Leadership Messages

Mr. THOMAS VARGHESEBusiness Head (DT, AF, OS)

Sustainability at Aditya Birla textile has been a long, remarkable, and rewarding journey. We started structured sustainability initiatives seven years ago and, have realized and discovered how sustainability has become an element of our survival, growth, and better life. It is becoming increasingly evident, that we have taken the right path.

In our Sixth edition of the sustainability report, we delineate our performance during the FY 2019-20 and also highlight our transformational journey. As a business, we are guided by the Aditya Birla Group sustainability framework consisting of responsible stewardship, stakeholder engagement and futureproofing and the sustainability vision of our Chairman. The journey we have undertaken to achieve various milestones has involved revisioning our business and the value chains. It is our conscious actions that led us to a multitude of sustainable products across the markets at a size and scale.

Our businesses have shown tremendous growth towards acting out various initiatives to optimize operations, reduce carbon footprint, adopt energy efficiency measures and protect natural resources across our value chain. The adoption of renewable energy across our operations has significantly reduced GHG emissions and has provided energy security and long-term price stability. On the customer side of our value chain, we have pioneered innovative value-added products that have low resource use and environmental footprint in manufacturing, usages and disposal.

Health & Safety
Health and safety at the workplace is the priority and during the last few years we have made engineering, awareness, training and behavioural change interventions to eliminate unsafe working conditions and unsafe events. The number of recordable incidents in the workplace, lost time injury and injury rate have significantly decreased. Our improved performance both in lagging and leading indicators assure us that the recorded trend in decrease in unsafe incidents and conditions will continue in the future too.

As the COVID pandemic spread, many governments in our geographies had declared lockdown. We have followed the SOPs as in our Business Continuity Plan during the lock down and were preparing for the resumption and new normal post lock down. We have communicated extensively with our employees on taking precautions, ensuring continued learning, and staying healthy. The objective for us has been to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and partners, to deliver on our commitments to customers and consumers in the true spirit of partnership and to secure the financial and operational resilience of the Company.

Mission happiness
Mission happiness is to delight our customer and make him a promoter of our product/brand. This has created a strong culture of customer-centricity in all aspects of our operations. For some of our products, as many as 70 percent of our customers are our promoters. This is incredible achievement and we want to reach such bench marks for all our products.

Responsible Supply Chain
We are diligent in selecting our suppliers. Adherence to supplier code of conduct is mandatory for all suppliers and vendors. My colleagues organize periodic sample audits to check such adherence. In addition, we work with suppliers in partnership and we pursue co-creation projects with them. This improves our innovative capabilities and agility in implementing market demands.

Digitalization
We are strengthening our digital capabilities, bringing greater resilience into our operating model and nurturing an agile digital culture. The digital capabilities are being used to address customer orientation, enhance traceability and transparency, increase flexibility and agility and finally resource and energy efficiency. We visualize the potential of digitalization in achieving our sustainability targets and goals.

Climate
In pursuit of our commitment to combatting climate change, we have undertaken energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. While energy efficiency initiatives have become a part of our quarterly progress reports, in recent years, we have invested and installed renewable energy capacity across our operations. We have assessed physical climate risks to our manufacturing premises and will undertake risk-mitigating actions.

Circular Economy and Product stewardship
We see that circular economic pursuits by governments and customers would transform our market and create new opportunities for us. We also realize that to harness these opportunities we have to think through the value chain and not just product development. Last few years and this reporting period is characterized by our range of products harnessing circularity and improving market penetration. Our waste-to-wealth program has given birth to the products and brand such as Cavallo. The Acrylic Fibre business has successfully conducted a pilot to use 50% recycled waste and avoid virgin acrylic fibre. Beyond using recycled and waste raw material, we also are increasing the product range that is 100% natural and hence causes the least environmental impact at the end of life. In addition, we have a range of products that use less water and chemicals during processing by our customers, require less washing and durable during use, and sheds less micro fibre during the wash. Our range of sustainable, readiness of our marketing and communication teams to use sustainability as the central message is clear evidence that we have come a long way into transforming our business into a sustainable business.

