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Weilian Case Study: Creating Positive Impact Through the Crisis

Published: 23 June 2020
3 min read
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Case study iconCase Study
Aii Programs

June 23, 2020

The global pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for businesses in the apparel and textiles industry. From cancelled orders to sick workers and store closures, companies have been faced with issues never known before at this scale. Sustainability has had to take a backseat, as companies are just trying to survive. However, some leaders have continued to prioritize sustainable development, even through the COVID-19 crisis.

Take Shandong Weilian Printing and Dyeing Co., Ltd. (also known as ‘Weilian’), a factory based in Bingzhou City, China. This is one of the factories participating in Aii’s Clean by Design (CbD) energy and water efficiency program for wet processing mills, which they started in 2019. As a factory that prides itself on compliance in the industry, Weilian feels they have a responsibility to take a stand when it comes to following through on its corporate social responsibility goals. They’ve doubled-down on their efficiency efforts and continue exploring energy conservation and environmental protection during these uncertain times.

“We’ve built our programs to capture and quantify normalized savings regardless of shifts in production.” says An Zhou, Aii’s Sr. Technical Director. “Weilan has been an impressive example of maximizing their potential for efficiency using the CbD approach and will achieve cost savings at a time when it’s needed most.” 

By the time the crisis hit, Weilian had already invested time and resources in the CbD program and had gone through initial training, expert consultations and action planning. Even in an unstable environment where orders are decreasing and daily production is slowing down, Weilian hasn’t wavered in its commitment to CbD program. In fact, Weilian saw the slow in production as an opportunity to further build on this work. He Xinfu, Weilian Director of Facilities said, “Believe it or not, this pause in our daily production is actually a good opportunity for us to implement needed adjustments and tests that would have been required anyway. There is a silver lining when it comes to our ability to make sustainable progress.”

Up next, Weilian is focusing on steam, water, natural gas, and other high-energy resources to tackle some additional improvement opportunities identified by Clean by Design team experts. While there are many resources being dedicated to combating some of the local and global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weilian is proud to be a factory continuing this important work for sustainable impact and has plans to expand the program in additional locations in 2020 and beyond.