Worldwide development process is continuing to be developed, but sometimes consciously or unconsciously we are killing ourselves as many of those ‘development’ is standing on ‘environment’. And every day the planet is becoming more vulnerable for its inhabitants. This is why the concept ‘sustainable development’ has now emerged as an inevitable issue everywhere, including Textile Industry of Bangladesh.
On 22nd November, an event organized by Switzerland-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SBCCI) was discussing the issue. Faculty of Business Study (FBS), University of Dhaka hosted the event titled ‘Towards Sustainable Development in the Textile Industry of Bangladesh’. Clarichem Ltd (Agent of Archroma, Switzerland) was the event partner and Bangladesh Textile Today was media partner of the event.
The distinguished panel was composed of Saad Omar, Director Claricehm Ltd, Nizam Uddin, Chairman, NRB global bank, Prof. Shibli Rubayet-Ul-Islam, Dean of the Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka, James Carnahan, Global Sustainability Manager, Archroma, Switzerland and Tareq Amin, Editor & Publisher, Bangladesh Textile Today. Saad Omar moderated the event and opened the event by welcoming all guests and audiences. He mentioned four aspects of sustainability – Proper Raw material extraction, modern & efficient production process, and environment friendly dyes and chemicals usages and lastly ends of life cycle or reusability.
The seminar informed that the banking sector is to double its green investments in coming years. It also informed that the government is giving a separate Special Economic Zone for environment friendly factories.
Prof. Shibli Rubayet-Ul-Islam highlighted the present condition and challenges of Bangladesh Readymade Garment (RMG) industry in his welcome note. He also linked the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’ at the current context of textile industry of Bangladesh and emphasized its necessity. He said, without sustainable development in textile industry, Bangladesh cannot compete with other countries in the world. He added that Bangladesh is on the verge of huge growth opportunities.
Tareq Amin discussed on the ‘Integrated thinking of sustainability’ issue. He explained that ‘Integrated thinking’ is opposite to ‘Silo thinking’ and it is the ability to connect the dots between financial, social and environmental performances of a company. He said, “in terms of sustainability, we need to focus 3R approach like reduce, reuse and recycle in everywhere. Life cycle thinking is always important.” Mr. Amin emphasized the importance of ‘Management System’ look to each issue of organizations. Companies should be in a continuous endeavor of improvement keeping all six capital components in mind. He showed how nonfinancial capitals put great value on the company market value.
James Carnahan talked about “Input Stream Management ‘Sustainability Assured’ ”. On his discussion he showed a short film to crystalize the issue ‘sustainable development’ where the main message was ‘we need to protect the planet for ourselves’. After that he explained many aspects to develop innovative textile solutions that are both more ecologically and economically sustainable. He also pointed out to the growing sustainable solutions being offered by Archroma for the textile industry. He highlighted that from textiles to paper and emulsions, Archroma is creating powerful new processes and he demanded that they continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that they can make the industry sustainable.
James put forward some revolutionary technologies like ‘Advanced Denim’ and ‘Earth Colour’. Advanced denim is an alternative to filthy indigo based denim coloration process. And ‘Earth Colour’ is the range of dyestuffs made solely from natural food wastages.
Nizam Uddin, Chairman of NRB Global Bank compared the sustainability of Bangladesh’s garment factories to other developing countries and demanded that Bangladesh is far better than others. He informed that more than 185 garment factories of the country applied for LEED certification where 35 factories already achieved green certification. 9 of them achieved platinum certification,17 of them are gold and 7 of them are silver, he added. He informed that by last two years Bangladesh Banking Industry financed 695 billion taka in green investments. And the plan is to double the green financing by next two years.
According to International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, the concept of sustainable development can be explained in many ways, but at its core it is an approach to development that looks to balance different, and often competing, needs against a consciousness of the ecological, social and economic boundaries we face as a society. SBCCI event on ‘Towards Sustainable Development in the Textile Industry of Bangladesh’ will help the industry going ahead in developing process through sustainable manner. Audiences in this event also demand this kind of knowledge-sharing program more often.