Sri Lanka clothing exporter says going ‘green’ pays dividends

Dec 05, 2008 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan apparel exporter said increased energy efficiency in a new ‘green’ environmentally friendly manufacturing plant it started earlier this year should help pay for the extra costs of building it.

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Lingerie manufacturer MAS Intimates said its Thurulie plant in Thulhiriya, north of Colombo, consumes much less energy and water than other factories in the group and also provides workers a better working environment.

Vidura Ralapanawe, Sustainability Manager at MAS Intimates, said that although the factory cost more than usual to build, its power consumption and costs are much lower than similar plants elsewhere.

“The factory is optimised for lean manufacturing,” he said. “This should help us to recover the investment faster. The investment in the plant is more than normal.”

The company says that because its operation is very efficient, the payback period for the added costs of making a green building is only five years.

The factory cost seven million US dollars to build; 25 percent more than the conventional equivalent.

Ralapanawe said lean manufacturing is mo