We along with many of our stakeholders, are excited about the enormous challenges and opportunities that sustainability represents to our business and look forward to your views and active response on our sustainability performance and journey.

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Mr. SATYAKI GHOSHChief Executive officer, Domestic Textiles

It gives me great pleasure to share with you our sixth sustainability report depicting our economic, social and environmental processes and performance across our operations. We also describe how our sustainability efforts are contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and progress towards our target of 2025.

We are committed to the adoption of best sustainability practices and hence charter our strategy to realize our target. As we strive to reduce our waste and create value out of it, last year we launched Mazury and Cavallo made out of Linen waste and now we have scaled up this initiative. We are positioning Cavallo as a major brand and dropping Mazury. We have also extensively repositioned both fabric business ‘Linen Club” and apparel’s ‘Linen Club Studio” in stores and Cavallo studio as e-commerce.

Leveraging the power of technology has significantly led our business processes to create unique solutions for our customers. Utilizing digital technologies, we are increasing reach, improving customer experience, personalizing offerings and, of course, building greater efficiency and scalability

We have, in the FY 2019-20, acquired Kolhapur-based Turkish brand Soktas which is premium cotton shirting business. It twines and has synergies with Cavallo as we can do the blending at our unit, with flexibility and quality control. We now will be able to supply premium cotton and linen and their blends across the markets in India.

We also have increased our share of renewable energy in our operations with 1.8 MW solar power plant installation at Kolhapur which cater to 30% of total power requirement. At JST the installation of a 4.5 MW solar plant caters to 5% of total energy. We are looking to source renwable energy through Open Access to the tune of ~35% of total electricity consumption at VW.

We are proud to be associated with the “ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme.” Through this collaboration, we align ourselves with a holistic, open approach, supporting safer chemical management practices across our entire value chain

Our culture of learning enables our people to continuously take up challenging roles that the growing business offers. During FY 2019-20, we restructured our business leadership into functions. This flattening of the structure provides agility in the system and speed in the desired outcome.

Proactive innovation is ingrained in the DNA of Aditya Birla Group. Product development with Cotton and Linen, Waste to wealth program has been fruitful and we continue innovating with other materials. We have increased use of renewable sustainable materials like Viscose, Modal, bamboo etc., and presented to the market very innovative sustainable products. Our commitment to responsibility is reinforced by various traceability systems and certifications like FSC and GOTS. At the onset of the pandemic, we swiftly responded with protective wears, like masks, protective finishes etc.

Going forward, we are putting marketing effort in launching linen club and Cavallo with new brand colors and names. Our brands would communicate our adherence to sustainability across the value chain and delivering the value of nature to the customers and society.

We will continue to build on our leading position in the market for a responsible and prosperous future and look forward to continued support from all our stakeholders.

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Mr. KAPIL AGARWAL Chief Executive officer, OS

We are delighted to revert to you with our sixth sustainability report delineating the sustainability performance of ABG Textiles. We at Overseas Spinning Business have adhered to the ABG framework of sustainability and pursued missions of responsible stewardship. We have also identified directions to future proof our business from climate change, water challenges, digitalization, consumer preferences, textile technology and demographic shifts. .

Our sustainability efforts of over five years have begun yielding visible outcome. We are witnessing that the brands and markets have begun perceiving us as preferred supplier of sustainable yarn viz., made out of the recycled fibre, blended with natural fibre, that requires less water and chemicals while processing, that has anti-microbial property etc. Our range of valueadded products deliver sustainable value and these now have grown in scale and constitute good part of our sales. We will expand our range in each sustainable product segment viz., recycled, natural, green in processing, protecting customer and protecting the earth. We are exploring the development of products that could reduce micro fibre contamination of water bodies.

We understand that major brands desire that assurance be provided through traceability that the product has indeed used organic cotton, fibre from sustainably managed forests, responsibly recycled polyester, etc. Accordingly, we have established robust traceability systems and have certifications such as GRS and use raw materials that are RCS, BCI, GOTS, FSC, etc. certified. Further to many apparel and fashion brands, the retailer Inditex has assessed and audited our products, people and systems.

