Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES), a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaftfür InternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, supported the 2nd annual international conference for “Social Responsibility” (SR) Asia at the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in Dhaka, between 29-30th of November 2013.
Hazardous waste is considered to be one of the prime dangers in Bangladesh and its negative implication to environment and occupational health and safety is widespread. This year’s theme at the conference was “Responsible business Conduct”, streamlined to address the host country’s issues. The conference aimed to deliberate on global perspectives and trends on responsible business conduct. Focus has been on waste management system and impacts in developing countries, where waste generation is comparatively very high due to low technology, poor or no infrastructure, lack of implementation, unskilled labour, policy framework, etc.
S.K Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank, inaugurating the conference along with Sumaya Rashid, Country Director, SR Asia Bangladesh and other eminent guest speakers
SR Asia is a leading organization in the field of corporate social responsibility and is an annual event that takes place every year on rotation basis amongstthe 12 “Asian Productivity Organizations” (APO) Japan member countries.
This was the 2nd annual international conference for SR Asia, with Bangladesh being the host nation this year. The conference was supported by PSES, Swisscontact, CIRDAP and other international organizations. PSES was the chief technical partner, adding values through its expertise on the subject of environment and waste management.
Tanuja Bhattacharjee, Senior Environmental Advisor, and Nabil Haque, Environmental Advisor, attended the conference, as GIZ experts, to speak on the topic of waste management. Tanuja mentioned several engagements that PSES already has in place with the private sector and expressed interest being involved in more projects related to waste management.PSES also previously organized training on draft Standards and Guidelines for Municipals
Tanuja Bhattacharjee, Senior Environmental Advisor, PSES, GIZ speaking at the conference
& Industrial Sludge for Bangladesh, for the Department of Environment (DoE) ministry officials, with collaboration from the German Association of Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA). DoE is under the process of preparing a comprehensive guideline for sludge management with support from PSES.
The amount of solid waste generated in Asia has increased tremendously in the last decade, mainly due to over population, rapid economic growth, and industrialization. Thus Green Productivity (GP) measures have become necessary to address and minimize the impact, and new policies and framework are required to control waste right in the initial stages of generation rather than introducing facilities to manage it later. The conference agenda was to prepare a draft framework for ‘going green’ and the following solutions and motivations were
Nabil Haque, Environmental Advisor, PSES, GIZ speaking at the conference
highlighted to achieve an ideal zero waste generation scenario:-
- Discuss trends and perspectives on green banking in Bangladesh
- Address responsible business conduct in different sectors on waste management
- To discuss health and safety of workers and citizens, current scenario in the garment sector due to hazardous waste and practical steps in minimising the impact.
- To highlight the Waste Management challenge for different areas with special focus on:
- Waste management solutions based on cost-benefit e.g. landfill, incineration, resource recovery, Waste-to-Energy, E-Solution, non- bio-degradable waste
- Trends in legislative and industry development
- To discuss different strategies and practices with different stakeholders (government, private sector, NGOs, Academia and International Agencies) to promote the transformation of industries/cities/towns to green
- To develop a strategy paper for green banking, manufacturing and municipalities S.K Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank, inaugurated the conference and addressed the occasion, among other eminent guests. Stakeholders from all arenas including the government, private sector, NGOs, academia and International Agencies were invited to discuss different strategies to promote the transformation to a “green” environment.
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PSES, implemented byGIZ has always motivatedorganizations in Bangladesh to implement social and environmental best practices in an effective way and to create better working conditions. One of the core beliefs of this project is the inclusion of all stakeholders, including development partners, government bodies, buyers, owners, NGOs, as well as trade unions to work hand in hand in order to overcome the challenges and promote social and environmental standards, particularly in the textile industry.