Case Study

Hirdaramani reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions in Sri Lanka with Higg

“Climate change is the most pressing challenge that the industry, country, and the world are facing at the present"
- Demith Gooneratne, Environmental Sustainability Manager

Data-backed emissions goals

Hirdaramani, an apparel manufacturer based in Kahathuduwa, Sri Lanka, is keenly focused on managing its sustainability impact. Across its 20 facilities, the company continuously sets new goals to improve. In 2018, Hirdaramani’s Mihila Factory was the first facility in Asia to achieve an impressive Carbon Neutral status, a testament to their follow-through and rigor. 

Demith Gooneratne, Environmental Sustainability Manager for Hirdaramani, and his team are committed to managing sustainability impact. They use Higg to baseline and continuously measure environmental management across eight key impact areas – including energy, water, and waste management.

By 2020, the team set out to reduce energy in megajoules per standard production minute by 20% compared to their 2012 baseline – as a longstanding user of Higg, the company could reference years of historical environmental data as a guide for setting a realistic yet ambitious goal.  

Such an effort required comprehensive energy use reduction and lowered greenhouse gas emissions, and the team used Higg to identify some of their biggest opportunities for energy savings.


Reduced electricity in kilowatt hours per standard production minute by 2020

“Using the Higg Index helped us identify areas that we might normally have overlooked for improvement in energy and other environmental impact areas"
- Demith Gooneratne, Environmental Sustainability Manager

Holistic reduction targets

The energy and greenhouse gas emissions section of the Higg FEM assessment helps facilities track, measure, and quantify energy consumption. The assessment can also prime facility managers to adopt energy efficiency practices that can lead to significant emissions savings. Hirdaramani reviewed its facilities historical Higg assessments as well as other former energy-saving initiatives, to extrapolate possible reductions to help them meet their 2020 goal. 

The company used Higg data to set a normalized energy reduction target, allowing Hirdaramani to measure their reduction progress even if production levels fluctuated annually. Then, Hirdaramani set emissions targets for each Sri Lankan facility based on its calculated potential, which aggregated into a holistic target for the whole company. 

“The Higg Index scores and improvement areas allowed our management to identify facilities that needed more investment or attention...using the Higg Index helped us identify energy and environmental impact areas that we might normally have overlooked."
- Demith Gooneratne, Environmental Sustainability Manager

Implementing energy savings programs

Hirdaramani used Higg to help calculate its major sources of emissions, one of them being purchased electricity. It’s no surprise that the local electricity supply was derived from fossil fuels, so the company set out to develop a modern energy plan that included more renewable energy. 

The company installed a new solar photovoltaic system which not only afforded cost savings, but also shaded its facilities roofs, cooling their buildings and reducing the need for air conditioning.

While this kind of project can be expensive, Gooneratne points out that this type of investment is of high value to the company and its future. “Actions in this area [of energy and greenhouse gas emissions] are the ones that have the highest return on investment,” he says. And with Higg’s help, thanks to efficient baselining and tracked progress through annual assessments, by 2020, the company will achieve their 20% energy reduction goal. 

Higg scores strengthen value chain partnerships

Hirdaramani’s sustainability projects reduce operational costs and fossil fuel dependency, which makes the business case for themselves. On top of that, each year, Hirdaramani receives recognition from its value chain partners for its proven commitment to sustainability. Gooneratne says that their high Higg scores strengthen relationships with partners, and encourages the company to continue development and investment in sustainability. 

Across the company – sustainability, maintenance, and engineering, and more – teams are constantly collaborating with their facility managers to implement projects that can meet climate goals while providing business value for the global manufacturer.

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