Our units in PTE, Indonesia uses more than 85% renewable energy and we have installed 3.5MW of solar at Indo Thai to reach closer to our goal in all geographies.

OS has been at the forefront in terms of sustainability during these years. At all our units we have implemented rainwater harvesting and other measures to ensure water security. We have strengthened our efforts with our suppliers to ensure that they continue their efforts to achieve full compliance, improve health and safety, energy efficiency and resource stewardship. We have majority of women workforce in our company and we have provided equal opportunity for growth to each employee. Across all plants we have Unions, and their grievances are discussed and addressed regularly.

Going forward in our sustainable business journey, we will strengthen the portfolio of our sustainable products. We will make all efforts to reach or exceed our 2025 sustainability targets. We look forward to engaging our stakeholders in the sustainability journey. Be assured that your queries, concerns and suggestions will be addressed by me and my colleagues.

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Mr. ASHOK MACHHER Chief Financial Officer

We take a longer-term view of economic value generation and distribution at the Textile Business of the Aditya Birla group with stress on future-proofing the business and delivering value to all our stakeholders. We believe that balancing value amongst all stakeholders and focusing on financial and non-financial values is key to delivering sustained shareholder value. Preserving the strength of the balance sheet and enforcing disciplined decision-making in allocating capital is fundamental to the long-term health of the business. Our balance sheet, at all entities, is a reflection of our growth, carefully optimized overhead, costs, and capital expenditure, while also investing in the sustainability of our organization.

Our business environment across all Units has been driven by strong, experienced and passionate teams who exemplify the fundamental values of Aditya Birla Group. Our dedicated & passionate employees focus on people, safety, processes and sustainability

Our contribution to all the stakeholders is carefully distributed in congruent proportion to our growth in revenue. We are very proud of our community engagement, in managing community expectations and their development.

We have long term strategic risk management for environmental and social risks across the value chain, where we have identified risks and aggressively pursuing measures to mitigate risks.

We assess the risk of climate change and undertake integrated action to long-term investment to mitigate those risks. As we identify these risks, we examine, discuss and take mitigating measures, and wherever required appropriate financial resources are allocated to mitigate it. To achieve our objectives, we have installed various renewable energy sources across the sites to increase the share of renewable energy.

We have acquired brands such as SÖKTAS, Excellence by Soktas, and Giza House along with the manufacturing unit which complements our linen business. PT Elegant acquired a technical textile company in Germany. Further, Pyrotex, a subsidiary of Thai Acrylic fibre, has signed long term MOUs with suppliers assuring long term business and value generation.

We have set ambitious targets for the year 2025. We are determined to consider sustainability in all our endeavors and stay competitive, being the first choice of customers. Our financial budgets and allocations are planned year on year basis, prioritizing CAPEX related to safety, compliance and sustainability. The focus is always to stay committed to our priorities and targets. The projects/initiatives related to targets are categorized, and return on investment is not expected to cross the usual hurdle rates when it comes to essential CAPEX for safety & sustainability. In all other areas, our choices of investment are evaluated for technological advancement; customer needs and we carefully analyze its lifecycle cost. Going forward, we will create value by building competitive global products with a clear understanding of resource optimization and evolving consumer preferences. Our greatest strength is our agility to adapt quickly, innovate and stay competitive.

We value our stakeholder’s perspectives on our businesses and strive to address their comments and concerns on our annual sustainability performance.

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Mr. JASVINDER KATARIA Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO), Domestic Textiles

Our strength in manufacturing lies in asset efficiency and reliability, digitalized monitoring and futureproofing. We have consistently invested in upgrading our manufacturing plants keeping in mind life cycle costs as well as flexibility and adaptability to withstand the future demands of markets. Another important factor in some of these investments were our targets for climate, energy, water and waste. Further, our ongoing efforts of manufacturing excellence are focused on resource and energy efficiency and productivity.

