Textile News, Apparel News, RMG News, Fashion Trends
Dyeing & Finishing

Challenges of implementing EMS & CMS in textile manufacturing: A Bangladesh perspective

After the Stockholm declaration in 1972, the world issued its first recognition that people have the right to live in a good environment. Since then many treaties such as the Kyoto protocol, Montreal protocol, Paris agreement, have been signed over the years to conserve the livability of our environment. As the appeal to protect our soil, water, air from various contamination has grown, many environmental and chemical management systems have been developed so. Governments, industries, and various non-governmental organizations are working for ensuring environmental sustainability by reducing the impact of various aspects of our livelihood on the environment.

Challenges-implementing-EMS-CMS-Bangladesh-textile-manufacturing
Figure 1: There are still so many challenges in proper environmental management system (EMS) and chemical management system (CMS) in the textile production facilities in Bangladesh.

As the powerhouse of our economy, the textile industry has a huge environmental impact in Bangladesh. Textile production facilities are responsible for polluting the water, soil, air, and have a significant negative impact on the biodiversity of the surrounding locality.

To reduce the environmental impact of these factories, authorities and brands are working hard to make production facilities adopt standard environmental management system (EMS) and chemical management system (CMS). Various guidelines such as National Chemical Management Guideline, Bangladesh Standards, Guidelines for Sludge Management, National Waste Management Guideline have been developed by the government of Bangladesh to facilitate the implementation of the Environmental Conservation Act and 3R Strategy. ZDHC Roadmap to Zero, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, GIZ developed tools like ZDHC MRSL, Wastewater guideline, Higg FEM, BHive, etc. are also in practice to improve EMS and CMS practices of the factories.

But there are still so many challenges in proper environmental and chemical management in the textile production facilities in Bangladesh.

Mohammad-Waliullah-Intertek-Bangladesh
Figure 2: Mohammad Waliullah, Auditor -Environment & Social at Intertek Bangladesh.

After the Stockholm declaration in 1972, the world issued its first recognition that people have the right to live in a good environment. Since then many treaties such as the Kyoto protocol, Montreal protocol, Paris agreement, have been signed over the years to conserve the livability of our environment. As the appeal to protect our soil, water, air from various contamination has grown, many environmental and chemical management systems have been developed so. Governments, industries, and various non-governmental organizations are working for ensuring environmental sustainability by reducing the impact of various aspects of our livelihood on the environment.

As the powerhouse of our economy, the textile industry has a huge environmental impact in Bangladesh. Textile production facilities are responsible for polluting the water, soil, air, and have a significant negative impact on the biodiversity of the surrounding locality.

To reduce the environmental impact of these factories, authorities and brands are working hard to make production facilities adopt standard environmental management system (EMS) and chemical management system (CMS). Various guidelines such as National Chemical Management Guideline, Bangladesh Standards, Guidelines for Sludge Management, National Waste Management Guideline have been developed by the government of Bangladesh to facilitate the implementation of the Environmental Conservation Act and 3R Strategy. ZDHC Roadmap to Zero, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, GIZ developed tools like ZDHC MRSL, Wastewater guideline, Higg FEM, BHive, etc. are also in practice to improve EMS and CMS practices of the factories.

Md-Rashedul-Islam-Comfit-Composite-Knit-Ltd
Figure 3: Md. Rashedul Islam, Assistant Manager, ECR at Comfit Composite Knit Ltd.

But there are still so many challenges in proper environmental and chemical management in the textile production facilities in Bangladesh.

According to Mohammad Waliullah, Auditor -Environment & Social at Intertek Bangladesh who has also worked in textile factories and brands’ sustainability department for several years, said that there are some common issues that hinder the implementation of EMS and CMS by the production house managers. The managers also face a lack of sufficient man capable manpower.

  • Lack of understanding of current market demand for sustainable sourcing,
  • Lack of the concept of sustainable development,
  • Reluctance to long term initiatives to ensure sustainable development,
  • Lack of training & awareness of environmental & chemical management as well sustainable development,

Md. Rashedul Islam, Assistant Manager, ECR at Comfit Composite Knit Ltd said, “Sometimes I feel alone while troubleshooting and maintaining my ETP as well as performing the responsibilities of EMS & CMS with a single pair of hands.”

Managing the workers is also a big challenge in factories, they are not sincere about their health and safety. They are very reluctant to use personal protective equipment (PPE) during work in a hazardous environment.

Mohammad Waliullah thinks that the workers need more training and awareness programs to be more sincere and practicing.

effluent-treatment-plant-EMS
Figure 4: Effluent treatment plant a basic requirement for EMS.

Factory top management also needs to be sincere about their factory’s environmental performance. Top management should take regular updates of sustainability performance from their managers. They should be aware of the current market demand for sustainable manufacturing.

Government and brands need to be more stringent about the factories’ environmental performance before issuing operating permission and purchase orders to make for this.

It is also challenging for the factories to adopt different sustainability monitoring tools for different brands. A common monitoring tool used by all brands could relieve the factories from a huge hassle and make it easier for them to meet environmental sustainability requirements.

“At a time, we have to use different tools for a single purpose for different buyers which causes–in many cases–wastage of time and resources. For example, for chemical management we have to use Clean chain, Bhive, Blusign System, ZDHC Gateway for different buyers’ requirement,” Md. Rashedul Islam said.

Mohammad Waliullah demanded, “EMS and ECR responsible personnel should be given direct and easy access to the top management so that they can share their problems with them.”

Ensuring a proper Environmental and chemical management system in factories is the basic requirement of sustainable textile production. Technically competent professionals need to be recruited to make it feasible in the industries.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

Related posts

Way of reducing operational costs in textile manufacturing

Textile Today

The power of air in textile manufacturing

Textile Today

How to increase productivity in textile manufacturing companies

Textile Today

Latest Publications

View All