Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives

We are taking action to reduce our impact on the environment.

Global Initiatives

Programmes, resources & certifications

Certifications act as a valuable tool to inform our customers that our products and business processes are indeed of the highest environmental, ethical and sustainable standards. We believe in sourcing our environmentally conscious materials from certified organisations to ensure that we do our part to protect natural resources. Using internationally recognised standards and programmes also aligns our facilities to common goals and global best practice.

Carbon footprint

The amount of carbon emissions, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, is the most used metric to measure a company’s climate change impacts. Performing an initial company-wide carbon footprint is the starting point as a baseline figure must be ascertained to gain insight into our carbon emissions profile.

In 2018, we hired environmental consultants to perform a carbon footprint exercise at several of our facilities. This process was expanded in 2019 where we performed our own internal company-wide carbon footprint exercise. This was achieved by using 2018 as a baseline year to subsequently measure progress towards decreasing our climate change impacts.

The methodology used to conduct the 2018 carbon footprint was the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting Standard: an internationally recognised standard.
Scope 1, 2 and 3 categories were included in our baseline carbon footprint:

  • Scope 1 includes all of our fuel use for example diesel and petrol.
  • Scope 2 is made up of all ITL’s electricity usage
  • Scope 3 is ITL’s indirect GHG emissions. Some material Scope 3 categories included in our baseline are: Business Travel, Upstream Transportation and Distribution, Waste Generated in Operations and Purchased Goods and Services. We plan to include further categories in our Scope 3 inventory as well as increase the robustness of the data quality.

Currently, we are busy with calculations of our 2019 carbon footprint and will continue the process of annual company-wide carbon footprint to track our progress towards reducing our climate change impacts.

Higg index

The Higg Index is an online self-assessment tool developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. It measures environmental and social sustainability impacts through a scored self-assessment. It is made up of two distinct sections. The Facility Environmental Module and the Facility Social and Labour Module (FSLM).

In the last quarter of 2019 we submitted Higg FEM responses using 2018 data for China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This year we have added more facilities and we will be submitting Higg FEM responses for all global facilities before year-end. We will be submitting Higg FSLM responses this year for China, Sri Lanka, and Ethiopia.

Facility Initiatives

Maitland shrink wrap

One of our objectives under the materials section of the Environmental Policy is to eliminate single-use plastic from our internal operations.

The initial project under this goal is now in its final trial stages and is expected to be introduced into standard operations at our Cape Town factory in the coming months.

The project involved tackling the issue of plastic shrink wrapping on outgoing products to our customers in Southern Africa. As a result, we switched from virgin LDPE to 100% recycled LDPE and sourced it from an area near our facility.
We also included printed text on the shrink that encourages our customers to recycle the shrink wrapping to promote a closed loop process.
During this initiative we also changed the thickness of our shrink wrap which resulted in a cost and waste saving of 10%.

The successful implementation and lessons learnt from this project will be used for further eliminations of single-use plastics at our other facilities around the globe.

Bangalore greenbelt and rainwater harvesting

Bangalore undertook a project to expand its local greenbelt in the surrounding area during 2019. This was done to help with soil erosion, aesthetics and to a small extent, local air emissions. It also served the purpose of creating awareness to about deforestation and climate change. The area of greenbelt surrounds the facility was increased as 30 saplings were planted to expand it.

A rainwater harvesting system was installed on the rooftop of the Bangalore facility. Water collects on the roof and is then fed into the rainwater collection sump; this is connected to the recharging pit which has dimensions of 3 m x 0.5 m. The recharging pit is used to recharge the groundwater found on-site. The fire hydrant sump also draws water from the rainwater collection sump.

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