We practice best in class preventive maintenance that results in a low mean time between failures and extends the life of the equipment. We have been and will continue to practice repair and reengineer practices in our workshops and will reinforce these practices as a part of our circular economy drive.

Our environmental infrastructure is designed, updated, maintained and operated following best practices and to achieve the voluntary commitments of the ABG to the global best practices. During recent years, we have upgraded our ETP infrastructure to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge. Our efforts to be future-ready and one ABG have also included upgradation of drainage infrastructure keeping in line with the local authorities’ actions to mitigate flood risks that may increase in intensity due to climate change.

We follow World-class manufacturing (WCM) and have received awards from the Quality Circle Forum of India - NCQC, CCQC. Our new entity at Kolhapur, recently acquired, is now getting integrated with entire practices of ABG on WCM and sustainability. Some of these efforts are also complementing our cost reduction exercises on stocks/inventory, energy etc.

We are increasing the share of renewable energy to comply with renewable energy obligations and reduce GHG emissions. In addition, this strategic move ensures long term energy price stability as well as energy security. At JST, we have installed 1.5 MW Solar Power Plant and 3MW Solar Power Plant will be commissioned soon.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to recast some elements of our BCP. In our operations we have mapped our processes, prepared SOPs for social distancing, sanitization, work mode, canteens etc. We have specified the response under different possible scenarios as Covid evolves and the BCP is evolved through multiple consultations with the customers and partners. The long term impact of uncertain events will still be there for some years, however, our proactive measures have significantly led to the sustainability of the organization during these times.

We invite and keenly look forward to your suggestions on how we can further strengthen our operations to deliver value to all stakeholders.

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Mr. SHESH GUPTA Unit Head, Thai Acrylic fibre

Six years ago, TAF has started its sustainability journey and since then every year we are recording improvements in different aspects of sustainability and we believe that we have successfully placed TAF in alignment with the Group’s sustainability vision.

This reporting period signifies the consolidation of systems practices and new initiatives in the areas of carbon management & water conservation. During the last few years, we have been focusing on contributing to the environment through our product stewardship. We are aware that our product innovation can drive much deeper and extensive environmental conservation. In the reporting period, we have made two advances in product stewardship.

RadianzaTM, which is a gel dyed product has been accepted as a preferred substitute for yarn dyeing by many of our customers. Recently we have developed an eco-friendly sweater collection with Radianza™ for a well-known global brand, which will be launched next year. All our endeavours made on Radianza™ for its contribution towards Sustainability has started delivering results. The sales volume of Radianza™ has reached 10,051 tons this year, an annual growth of 1.16%

Another product that has been the highlight this year is the “Recycled fibre from sweaters”. The fibre is developed by recycling the waste generated across the textile value chain. It is one of the unique innovations in the industry where acrylic fibre is being made with 50% recycled resources. We have already generated a first bulk trial and have manufactured 12MT of recycled fibre.

Our sales of Amicore™ Antimicrobial fibre (anti-bacterial) product has also increased this year. It has a very less washing requirement due to its antimicrobial nature by the end-user leading to less water consumption & less discharge of micro-fibre.

In the endeavor of practicing sustainable business operations, we are focusing on: Zero paper usage, by creating awareness about benefits, ways & means of implementing a paperless office, providing training to the SAP users, monitoring issuing & consumption of papers by each department.

As our primary focus is on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, we are also taking many initiatives for energy reduction as we started a new program of strictly switching off the ACs during lunchtime and 15 mins before leaving – to reduce the power consumption.

As our primary focus is on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, we are also taking many initiatives for energy reduction as we started a new program of strictly switching off the ACs during lunchtime and 15 mins before leaving – to reduce the power consumption.

During the pandemic, we started face scanning and social distancing in the initial phase itself. We had constituted a crisis management team as per Aditya Birla Group guidelines.

We are moving ahead satisfactorily in our journey towards excellence in all aspects of sustainability. Our great foundation has provided us with success and confidence to take up more ambitious projects in years to come.

