MAS Holdings, the Sri Lanka-based design-to-deliver solutions provider, has announced its company-wide sustainability strategy, the MAS Plan For Change. Knowing that it operates in an industry with a high negative impact, The Plan For Change defines three priority areas to improve its operations: product, lives and planet, with twelve objectives to be achieved by 2025.
MAS also recently signed on to the Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative with commitments to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 25.2% by 2025 compared to a base year of 2019, and s further commits that 85% of its suppliers spend and 100% of joint ventures in Scope 3 investments, will have science-based targets by 2025. The Change Plan is a commitment to inspire lasting change within its operations, among its customers, communities and for the planet as a whole.
MAS Holdings is South Asia’s largest apparel technology company, headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with facilities in 15 countries, powered by more than 100,000 employees worldwide.
Since its inception in 1987, MAS has prioritized employee well-being based on a founding principle of doing the right thing and providing safe, secure and comfortable workplaces with fair wages and fair to team members. This fundamental principle applies to all areas of activity, including relationships established with brand customers, work in local communities, the ethical treatment of people and actions towards the natural environment.
For three decades, MAS has created numerous programs and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of workers, the products it manufactures and the planet. MAS recognizes that the industry in which it operates has significant negative impacts and is doing its part to mitigate these effects. The change plan combines the work of these individual programs and formalizes the goals into a cohesive strategy to be implemented across the group.
While the Plan For Change is a new strategic approach to the company’s product, social and environmental objectives, MAS has been dedicated since its inception to improving people and the planet. Progress towards sustainability is an ongoing journey for the company and is demonstrated by its long-standing adherence to the United Nations Global Compact (since 2003), signing of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, commitment to achieving numerous goals United Nations Sustainable Development Program and its partnerships with IFC, SAC, ZDHC and many others. MAS recognizes that addressing many of the challenges facing the world and its people requires sustained systemic change and is committed to doing so through ambitious and collaborative initiatives.
“Whether it be climate disasters, overconsumption, inequality, wars and pandemics, we have witnessed the negative impact of prolonged and uncontrolled human activity on our industry and our world. That’s why we’ve established this plan as a blueprint for creating positive change; and we’re inspired by these ambitious goals we’ve set for ourselves. Achieving them will require unprecedented levels of innovation, collaboration and alignment between our businesses, our partners and our supply chain. We are excited to take on this challenge and hope to create impactful change. We know the road is long and will challenge us, but just like our founders were, we will We are committed to staying the course to do the right thing,” commented Sid Amalean, Head of Sustainable Business, MAS Holdings.
With a focus on innovation, sustainable sourcing and pioneering circularity at scale, MAS aims to increase its sustainable product offerings to 50% of revenue by 2025. Improving products for consumers making it last longer, using fewer resources and being recycled after use are at the heart of the strategy of producing quality goods to fight against throwaway.
Attention to sustainable sourcing will be achieved by partnering with MAS supply chain to source sustainable alternatives to raw materials. Progress towards this goal has already been demonstrated through its partnership with Eco Spindles to create Sri Lanka’s Cricket World Cup shirts from discarded PET in 2019, 2020 and 2021. in 2020, MAS companies recycled more than 21 million plastic bottles to create fabric. for its customers. Closing the loop of circular production is paramount for MAS, and strategic partnerships are key to achieving this goal.
Understanding that its employees and local communities are its greatest assets, MAS aims to empower women, provide meaningful jobs, world-class workplaces and enable positive impact to create thriving communities.
To support the majority female population in the workplace (70%), MAS launched Women Go Beyond in 2003, a strong portfolio of programs aimed at preventing gender-based violence, empowering, educating, building skills, development leadership and the professional advancement of women. Women Go Beyond is MAS’ signature women’s empowerment platform that adheres to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles; Since its inception in 2003, Women Go Beyond has created 3.7 million opportunities for women within MAS and its communities. To support mothers, MAS offers prenatal and postnatal programs, onsite/offsite childcare facilities, and lactation rooms, among other benefits. Through these programs, MAS aims to empower 100% of women in the factory and increase the representation of women in management to 30% by 2025.
The plan for change also strives to foster diversity and inclusion, secure and elevate sustainable compensation, accelerate employee well-being and work-life balance, and provide world-class working conditions for all employees, as well as enabling a positive impact in all communities. For MAS, a positive work environment means an inclusive environment; Since its inception, MAS has supported employees with disabilities and currently employs 380 people with disabilities ranging from vision, speech, hearing and cognitive impairments to physical disabilities. It applies the 4E (Employ, Enable, Engage, and Empower) model for employees with disabilities and offers training to non-disabled employees such as the “Talking Hands” initiative which trains non-disabled employees in sign language to promote an integrated and inclusive environment. workplace. After seeing many local businesses suffer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, MAS launched Rise Up with MAS which funded micro-enterprises in the localities where the company operates, to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic and enable entrepreneurs to restart or expand their businesses.
Knowing that it operates in a high negative impact industry, MAS is committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 25.2% by 2025 compared to a baseline year of 2019. The target is in line with the 1.5°C target set out in the Paris Agreement and was recently accepted by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). Additionally, MAS is committed to upcycling 100% non-hazardous waste, being zero toxic in all products and processes, protecting water and restoring biodiversity in 100 times the space it to keep busy.
As part of the response to reducing emissions, Project Photon, a multi-rooftop solar panel initiative launched in 2017, was implemented. Currently, 48,000 solar panels cover 18 MAS facilities, contributing to 57% renewable energy use across its global operations. As part of its goal to recover waste, MAS has created Eco-Brick at MAS Fabric Park, which converts textile sludge into bricks, to solve the problem of ETP sludge and effluent waste within MAS while simultaneously providing building materials for the business.
Currently, 98% of the chemicals used by the manufacturer are ZDHC Tier 1 MRSL compliant, bringing MAS closer to its goal of zero toxicity by 2025. MAS has also begun work on its commitment to restore the biodiversity in 100 times the space it occupies, which is equivalent to 25,000 acres. Forty-five habitat restoration projects such as aerial reforestation, invasive removal and restoration, and analogue forestry have been carried out across Sri Lanka, representing 2,551 acres restored in 2020.
MAS is committed to making sustainable and ethical progress by 2025 and the challenges of 2020 have not hindered MAS’ vision for a more sustainable and equitable future. By implementing this company-wide strategy, MAS Holdings aims to have a large-scale positive impact on products, lives and the planet changed for good.
MAS Holdings, the largest apparel technology company in South Asia, is one of the most recognized design-to-delivery solution providers in apparel and textile manufacturing. Home to a community of over 100,000 people, MAS today spans manufacturing facilities in 15 countries, with established design sites located in key style hubs around the world. Responding to the demands of a dynamic and constantly changing industry, the MAS portfolio has grown exponentially; in brands, wearable technology, FemTech, start-ups and fabric parks worldwide.
Over 30 years in business, MAS has gained global recognition for its ethical and sustainable work environment and for the organization’s tireless efforts in social development and women’s empowerment. Product excellence and craftsmanship have placed MAS on the world map as an industry leader, showcasing flawless delivery in innovative manufacturing and design. Today, the company’s efforts to generate positive impact are outlined in the MAS Change Plan, a commitment to create lasting change in three priority areas: products, lives and planet. Through these initiatives, MAS aims to inspire all employees to be agents of change, enabling dreams and enriching the fabric of life on our planet.