Water, energy and chemical sustainability are key challenges for the growth and long-term sustainability of the textile sector in Bangladesh.
In spite of being extremely water intensive, unfortunately, the sector’s overall use of water is highly inefficient: for every kg of fabric produced, Bangladeshi factories typically consume 200 - 250 liters of water for washing, dyeing, and finishing (WDF). That’s the daily water requirement of two people and is nearly 5x the best practices of ~50 l water/kg fabric! In addition, the country is faced with severe scarcity and reliability of electricity and gas, resources that are of equal importance for the sector.
Lack of metering, mispriced groundwater and energy, constraints on access to finance for resource-efficient technology and services, and most importantly limited awareness on resource efficient technologies are conducive to the unsustainable use of water and other important resources within the sector.
PaCT Program addresses these issues to bring about positive changes in the Bangladesh textile sector by
PaCT is not a compliance program.
PaCT supports factories to improve their efficiency and to take responsibility for their resource use. Through PaCT, service providers and the Textile Technology Business Center provide technical support to promote and implement Cleaner Production in the textile sector.
PaCT operates in Bangladesh only. Contact us
IFC is currently implementing a similar Cleaner Production program in China to promote water-and energy-efficient technologies and best practices for the local textile wet processing sector by addressing market failures relating to lack of technical knowledge, access to financing, and weak regulatory environment. Contact: Navneet Chadha, [email protected]
Also in China, Solidaridad (a PaCT implementing partner) launched the Better Mill Initiative, in September 2013. The Initiative supports 75 mills to implement sustainability improvements in an integrated manner. The program focuses on resource efficiency, chemical and waste management as well as social improvements through a combination of customized support and group learning. Contact: Marieke Weerdesteijn,[email protected]
PaCT does not look into labor issues directly. As part of the Cleaner Production assessments, PaCT experts make recommendations and train factories on better working conditions linked to chemical management, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).
PaCT addresses gender issues in the factories by implementing measures to improve gender-specific elements in Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), particularly addressing sanitary facilities.
PaCT implementation partner Solidaridad trains local service providers who work with factories to put in place functional OH&S management systems. OH&S issues in textile wet processing mills include:
Lack of water supply and limited access to sanitation facilities are common in the low-income areas surrounding factories, where many workers live. PaCT assist factories by guiding factory management on measures to improve water supply and sanitation conditions within the factory gate, and educating the staff by raising their awareness as well as knowledge on hygiene and hygienic practices. The Program also assesses factories’ WASH condition, including worker access to and use of safe water, hand-washing, sanitation facilities, as well as factories’ sewage treatment and disposal methods.
Cleaner Production (CP) is best business practices. It is not a cost, but an opportunity that maximizes product output and reduces business risks through efficient use of resources (water, energy and chemicals). This leads to minimizing waste and pollution at source, and increasing profits.
Conventionally, most factories rely on setting up pollution control equipment or end-of-pipe technologies for environmental management. However, these solutions tend to be costly and difficult to monitor. Experience shows that CP results in substantial savings for industry and society. So much so that some CP measures do not even cost a single penny! Figure 1 shows factory savings that resulted after implementation of CP measures.
Figure 1: With the 1.5 billion l water savings resulting from CP measures, your factory can actually produce an additional 6,000 tonnnes of fabric (assuming~250 l water/kg fabric) or even more (30,000 tonnes, best practices of ~50 l water/kg fabric). This means more profit ($) for your factory!
PaCT regularly organizes User Group meetings, where textile factory managers, technical personnel, external technologists, service providers and vendors meet to share experience, discuss common challenges, and find solutions related to Cleaner Production (CP). User Groups are typically chaired and facilitated by the local CP service providers, who have received special training for facilitation. External experts (for example suppliers) may also be invited to support the group in the identification of best practices and solutions.
To facilitate investment in resource efficiency (REF) technologies, PaCT has developed financial mechanisms and products, enabling access to finance for factories and suppliers, and building awareness and capacity of financial intermediaries.