Serendib Flour Mills (SFML) is an organization that is at the forefront of environmental sustainability. The company has embraced a long-term sustainability drive to minimize its impact on the planet, whilst improving the overall management of water and energy use at its milling facility. SFML adheres to distinct protocols and measures that enables it to carry out a flour milling operation that is as lean, efficient and as environmentally-friendly as possible. This world Environment Day, the theme is “Connect with Nature”, and SFML would like to highlight the steps its takes across its entire organizational network, to protect and preserve the planet’s natural resources.
All of the stringent policies, quality controls and environmentally-friendly processes that are put in place at Serendib Flour Mills, enables the company to set a precedent for quality and green operations in the industry and produce a full range of wheat flour products that are made with great care, in accordance with the best international standards and specifications, and without unnecessary wastage.
Minimal carbon footprint and maximal energy efficiency: SFML’s sustainability initiatives are driven by two key objectives- the first is to reduce long-term greenhouse gas emissions, thereby reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint and impact on the environment, and secondly, the company strives to utilize energy and water in the most efficient manner possible. The company believes that its eco-friendly operation not only enables it to tread lightly on the planet, it also facilitates the reduction of operational costs and minimizes the wastage of important natural resources.
The start of a Green Journey: SFML began their journey of sustainability by hiring Control Union, an independent international assurance and certification body to conduct a full environmental assessment of the company’s operations and milling facility. Based on the findings of the study, measures were put in place to reduce the company’s total carbon emissions by 8%. SFML continues to apply smart energy solutions across its operations and is focused on finetuning and constantly evaluating the impact of their green practices so as to further minimize their strain on the planet over the coming years.
An innovative storage option: Among the many innovative green solutions that SFML has brought forth and adopted, the tanker silo operation is one that has the potential to significantly assist bakers across the island in their own eco-friendly practices. The tanker silo storage option enables bakeries and factories to store a minimum of 20Mt of flour on site. This eliminates the need to constantly transport large volumes of flour between the milling facility and customer factories, thereby cutting down additional transport costs and fuel consumption. In addition to saving a great deal of energy and money, this alternative has proven to be more hygienic, as the flour has zero human contact and travels directly from the source to the silo, and finally to the customer’s factory site. The silo employs robust FIFO practices, is highly efficient and reduces unloading times as well as transportation and labour costs, which collectively enable SFML and their customers to drastically reduce combined expenses and environmental impact.
Green leadership and advocacy: To spearhead their sustainability initiatives, SFML has appointed an energy management team – a diverse group of professionals from across the organization, who are passionate about rolling out the company’s environmental projects and initiatives. The team is responsible for gathering on a monthly basis to plan out all activities, analyse reports and draw up energy policies in consultation with Control Union. The team also engages with energy experts, to share and learn more about best practices and cutting-edge green ideas. SFML also strives to increase employee awareness on key issues such as water conservation, recycling and the need to save energy at every juncture of their operation. In this regard the company in association with National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) conducted several training programs on areas such as calculation of carbon foot print, minimizing energy wastage, etc.
The company has developed a series of internal messages such as regular email reminders and notices that aim to inculcate a caring attitude towards the environment and planet as a whole. Additionally, SFML continually invests in conducting training sessions, to ensure that proper environmental practices become a core part of day-to-day office activities; they also come together as a team to celebrate hallmark environmental days and took time off work to recognize the importance of World Environment Day this year, and renew their commitment to running a green operation as a team.
Smart saving at every touch-point: SFML has replaced key motors in its facility to minimize energy wastage where possible. The comprehensive maintenance plan ensures that no tools and equipment leak or overuse electricity. All washrooms, taps and water outlets have been replaced with equipment modifications such as automated taps, which eliminates the use of excess water. In the future, SFML will explore the potential of solar energy as part of its long-term plan to use more renewable energy sources to run its key operation.
Sustainability, a way of life at SFML: Commenting on SFML’s overall approach to sustainability, Kevin O’Leary – CEO, Serendib Flour Mills said: “Sustainability is not just about reducing wastage and pollution, it should be a way of life. A commitment to sustainability is something that affects our well-being, our society and our business operations, so it’s important for us take responsibility for it. As a manufacturer and responsible corporate citizen, we at SFML take great pride in putting the necessary measures in place, to protect our natural environment and minimize our impact on the planet. It is by taking measures today across various industries, that we can hope to protect our natural resources and planet for generations to come. Applying a sustainable approach to our business has proven to be pivotal in ensuring our own well-being, and the longevity of our business and the industries that we impact.”
SFML continues to prove its commitment to the environment by constantly improving its green operations and adopting new Eco-friendly practices, in adherence with the latest trends and developments. The company’s goal to run an entirely green operation helps the management to develop and strengthen all of their key manufacturing processes, whilst encouraging their stakeholders to also embark on a mutual journey of caring for the planet.