The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has joined forces with Sri Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) to promote energy conservation in the country’s apparel sector.

The drive follows a recent energy audit of seven plants which projected electricity savings of 10-50% if conservation methods were adopted.

And if all energy conservation measures were implemented, carbon dioxide emissions could be cut by 16% a year, the audit found.

“Simple changes, including the use of energy efficient lights, air conditioners and equipment will help make all the difference in reducing operating costs,” said Tuli Cooray, JAAF secretary general.

“Other measures like improvements to existing equipment will also boost energy efficiency.”

The benefits of renewable energy applications, such as biomass and rooftop solar systems, were also highlighted in the audit.

Energy costs are calculated to account for up to 15% of a factory’s total operating costs in Sri Lanka’s garment sector.

“Increases in the cost of electricity and a heavy dependency on imported fuels such as diesel and kerosene directly affect the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s apparel sector,” said Adam Sack, IFC vountry manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives.