It gives me great pleasure to bring to you our first sustainability report for Textile Business. The report covers sustainability performance and review for our businesses in yarn – Overseas Spinning (OS), in fabric- Domestic Textiles and in Acrylic Fiber- Thai Acrylic Fiber. While the manufacturing operations are located in India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, our markets are across continents. We are aware that our value chains spread across the globe and accordingly global headwinds will impact our business. We are geared for and continue our journey being responsible steward and in engagement with our stakeholders to future proof our business.
The overseas spinning business has been adversely impacted by extremely sluggish market conditions and steep cost increase in Indonesia. Going forward as well, owing to overcapacity in the Fibre and Yarn value chain, the pressure on margins is likely to continue. However, the overseas spinning businesses has undertaken many initiatives and is at the forefront of new product development, with the setting up of the Centre of Excellence and the ABY Studio. The business continues to focus on Value Added Products and customer centricity.
In our Domestic Textile business, located in India, the linen industry has been going through a rapid growth phase over the past 5 years and we believe that the linen industry will maintain a healthy double digit growth rate over the next 5 years as well. We continue to focus on building product capability and consumer connect via our retail presence, brand communications and product category enhancement. The wool business has faced challenges due to declining wool prices. In coming years, we will focus on developing more specialty offerings and move to higher value portfolio with required investment.
The acrylic fiber industry has been going through a difficult phase over the last few years marked by declining global demand and intensifying competition within existing players. Volatile commodity environment has only added to the existing pressures faced by acrylic manufacturers, especially Thai Acrylic Fiber. Our team at TAF has managed consistent growth throughout this phase only by focusing on innovation and technological breakthroughs aligned with sustainable business practices and processes.
Across our businesses, our strategy is centered around operational excellence and product innovation. Our sustainability initiatives supplement and complement our business strategy. These initiatives are built around our manufacturing, products and brands e.g., our operations adhere to variety of ISO, OSHAS and SA standards and Wash Pledge; many of our products comply with Oeko Tek and very soon many of our brands will conform to Higg Index.
We have adopted Aditya Birla Goup’s sustainability framework and established business level Sustainability Apex Council with ten working Groups providing supervision, planning and monitoring support to sustainability initiatives. To bring in perspectives and expertise, we have constituted Sustainability Advisory Council of external experts. We have articulated our positions and policies on variety of sustainability aspects and put in place management systems to plan-do-check. We use internal and external audits, grievance and whistle blower mechanisms to detect deviations and correct these appropriately on time. We believe that these governance and control mechanisms are adequate to preserve and enhance the value to all stakeholders including shareholders.
All these individual businesses have prepared their individual sustainability reports and made available to the stakeholders. All these reports were prepared in line with GRI G4 – Core compliance and third party assured. This combined report is an attempt to summaries the performance and take a review of all our Textile Businesses.
In continuation to mark our efforts towards environment and society, we have decided to initiate sustainability reporting from this year. We view these reports as a part of our continued commitment to our stakeholders to disclose our performance on key sustainability pillars. Our sustainability roadmap over the next three years will focus on the expectations of our key stakeholders including our employees and have defined strategies to be more economically, socially and environmentally beneficial and impacting the triple bottom line viz. people, planet and profit.
The report will provide you with accounts of actions taken by us along with results achieved; I also encourage you to give us your feedback on the report, and share your kind views.
Mr Thomas Varghese