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Mr. SANJEEV GUPTA Chief Technical Officer, OS- Indonesia

We have progressed significantly in using recycled fibre and blending it with other fibres since the first pilot in 2017. We are now using special fibres - modal, micro modal, bamboo, glitter fibre, recycled polyester, Livaeco, dope dyed fibre and with special attachments -slub and compact attachment, siro attachment. Going further, we add subsequent value in the ring-spinning, viz.

  • Multi fold yarn (10 ply-12 ply) - for industrial use.
  • Used as a design and fashion element

Our range of sustainable products now extends to use natural material i.e. bamboo fibre with anti-bacterial property to be used in socks and inner garment. We also use bamboo-cotton, bamboo-modal. We are now using raw material that is responsibly produced with the least impact on ecosystems and resources. Livaeco- Brand from Birla cellulose and Dope dyed fibre/yarn are some examples. We are using 100% recycled polyester from Unify-US based brand and blend it with viscose, cotton & modal blends for variety of ABYTM products.

We are consciously addressing the challenge of microfibre generated during the use. The compact attachment in Unifeel reduces the hairiness by 30%, thus less generation of microfibre. Further, we started piloting the technical textile products for firefighting and the new generation of fibres in technical textiles.

ENSURING TRACEABILITY

Traceability assures the customer and the end-user that the raw material used and manufacturing process followed is as per the claims made for sustainable products. In all these cases, we ensure traceability at our supplier end and established verifiable systems in our manufacturing facilities. For FSC mix credit, we maintain traceability from pulp to spinning. Similarly, we are GRS Certified, for recycled certifications at all our units, For Eco Vera, traceability is embedded in the fibre itself.

Our pilot plant and Centre of excellence have been driving the development of sustainable products. As sustainable products and demand are scaling up, our marketing teams have identified markets and segments that are potential and opened conversations. Our marketing communications have begun lacing sustainability as a theme for ABYTM

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Mr. KH VENKATACHALAM Chief Human Resource Officer

We, at the Aditya Birla Group takes pride in the people-oriented approaches at all entities spread across geographies. We are guided by the broader objective of achieving group-wide employee welfare, fair remuneration, occupational health and safety, training and development, and continuous employee engagement. Our people play an integral and indispensable role in achieving the sustainability of our business and we recognize their contributions, talent, and zeal in driving our success.

Employee recruitment and retention, implementing equal pay for equal work, employee health, and safety, training and education, diversity and equal opportunity have been identified as our material issues with respect to our workforce and we are working towards ensuring a just, equitable, inclusive, and fair workplace for all. We aim to eliminate gender pay disparity across all entities and increase the presence of women in all our leadership roles going forward.

Our people are our pillars of strength and employee engagement is our driving force. We have established a robust employee evaluation mechanism and increased employee evaluation and engagement to regularly review their career development. We saw a significant increase in overall workforce productivity and satisfaction. We have designed a program for our workmen to upgrade their skills and knowledge to keep up with technological advancements and innovations

We endeavor to continue to build our human and social capital and build a fair, safe, healthy, lively and complaint workplace where every employee’s rights are respected. We deliver awards both quarterly and annually for best employee of the year, 5S area improvement award, Diligent award, Best kaizen theme award, Best PM circle award, Best machine improvement award and many more.

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Mr. SAUGATA BASU Chief Information officer

Increasing capabilities of digital technologies and their extensive application possibilities make it imperative for every business to digitalize the business to improve competitiveness and future viability. We at Aditya Birla Textile group are introducing digital means across our businesses in a phased manner. We are initially, focusing on key four areas - communication and collaboration with the partner/customer, automating production to improve quality. digitizing product development process and utilizing data analytics to improve response to the market.

We are digitalizing and simplifying our business processes to improve efficiency and agility. We are leveraging Radio - frequency Identification (RFID), Wireless & IoT Technologies to strengthen the planning and optimization of our supply chain also to provide a real-time update on production status. With data analytics, we are improving our forecasting which significantly helps in keeping up with the latest trends and client demands. We are also inching towards the automation of equipment and utilizing data to predict maintenance, quality and various other parameters. While adapting to these transformations we continuously monitor and review the changes occurring during the implementation. Our vision is to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy for Smart Manufacturing across all the units and the value chain.

