The second edition of the Partnership for Clean Textile (PaCT II) has concluded its first year with seven organisations joining the campaign along with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The PaCT II, the International Finance Corporation's multi-stakeholder partnership to drive sustainability in Bangladesh's textile sector, aims to work with more than 200 factories to adopt state-of-the-art efficiency and cleaner production practices to reduce water, energy, and chemical use across the textile value chain.
Five textile brands, namely VF Corp, PUMA, Levi Strauss & Co, TESCO and GAP Inc and two technology providers Jeanologia and Omera Solar have joined the campaign, the IFC said in a statement yesterday. Started in January 2018, with support from the governments of Denmark, Australia and the Netherlands, the PaCT II seeks to save 10.9 billion litres of water and 1.3 million megawatt hours of energy every year.
In the process, there will be 241,160 tonnes of green-house gases and 10,000 tonnes of chemical use avoided every year.
The successful first edition of the PaCT, which ran from 2013 to 2017, helped save 21.6 billion litres of water every year, which is the average annual water use for 840,000 people in Bangladesh.
The participating factories also saved 2.5 million megawatt hours of energy each year, equivalent to 5.4 percent of total national grid output in 2015-16.
“In Bangladesh, the textile manufacturing sector remains a strategic area of focus for the IFC,” Rana Karadsheh, IFC director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services for Asia, said at an event at the Radisson hotel in Dhaka.
“Our advisory programme, PaCT, has made a significant impact on changing the landscape of the sector through greater awareness of resource efficiency and better adoption of efficient technologies and manufacturing processes.”
Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world, next only to China. Apparel exports account for 80 percent of the country's exports and 12 percent of its gross domestic product.
“The BGMEA is happy to be a partner of the IFC. We are proud to say that Bangladesh not only has the most transparent garment industry, it is also one of the most sustainable garment industries in the world,” said Miran Ali, a director of the BGMEA.
The event consisted of panel discussions on emerging concepts in the industry such as circular economy and rooftop solar PV opportunities.
Speakers included Wendy Werner, country manager of the IFC for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal; Winnie Estrup Petersen, Danish ambassador; Harry Verweij, Dutch ambassador; and Jane Hardy, second secretary of the Australian high commission.
They said the second phase would significantly increase the scope of the programme by working with the entire textile value chain.