Commitment to Zero

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svenmill logoOne of the last surviving and oldest textile mills in South Africa has made one of the first and most forward-thinking commitments in the country:  The commitment to achieving a zero ecological footprint.  Despite being in - you could say because of being in - one of the toughest economic times in their long history, they have set aside the time and budget to invest in their future security and business legacy.

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Svenmill: Waste Reduction

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Reducing the amount of raw materials going to landfill is one of our primary areas of focus due to the high potential for savings, especially in a manufacturing environment. The unused yarn portion of Svenmill’s textile waste, until recently equated to 10.5 tons of 100% virgin polyester yarn going straight to landfill per year.

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Svenmill: One Year On

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And what an exciting and rewarding year it has been, for both Svenmill and Living Wealth!  Now, finally, we also have some results to show for our hard work:

Water: 10,120 litres saved per month

Waste: 51% reduction in waste to landfill

Raw Materials: R2.44mil over next 5 years

About Svenmill

Svenmill’s market is home furnishings and industrial textiles.  They employ approx. 300 people, and their Beaconvale factory has 3 main production divisions – Knitting (Levinet); Weaving & CMT.  As our journey with them progressed, we chose to use Levinet as a proving ground for some of our eco-efficiencies (Environmental improvements that yield parallel economic benefits, thereby creating more value with less impact. ~ World Business Council for Sustainable Development)

One year ago we started the journey with Svenmill according to the Living Wealth phased approach to eco-transformation.  There have been many challenges along the way, chief among them budget & time constraints, but also the good ones like too many opportunities to solve to choose from.  One year on, Svenmill’s journey has resulted in the following achievements:

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Svenmill: Energy Reduction

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In terms of Energy Svenmill embarked on numerous projects such as changing their distribution logistics to make deliveries more planned and efficient.  Rather than reacting solely to customer demands and delivering whatever was ready for delivery regardless of location, they are now focused on delivering goods rather than air.

Contrary to expectations, they found that their customers were not noticeably adversely affected by the new policy, and, although this saving can’t be verified or compared due to radical fluctuations in both production volumes and the price of diesel, they have estimated a 20% saving in fuel.

 

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Svenmill: Water Reduction

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This graph highlighted a massive 35% of their facility’s water usage was literally going down the toilet.  This obvious inefficiency, presented us with our first opportunity to solve.  The team looked into several options for reducing water usage in this area and finally settled on the simplest and cheapest one.  By doing this in-house, at virtually no cost, they managed to save 4l per flush!!  Multiply that by 46 toilets at a conservative flush rate of 2.5 per person per day, and you come out with 10,120 litres reduction in water usage per month.

 

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