Hayleys Fabric’s Head of Sustainability among ‘Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen’

Sri Lanka’s largest integrated textile manufacturer, Hayleys Fabric, proudly announces the recognition of Leonie Vaas, its Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Innovations, among Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen for 2022.

Organised by CSRWorks International, a trusted name in sustainability leadership, the annual listing acknowledges exceptional women sustainability leaders in the region. As the second Sri Lankan to receive this prestigious acknowledgement, Vaas is honoured for her exceptional leadership in driving Hayleys Fabric’s sustainable journey.

“We are immensely proud of Leonie’s achievements and tireless efforts to make sustainability a core value at Hayleys Fabric. Her diverse skill set and unwavering passion for environmental stewardship have established a comprehensive sustainability strategy that contributes to our success and recognition as a pioneer in the textile industry,” Hayleys Fabric Managing Director Rohan Goonetilleke said.

As the driving force behind the manufacturer’s sustainability journey, Vaas plays a pivotal role in creating, implementing, and monitoring sustainable practices and is the architect of its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework.

Embracing a holistic approach to environmental sustainability, Vaas has directed her efforts to six core areas: energy management, water conservation, material and waste management, chemical management, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable innovations. These efforts underscore Hayleys Fabric’s dedication to addressing various sustainability challenges.

Moreover, her commitment to ambitious targets is evidenced by Hayleys Fabric being the first company in Sri Lanka’s textile industry to commit to the Science-Based Targets initiatives (SBTi) and the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate. Under Vaas’s guidance, Hayleys Fabric also obtained the ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification, reinforcing its dedication to efficient energy management.

As transparent reporting is a cornerstone of Hayleys Fabric’s sustainability practices, Vaas is also responsible for providing non-financial data for the annual report. This includes ensuring transparency in reporting social and relationship capital, human, intellectual, manufactured, and natural capital in gauging sustainable performances.

“This recognition is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the collective dedication of the Hayleys Fabric team and especially the MD/CEO who passionately believes in establishing a sustainable ecosystem. I have been fully supported and encouraged to explore new avenues to establish a sustainable manufacturing process. This collaborative process drives our commitment to positive change and setting new benchmarks at Hayleys Fabric,” expressed Vaas.

Vaas’s leadership extends beyond the boardroom as she collaborates with national and international regulatory bodies and organisations, such as UNGC, ZDHC, SDC-UK, CEA-SL, NCPC-SL, GRI – Netherlands / CQI –UK, and the Ministry of Environment. These collaborations have ensured Hayleys Fabric’s compliance and alignment with global sustainability standards.

Furthermore, Vaas has pioneered sustainable innovations, including implementing natural dye and technology that uses eco-friendly alternatives to hazardous synthetic dyes. These products, such as ‘WARNA by Mahogany’ and ‘The Midnight’, have received global recognition, securing top 10 innovations awards in the ISPO Textrends Awards, Germany.

Vaas has received several accolades, including the United Nations SDG Pioneer 2021 for responsible consumption and production. She is the first Sri Lankan to receive this prestigious recognition, earning her a distinguished place as one of only ten pioneering business leaders appointed worldwide.

Hayleys Fabric Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Innovations, Leonie Vaas

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