We also have a strong information security network in place, ensuring the confidentiality of data, also to protect the Information Systems infrastructure from malicious attackers. Our data centers are certified with ISO27001, and we are also in process of getting our IT infrastructure to be GDPR compliant.

We are very excited about our initiatives to prepare our employees and the workforce for the digital driven business. Our program “Seekhne ka Keeda” has been very popular among our employees. It makes our employees digital ready and assist them in learning and development.

Moving ahead our focus is also to develop the capability for traceability at both supplier and customer levels. We envision to be future-ready and moving ahead fast enough to stay ahead.

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Mr. NARASIMHA MURTHY Head, Value Creation Engine, Domestic textiles

Our focus is on product development around delivering sustainability features besides viability, feasibility and availability. Our products are sustainable as we use natural fibres linen, wool and cotton. We deliver sustainability in our Mazury and Cavallo products by using linen waste. We have improved the share in revenue from the sales of these products, as well as have begun selling now yarn and fabric made out of recycled linen. when our customers prefer blending, we do not blend linen with synthetic fibre but mix with natural or polyviscose. The viscose that we source is produced from sustainably managed forests.

Wool is the most natural fibres and the product range have natural blends, like silk, cotton. We use it with synthetic fibres as well and with recycled polyester fibre. We also make blends of wool with bamboo, Tencel, viscose etc. In 2020 we have developed biodegradable Nylon and used the same for blending

We have a systematic approach to chemicals, dyes, etc. The chemical management committee, reviews the chemicals and its use in the product development and approves. Chemicals cannot be used from restricted category and it has to be safe in processing, use and at the disposal.

In the Linen Club range, we are planning to use more blends beyond viscose. The demand for Organic linen is increasing in home textiles and we will address this. Our early initiatives in establishing traceability have been useful in meeting the demands of many customers today

We have always believed in extended producer responsibility. Our efforts in chemicals management viz., REACH and Oeko-Tex and sustainable products are a part of our commitment to extended producer responsibility. We have also established systems for managing plastics used in packaging as per Plastic Management Rules in India as a part of extended producer responsibility.

We look forward to continuing with our sustainable products and making this a central theme of our product innovation.

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Mr. SIDDHARTH CHAKRABORTY Chief research & technology officer, Acrylic Fibre

The core strength of Acrylic Fibre business is the expertise and experience in operating the manufacturing process using aqueous suspension polymerization technology and wet spinning with sodium thiocyanate as a solvent. This is considered to be the safest & environmental friendly technology for Acrylic Fibre manufacturing in the world, at an optimal level of productivity.

REDUCING ENERGY FOOTPRINT BY PROCESS TECHNOLOGY

TAF developed a new process technology “TEXLON”, which consumes less steam & power per ton of manufacturing of Acrylic Fibre.

Over a period of time, TAF’s R & D team has developed series of Value Added Products which have significant positive impact on the environment and deliver value to the customers and end users.

IMPROVING CUSTOMERS’ ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE

Our gel dyed fibre Radianza reduces water, energy and chemical usage at our customers’ end and simplifies their environmental compliance requirements. Similarly our product Lumos, avoids the hazardous bleaching process at the customer’s end by proving a super white fibre.

DELIVERING NEW FUNCTIONAL VALUE

We have been able to deliver, using this unique technology, new and exciting functional features viz., Pilbolic that does not pill over multiple washes and extends life; Durashine that lasts longer in outdoor applications; Warmos that effectively delivers the functionality of wool in cold weather; Tropics replicating the functionality of cotton.

DELIVERING HEALTH AND SAFETY TO THE USER

Further, we have introduced Amicor with antibacterial & antifungal properties that protects the user from allergies and saves washing cycles.

PyroTex Industries GmbH Germany, a new subsidiary of TAF, has developed and launched, PyroTex Classic – Heat & Fire-retardant fibre with an LOI of 43 and PyroTex Medico – Anti Microbial & Anti-Viral fibre.

