BUILDING SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES FIT FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD 38 BIRLA CELLULOSE’S RESPONSE TO SECURING A SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN Putting the right systems in place Through the global certified parties such as SGS, Control Union and simaPro, Birla Cellulose has completed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for all products in its product portfolio. The LCA exercise has assessed the environmental footprint and its effects on human and animal health (acidification) and the environment (such as ozone layer depletion, excess mineral usage, excessive usage of nitrogen and phosphates) and been verified by Green Delta. As a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global consortium of more than 200 brands, Birla Cellulose is using the Higgs Index Tool to monitor their manufacturing units performance on environment and social scales. The index monitors energy and water consumption, the reduction in effluent discharge and transport distance. For all 11 manufacturing units of Birla Cellulose, the Higg Scores have been completed and a benchmark analysis has been carried out for each unit. These Higg scores and LCA values are being reviewed on an annual basis as improvements are made to the operations of our plants. The results have made a clear demonstration of the advantages of Viscose over Cotton with regards to land, water and other resources usage and over polyester in terms of bio- degradability. We are currently working with Professor Tom Gloria at Harvard University to help assure our LCA and Higg scores. Our LCA and Higg Index Reports have been provided to our customers to help demonstrate our commitment to sustainable business practices and have made us a preferred supplier to leading global brands. Driving brand differentiation & recognition The Aditya Birla Group’s retail brands, Allen Solly, Peter England, Louis Philippe and Van Heusen are working with their entire supply chain to deliver products that have a reduced environmental footprint. We strive to make strong associations with our stakeholders to ensure we understand the external factors that we must take into account in order to future proof our entire supply chain and to try to demonstrate “Transparency, Visibility and Traceability”. This programme includes tracing the source of our garments from the forest. We seek to work together with global brands such as H&M, Inditex, M&S, C&A, Tesco and Ikea to drive initiatives to trace the source of the raw materials. Birla Cellulose has been actively involved with these brands to help them trace their complicated supply chains in India. “From Forest to Fashion” is the first supply chain mapping project of its kind in the apparel industry and has provided clarity on value chain sourcing from India and improved transparency of the different players involved in the supply chain of some major brands. The next step we see will be to digitise the entire process. Birla Cellulose is now focusing on projects within our supply chain to reduce resource use especially water and chemicals used in the different stages of the “Forest to Fashion” process. To help us, Canopy has provided ranking support for the benchmarking of performance of the largest rayon-viscose fabric producers in the world. They note that the Aditya Birla Group is among eight global producers who have already shared their sourcing data to help map the brands raw material supply chain. Their report uses a Greenpeace Catwalk style ranking approach to assess manufacturers on the risk of sourcing from ancient and endangered forests and also looks to make improvements as required. Canopy notes that the Aditya Birla Group represents 17% of the global market for viscous staple fibre and has completed a number of site visits to verify their findings. To make the project transparent, all audit results have been made publicly available on both the producers and auditors websites ( Sixty- five apparel brands have joined Canopy’s campaign including H&M, Tesco, Esprit, KappAhl and New Look who have a collective goal of ensuring the rayon/viscose supply chain avoids endangered forests by 2017. By working with the global brands to drive transparency, reduce environmental impact and enhance performance, we are working to become their supplier of choice. CASE STUDY