For sustainable production, green factory is one of the best options, as it gives long-term benefits. And it is good to see that after apparel and home furnishing units, now purely a bag manufacturing company has also been officially certified a green unit.
Producing around 3.6 million bags per year and exporting them to around 60 countries, Kolkata-based 25-year-old Earthbags Export recently received Green Building Standards certification for its green factory from The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). It is important to note that with this certificate, the company is now Eastern India’s first green factory in the MSME category under Green Factory Building Rating System to get this gold rating.
To make attractive and state-of-the-art green factory, the company decided to shift its production to a new unit. This new unit is spread across 50,000 sq. ft. and has been adjudged as an achiever of a certification level of ‘Gold’ besides being recognised for having attained ‘National Excellence’ by IGBC when it earned total credit points between 71–80, thereby satisfying all mandatory requirements laid down under Green Factory Building Rating System of IGBC. It was evaluated on the basis of its several green features such as site selection and planning, water conservation, energy conservation, materials conservation, indoor environmental quality, occupational health, and innovation and design processes.
Sharing his motivation behind this initiative, Anurag Himatsingka, MD, Earthbags Export, informed, “An article in Apparel Online (print magazine of apparelresources.com) about Pratibha Syntex, Indore, was the trigger point of inspiration for me to establish this green factory which was then further strengthened by a buyer of the UK-based retail store who refused to work with us, as our old factory was comparatively small. We are SA 8000 and Sedex certified as well as approved by Disney and Walmart.”
He added that just producing environmental-friendly bags was not enough for them. “Our vision is to ensure a sustainable future, and this includes every step we undertake. It was non-negotiable that the manufacturing of our products be done in the greenest way possible. I would sincerely like to thank IGBC for recognising our efforts in creating minimum waste, energy-efficient, world-class manufacturing infrastructure,” he maintained.
He further highlighted, “We are doing our bit to keep our planet greener by producing eco-friendly products along with manufacturing them in the greenest way possible. To ensure a sustainable future at every step, solar power plants, Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), energy-saving machines, rainwater harvesting system, LED lights, and less water consuming plants and trees have been incorporated within our facility.”
The company has in-house facilities regarding all kinds of value addition like screen print, embroidery, and manufacturing process, specialised in cotton and jute bags. It has been awarded by EPCH for outstanding export performance. Along with selling to large retailers, wholesalers and distributors, the company also has exclusive sales agents in various countries. Having its own distributor in Dubai really proved fruitful for the company, as its brand is in good demand there.
Talking about the domestic market, Anurag said that with increased awareness about sustainability in the domestic market, they are now in the local market and have started their sales online to reach out to the aware younger generation across the globe. Apart from being offered on the website www.jutebags.com, Earthbags are also available at all important online portals like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. Moreover, it has plans to soon expand in retail chain stores all over India. “It took 3 years for us to have a factory which makes us proud and is truly sustainable. We are very hopeful that with the changing conditions and growing customer awareness, we have a bright future ahead,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that while Bangladesh textile and garment industry has around 108 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green factories certified by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), India has less than even half of it (around 30). No doubt, the country needs to increase its focus in this regard, and with companies like Earthbags Export to motivate many, one should hope that in the next few years, India will be home to more green factories.