Case Study

Manufacturer Yunus Textile Mills tracks sustainability holistically with Higg

Yunus Textile Mills takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability performance management. As a result, the Pakistan based textile manufacturer has no shortage of initiatives to track – everything from ensuring employees were paid 100% of their wages during COVID-19 factory closures, to using certified natural chemicals throughout their manufacturing processes. 

The company also has a reputation for innovation. They lead the industry in installing the largest effluent water treatment plant, where over 200 million gallons of water are recycled each year, and are able to reuse 92%. This is just one example of their commitment to reducing impact.


“At Yunus Textile Mills, we are well aware of the challenges presented by global warming, but stay optimistic about our sustainability progress. We strive to be an innovator in impact management, and with projects in motion across the company, we are proud to set an example for our peers across the region and move our industry forward,” says Sarmad Jillani, General Manager Manufacturing Excellence, Quality & Sustainability.

To manage, measure, and gain intelligence from its dozens of data streams and programs all in one place, Yunus turned to Higg. The company uses Higg to manage impact across five different facilities, from stitching, processing, and weaving centers, to corporate offices. Previously, Yunus tracked its sustainability impact by cobbling together disparate systems. “It used to be challenging to measure how our sustainability initiatives were performing. But once we started to use Higg, we were able to input data from across our operations, and calculate an accurate baseline for our overall performance. From then on, we had a benchmark we could always refer back to when measuring our progress,” explains Raazia Anum, Sustainability Lead for Yunus, “now, we use Higg as a comprehensive solution that covers everything. I feel confident knowing we are tracking all of our programs in one interconnected place, and accurately measuring our progress.”

Yunus’s leadership makes sustainability a high priority, focusing on impact management across the company. They use their annual Higg assessment scores as a guide to prioritize the next year’s initiatives. 

“To build our action plan for the next year, we look at the opportunity areas highlighted by Higg assessments. Higg has helped us measure our progress and know where to move forward.”
– Raazia Anum, Sustainability Lead

Recently, the company committed to becoming a Net Zero Enterprise – by 2050, they hope to achieve zero-waste operations, and net zero carbon emissions from operations. Though the net zero commitment is unique to Yunus, as it was built on the framework of Science Based Targets, a global initiative that accelerates carbon emissions reductions through proven, data-backed strategies.

Higg data supports carbon emission reduction strategies

In order to reach their net goal, Yunus’s sustainability team knew they had to transform the company to be as sustainable and energy efficient as possible. So they set ambitious emissions goals, and started implementing energy savings projects across their five facilities.  

They swapped out inefficient light bulbs, installed LED lights across the company, and upgraded some of their most energy intensive HVAC equipment. Using Higg, they measured 10% energy savings from these programs – a notable start, but they were eager to move further into more advanced strategies with a bigger impact. Yunus is now in the midst of a phased renewable energy installation including a 1.8MW solar array and 50MW wind farm. Higg helped them calculate that with this investment, 30% of their direct energy will come from renewable sources. 

Higg also helped Yunus identify that much of its carbon emissions came from their manufacturing operations. In 2020, the company installed machines that more efficiently process, finish, and wash their fabrics, and although they increased overall production, they still reduced carbon emissions markedly.

Over the years, Yunus has deployed Higg data to help earn awards across the industry, such as the WWF Go Green Certification, STEP by Oekotex, ISO 14001:2015 Certification, Walmart Giga Guru, and WWF Highest Reduction.

How Higg can help design-out waste

After reviewing a recent Higg assessment with a third-party verifier, Anum was asked if any of the company’s products were circular, or waste-free by design. When she answered ‘no yet,’ she knew prioritizing circularity would be an important area to focus on, not only in order to meet Yunus’s zero-waste goal, but also as part of the company’s greater commitment to the planet’s health.

According to Anum, “Higg’s assessment really encouraged us to initiate a circular economy program. From 2019 to 2020, we started recycling cotton and polyester fibers to create new yarns, and embraced the ongoing improvement principle of kaizen to reduce operational waste.” In recognition of their hard work, Yunus earned a cradle to cradle certification, and continues to strive to make more products.

To meet their goal of zero-waste operations, Yunus is always evaluating opportunities to cut waste in every aspect of its operations. For example, when Higg helped the company identify packaging as a significant contributor to their waste, they made a switch to corrugated recycled cardboard. This not only reduces waste, but also diverts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. 

Yunus also uses Higg data as the conduit to communicate progress and earn new business. Each year when Yunus reports its impact data on the Higg portal, the insights spark conversations with their customers about sustainability progress, and opportunities for future investment. 

“Our key clients from Europe and the US all use Higg’s platform to understand our impact. Based on how we perform, we all work collaboratively to set new strategies to improve for the next year. Higg has helped us build strong relationships with our clients by demonstrating our transformation through data.”
– Raazia Anum, Sustainability Lead

Achieving net zero, both in waste and emissions, is no small feat, and requires active management of multiple initiatives and stakeholders. With Higg, Yunus has been able to measure their progress to net zero year over year, and ensure they stay on track, with 2050 in sight. 

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