We decided to base our factory in Siem Reap, a largely rural province most famous for being home to the mighty Angkor Wat. In spite of a thriving tourism industry Siem Reap remains one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces, with little tourism revenue reaching local people.
Decision to build in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Location, Location, Location
When Pactics decided to expand our operations from Shanghai to a manufacturing branch in Cambodia, the obvious choice for our base was the capital city of Phnom Penh, which lies at the centre of the Kingdom’s business and industry growth.
The congregation of these factories in the Phnom Penh area means, however, that thousands of workers – mostly young mothers – are leaving their homes and families 100’s of miles away to find work in the capital’s factories. For this reason we decided to build our factory far from Phnom Penh, offering our new team the ability to go home to their families at the end of each working day.
For the first few years of our Cambodia operations we worked from a converted building, but as our team grew we knew that we needed to create a bigger, more permanent “home” in Siem Reap.
Designing Our Dream – First Ground Up Facility
Starting from scratch gave us the unique opportunity to create a sustainable working space that meets all of our social and environmental responsibility objectives. Our team’s daily working conditions and the impact of our facility on the natural world were both a central focus in the design process, resulting in a factory that we are truly proud to call our own.
To design our factory we worked with Siem Reap-based British architect Stuart Cochlin. Familiar with working in a Cambodian context, Stuart designed a sustainable space that works in harmony with our natural surroundings to reduce our environmental impact. Windows, for example, are north-facing to maximise natural light and minimise electricity usage, and , and strategically placed vents create a naturally cool and comfortable working space. Stuart also ensured that our new factory was designed with our team in mind. Many of the people working in our Cambodia branch are mothers, so a day-care centre and private space for nursing mothers were both included in the factory’s blue prints. The entire facility is on one level with disability access throughout so that we can accommodate disabled team-members, and outdoor patio spaces and an airy lunch hall also contribute to a pleasant working environment.
Time to Celebrate!
Construction on our Siem Reap factory began in late 2012, and was completed in Summer 2014.
We celebrated this exciting achievement in true Cambodian style, and threw a party for our team, their family, and anyone else who wanted to have a look at our new facility!
As part of the celebrations local photographer Jessica Lim curated a photo exhibition in our new courtyard. Photos of both our Shanghai and new Cambodia facilities were included, as well as images capturing the progression of the Cambodian factory throughout the 1.5 year construction process.
This open-house celebration included a barbecue buffet served up by our brand new kitchen, drinks of every variety, and hours and hours of music and dancing! We were especially honored that the Deputy Governor of Cambodia joined the festivities, and received a guided tour of our new facilities by Pactics’ President Piet Holten.
All-in-all over 200 people came together to celebrate the completion of our new home in Cambodia, making it a happy occasion in more ways than one!
We have always been excited to offer fair and competitive employment opportunities in this area, but a lack of industry meant that there was no alternative manufacturing space available to rent. What better excuse did we need to build the people and planet friendly factory we had always dreamed of?