USING RECYCLED FIBRE

TAF R&D is in the process of developing a technology where 50% of the recycled polymer will be used along with virgin polymer for the manufacture of regular acrylic fibre. After a series of trials in the R&D pilot plant, the first bulk trial has been undertaken in the main plant. Product characteristics & processing performance evaluations are in progress for fine-tuning of the process.

We are confident of generating and delivering sustainable value to all stakeholders through continual innovation in technology and processes.

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Dr. JAGADISH BARIK Chief Sustainability Officer

At ABG Textiles, we began the sustainability journey following the structured framework of the ABG Sustainable Business Framework. We expected that the sustainability initiatives will prepare us to stay ahead of the curve and harness sustainable business opportunities as they open up. In the initial period, we laid down a long term road map and strong sustainability governance and management framework. The APEX Council has been reviewing sustainability as a part of business review each quarter. Such leadership commitment and persistence, sustained the enthusiasm and activities of unit-level sustainability teams and cross-unit ten mission teams.

In the first few years of the sustainability journey, we have begun responding well to customers’ requirements on chemicals management and customer’s health and safety. We have obtained quality, environment, occupational health& safety and social accountability certifications of our manufacturing operations and obtained Oeko-Tex and REACH certification as necessary.

Going further, we have adopted the Higg Index of SAC, WASH pledge of WBCSD, conducted water risk assessment using tools of WRI and adopted many similar such global initiatives. Through the last six years, the business APEX council and the functional leaders with perseverance and commitment pursued sustainability initiatives. As a result, today we are the preferred destination for brands seeking sustainable products. Our range of sustainable products reduce the environmental footprint in processing, use only natural resources, use synthetic alternatives to naturals to reduce the ecological footprint, use recycled raw material to reduce the virgin material, deliver durability, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties and many more health and safety functionality. Our linen and cotton products are designed for degradability and cause-noharm at the end of the life cycle.

Nearly a decade old sustainability efforts have given us adequate confidence to approach the market with a preeminent position on sustainability practices. Our product development teams, who have been responding to the sustainability-pull of brands and fashion leaders are now ready with sustainability-push product range. Our marketing and communication teams across the businesses are devising and planning campaigns with the sustainability message.

Going forward, leaders in sustainable textiles have to address the challenge of micro-fibre that is released by synthetic textiles during use and washing. AB Textiles already have products that require less washing and also release less micro fibre while in use or wash. This product range has to be expanded and the opportunity is to be harnessed. Also, we have to begin considering blends and product designs that are fit for recycle and reuse and/or degradation.

We are adopting principles of circularity into every stage of our value chain, from sourcing sustainable, renewable and recycled raw materials to produce products which have extended life and have a minimum environmental impact. Our innovation for the new textile economy contributes towards the optimization of resources and minimization of waste so that resources stay in use for as long as possible before getting disposed of. We believe the key to our future is to ensure that we move away from linear and environmentally hazardous systems to a circular one that ensures long-term environmental sustainability. We use our extensive research and development across all units towards innovating circular and renewable products.

As we make sustainability an important theme of business, our internal practices have to be not just be reinforced but reinvigorated. Our digital initiatives have to establish traceability in our value chain. Our value chains have to be as responsible and as innovative as we are for the sustenance of this journey. We need to go forward and be aggressive on water and climate.

We have to prepare for NET ZERO emissions well before 2050 which is a global target and demonstrates water stewardship across hotshots in our value chains. Further we have to transform our diverse employee base into a lively, innovative and agile workforce to seize available opportunity in the market.

The culture of sustainability-driven by our people and backed by the overarching ABG Sustainable Business Framework, is truly our greatest achievement. Our internal and external stakeholders have been an active part of this journey. We look forward to strengthening the links along the value chain and strengthen sustainable innovation. I take this opportunity to thank all suppliers, vendors, customers, industry and sector associations, communities and government authorities for all their contributions. I am happy to receive feedback, comments and suggestions on our sustainability report.

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