StanChart executes first-ever sustainable trade finance transaction in Bangladesh
Standard Chartered Bangladesh has executed the country's first sustainable trade finance transaction locally.
The bank provided sustainable trade finance support to Square Textiles, a subsidiary of Square Group, in supplying yarn made from sustainably sourced cotton to its local buyer Echotex Ltd under a letter of credit transaction, according to a press release.
Square Textiles Ltd is a manufacturer of sustainable yarn produced from cotton that was sourced from sustainable cotton producers, who are also members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world.
Echotex is an export-oriented garments company and a member of the BCI, producing apparels from fabric made with sustainable yarn and selling to global buyers who also want to sell goods produced under sustainable practices.
In the press release, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh, said, "Our vision is to become the most sustainable and responsible bank and the leading private sector catalyser for the Sustainable Development Goals where it matters most, across Asia, Africa and the Middle East."
"Providing sustainable trade finance to the textile and garments industry in Bangladesh is a big step towards realising the vision."
Bangladesh is one of the leading suppliers of apparels in the world, so there is an ample opportunity to provide sustainable trade finance to backward linkage manufacturers, who source sustainable cotton, and to exporters, who produce using sustainable fabric and sell to retailers, who are conscious about their sustainability footprint.
"This presents a good opportunity to promote sustainability across the cotton supply chain," he said.
Tapan Chowdhury, chairman of Square Textiles, said, "As one of the leading textile companies in the country, we are aware of our responsibility to lead by example, and hence, we have invested heavily in our sustainability drive."
The company sources cotton from BCI member suppliers and is selling yarn to exporters whose ultimate buyers are retailers aligned with sustainability.
"Thus, we are contributing to end-to-end sustainable cotton initiative across the textile and garments supply chain," said Chowdhury.
Mohammad Bin Quasem, a director of Echotex, said: "In addition to our own concern for the environment, being sustainable is also commercially beneficial."
"This is because the consumers in our export markets are becoming increasingly environment conscious, and the global retailers now prefer to source from companies that manufacture sustainably."