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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with leading global apparel company, Gap Inc. in Pakistan to boost resource efficiency in its operations and drive long-term sustainability.

Under the agreement—the first of its kind in Pakistan’s textile industry—IFC’s Advisory Services will assess the use of resources at Gap Inc.’s supplier factories in the country and help them implement efficiency measures to reduce the use of water, energy, chemicals and other resources. This will also help Gap Inc. improve competitiveness and sustainability.

The agreement is part of IFC’s global efforts to promote resource efficiency measures in the private sector, which provides savings for companies, improves competitiveness globally, and significantly reduces environmental impacts.

“Gap Inc. continues to invest in water, energy and resource efficiency programs that improve environmental and business performance,” said Christina Nicholson, Director of Environmental Impact, Global Sustainability at Gap Inc. “In partnership with IFC, this program will address key impact areas, improve performance and deliver on our environmental impact reduction commitments.”

Pakistan is the fourth-largest global producer of cotton, with nearly 60 per cent of its exports textile related. Textile revenues account for 9 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP, but the industry also consumes almost 70 per cent of the country’s industrial water. A recent IFC study found Pakistan’s textiles sector could save nearly 22 per cent of its energy consumption and boost productivity by implementing cleaner production practices.

The agreement also draws extensively on knowledge and best practice from IFC’s Program for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT), which was successfully implemented in Bangladesh’s textile sector in 2017 and has helped cut its water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Reducing the consumption of resources is key to improving efficiency and increasing productivity,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, Country Manager, IFC Pakistan. “We hope to replicate PaCT’s success in Pakistan and demonstrate the importance and benefits of such measures in helping to improve sustainability and mitigate climate change.”

The MENA Regional Resource Efficiency (REFF) program has been made possible with support from IFC’s development partner, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

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