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Egyptian firms show impressive results on resource efficiency and circular production processes 

20 Egyptian enterprises from the greater Cairo area, Alexandria, Elbahira and Portsaid governorates achieved impressive results in resource efficiency and circular production processes (RECP) under the International Trade Centre (ITC)’s project

The International Trade Centre’s Global Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX/MENATEX) in the Middle East and North Africa supports companies in understanding and adapting their productions according to the latest international requirements.

In the past two years, 20 Egyptian enterprises from the greater Cairo area, Alexandria, Elbahira and Portsaid governorates achieved impressive results in resource efficiency and circular production processes (RECP), according to a press release of the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Complying with sustainable standards is essential for any textile and clothing company that wishes to be visible and compete in the market.

The Sustainability Day organized by the project in Cairo in March 2022 united beneficiary companies, partners, and donors to discuss the achievements and challenges in this regard.

Moreover, the participants discussed the project results achieved so far through the three pillars of sustainability, which are:

1) improved productivity, production flows, and processes, using Lean Manufacturing techniques.
2) improved environmental footprint through Resource Efficiency & Circular Production Processes (RECP).
3) better well-being of workers through a social compliance policy.

Companies invested $2.7 million to implement the recommended RECP measures, and realised savings of $1.67 million per year. Overall, these measures will translate into an annual reduction of 81,230 tonnes of carbon dioxide, ITC said in a press note.

Aziz Elsalmawy, a RECP expert, lists as examples, “companies introducing servo-stepper motors to sewing machines, which reduced standby energy consumption by 90% of the original value”.

Another good example was introducing motion sensors to control the light and sewing machine, which “with less than $25 initial cost per machine, has led to 20% energy savings in less than two years,” explained Elsalmawy.

The training and coaching session on lean manufacturing—started in 2020—also showed fruitful results. Over 60 participants from companies, business support institutions and other professionals in the garment industry have attended over 360 hours of online training, coaching sessions and factory visits.

As a result, beneficiaries are experiencing an ongoing transition process in the factory. As a result, cultural changes and progressive initiatives for improving product and delivery quality, reducing production lead time and material waste are being ensured, the press note said.

ITC designed a programme on social compliance with the International Labour Organization’s Better Work and Score initiatives. Seventeen companies benefitted from the training, which led to 60 initiatives that radically improved the working conditions of companies’ employees.

These included mainstreaming grievance mechanisms, accident reporting systems, establishing an occupational safety and health committee and improving canteen facilities.

“As the world is recovering from the pandemic and as demand in textile is picking up, Egyptian manufacturers are more than ever confronted with the need of becoming even more competitive while complying with strict environmental and social standards,” said Matthias Knappe, ITC programme manager of fibres, textiles and clothing.

The GTEX MENATEX programme is funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, focusing on six priority countries: Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Tunisia.

In 2022, the GTEX/MENATEX project plans to further promote the sustainable and social agenda in the national garment sector by replicating the social compliance training and coaching programme to other companies while introducing a gender component and equal access to benefits.

In addition, the project plans an advanced programme on productivity improvement for those who have already participated in the activities.

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

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