 members of the phenomenal Hirdaramani team producing over 650,000 apparel pieces every month for premium global brands.
“Mihila is the crown jewel in our commitment to sustainability,” says Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director of Hirdaramani Group. “Though investing in the design and construction of a green factory was costly especially at that time, we always believed it was the right thing to do. Today we can proudly state that the rewards have been immense. When Mihila was first certified as CarbonNeutral in 2012 it was such a huge achievement for us as it was the result of many years of planning and dedication to do better for the planet and our people. Even though this is the eighth consecutive year of us receiving the certification, there is still a lot of excitement and pride tied to the certification for us; it really affirms the group’s commitment to our values of sustainability.”
The CarbonNeutral® Protocol (www.carbonneutral.com) defines the emissions that must be measured to become a CarbonNeutral® Manufacturer as: emissions from owned, leased or directly controlled equipment; emissions from electricity, heating, cooling and waste; and emissions from third-party transportation and storage of production related goods. The calculation and the verification to award Hirdaramani Knit Mihila with this status, was carried out respectively by the Carbon Consulting Company (Pvt) Ltd and the Sustainable Future Group.