Thursday, 23 June 2016 09:01

Thermo Plastics (Pvt) Ltd receives Marks and Spencer (UK) ECO Certification

Thermo Plastics (Pvt) Ltd, a leader in apparel packaging in Sri Lanka has once again been recognised for its commitment to the society and environment in which it operates, becoming the world’s first apparel shroud manufacturing plant to obtain Eco-factory accreditation by Marks & Spencer for fulfilling their plan A ECO attributes. As global warming and pollution take a visible toll on the planet, environmental sustainability plays an increasingly important role in business.

Organisations across the world, engaged in diverse industries are recognising their impact on the future and are striving to maintain balance in their environmental footprint. Those at Thermo Plastics (Pvt) Ltd have not only embraced this commitment, they have made it central to their company’s philosophy and their latest achievement, the result of an eight-year journey, is testament to this.
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s effort to reimagine their business as the world’s most sustainable retail operation, including organisations in their supply chain. Beginning in 2007 as a 5 year plan that covered a 100 areas for improvement, it has now been re-evaluated for 2020 with a 100 new commitments in diverse areas such as sustainable sourcing, energy efficiency and contribution to communities. As a pioneer supplier of apparel shrouds and polybags for M&S, Thermo Plastics’ adoption of Plan A measures is a vital link in the supply chain.
The company’s efforts in this arena have been spearheaded by Director Rashid Hameen, who led a team of dedicated individuals through sometimes challenging transitions in order to bring systems, processes & equipment to the required standards. Their work was vital to this initiative, and the company is grateful for their efforts, as well as to Brandix (the largest supplier for M&S at the time) and Mr AjitJohnpillaiDirector at Brandix for their role in initiating this course of action to Thermo Plastics way back in 2007. The company’s culture has always been one of preserving and returning the bounty of nature, and while this latest step brings it on par with global standards, Thermo Plastics has already received recognition in the realm of sustainability. In fact, the company recently received the Gold Flame award for the year 2015 in its efficiency in conserving and managing energy from the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. This is in addition to the plethora of accreditations received from SGS, Geneva on ISO 9001: 2008(Quality Management System), ISO 14001:2004(Environmental Management Systems), OHSAS 18001: 2007(Health and Safety) and ISO 50001: 2011(Energy Management Systems) and its membership of SEDEX, a UK based body that shares and audits the ethical standards of the labour, health and safety, environment, and business aspects of organisations’ business practices. However, it is also important to recognise the passionate contribution and guidance of the M&S Sri Lanka office and especially Shabry&Poornimain supporting Thermo Plastics throughout the Eco Audit process.
Since being founded in 1985, enabling its parent company BAM holdings to provide an integrated offering, Thermo Plastics Pvt Ltd has built its business around making a positive impact on its environment and community, providing guilt-free products to its clients, and proactively minimising potential negative impacts of manufacturing on stakeholders and surroundings.
Obtaining the M&S certification was the work of many years’ commitment to improving the efficiency of the factory’s operation, and for Thermo Plastics, this labour of love involved the reduction of energy levels used, the implementation of innovative lighting and water solutions as part of their cohesive strategy for sustainability. Energy efficient motors were introduced, and sub meters were installed, while the central computing system was used for around-the-clock monitoring. The use of solar panels for electricity and the heating of water is another measure used to ensure the company relies on green energy and to prevent wastage of water, push taps have been introduced, along with the collection and use of rainwater. Other innovative solutions include air conditioning systems that utilise the lowest possible amounts of energy, roof portals and high transparency and UV resistant glass that increase the amount of natural light available to the factory, and the installation of sensor lighting systems to ensure that electric lights are switched off automatically when not required. To prevent further energy wastage, the best of materials were used in insulation where necessary, and the care continues into the waste collection stage as recyclable materials are easily segregated because of clearly marked containers for waste disposal. All these measures involve more than just the obvious and not unsubstantial cost of putting them in place, but also the time and effort it takes to educate stakeholders and inculcate a culture of sustainability throughout the company.
The Chairman and the directors of the company pledge to integrate the conservation of nature into its business model, stating, ‘Thermo Plastics understands our responsibility to the environment and the importance of contributing to be a greener organization. We intend to be the best polybag manufacturer in Sri Lanka while retaining an eco-friendly status, while continuing to set the standards that will create ethical and guilt-free products that will revolutionise the industry.’ Indeed, the adoption of measures to minimise waste and improve processes have in turn rewarded the company with returns as well as reputation. The journey does not end here. With the future in focus, Thermo Plastics aims to keep discovering more and better ways to nurture its unique model, growing into an undeniable force for change.

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