The Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, and PUMA are renewing their commitment to IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT II) program to support the decarbonization of the readymade garments (RMG) sector in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh RMG sector, now the second-largest in the world, needs to accelerate recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and improve sustainability and global competitiveness.
The government of Denmark, through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), has committed additional funds of $3.19 million to enhance RMG sector-wide activities.
H.E. Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen said, “The latest UN IPCC report on climate change has reminded us once again to take climate action now to keep the global average temperature to well below 2oC. The fashion industry alone contributes around 10 percent of global emissions.”
Also, PaCT is supporting cleaner production and green growth in the RMG sector towards a sustainable Bangladesh, she added.
Paula Schindeler, Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh at the signing ceremony reiterated that the Netherlands Embassy, a long-standing partner of Bangladesh, is delighted to continue to assist Bangladesh’s RMG sector in its sustainability efforts and address efficient use of resources through the IFC-PaCT Program.
German multinational PUMA is scaling up its efforts to decarbonize its supply chain in Bangladesh through PaCT’s advisory services. “At PUMA, we are committed to climate action in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Science-Based Target Initiative. We are not only reducing the carbon footprint from our own operations but more importantly also from our supply chain,” said Veronique Rochet, Senior Head of Sustainability at PUMA.
As Bangladesh is an important sourcing market for us, the PaCT Program helps our supplier factories to optimize their resource consumption and minimize their environmental impact, she added.
PaCT is also expanding its activities through a grant agreement with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to support strengthening the sector’s backward linkages and diversifying products to boost exports.
“The Bangladesh RMG industry needs to find new ways to conduct business to become more resilient and adapt to shifting global demands. Fiber diversification, an online marketplace, and a post-COVID sustainable roadmap for Bangladesh’s RMG industry are very pertinent topics for research at this juncture. We are grateful to IFC for their support in conducting this research which will help the industry to formulate its strategy,” said Mr. Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA.
“IFC’s PaCT program has already delivered impressive results 618,779 metric tons per year of greenhouse gas avoided which is equivalent to removing 134,572 passenger vehicles from the road annually, and water savings of 27,637,931 cubic meters per year which is equivalent to meeting the water needs of 1.5 million Bangladeshis a year”, said Tuyen Nguyen, Asia Regional Lead for Manufacturing Advisory, IFC.
The program works with stakeholders, including five global apparel brands, 381 RMG factories, industry associations, the government, financial institutions, and technology vendors.
“A big lesson from COVID-19 is the need to re-orient the global economy onto a more sustainable path. These agreements will help factories become more climate-conscious and brands to decarbonize their supply chains effectively, contributing to economic recovery and resiliency of the sector,” said Nuzhat Anwar, IFC’s Acting Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
PaCT has also been able to drive climate-related policy reforms and significantly increase awareness of the importance of resource efficiency in the sector, creating opportunities to promote policy enforcement on protocols around pollution and wastewater treatment.
Further decarbonization in the garments sector can contribute to a green recovery from COVID-19, create new jobs, and ultimately help Bangladesh rebuild better.
Søren Asbjørn Albertsen, Sector Counsellor, Embassy of Denmark; Badrul Alam Talukdar, Program Adviser, Embassy of Denmark; Bas Blaauw, First Secretary, Economic Affairs and RMG, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh; BGMEA Directors Asif Ashraf and Tanvir Ahmed; Nishat S. Chowdhury, Program Manager, IFC PaCT.
Also, Tadashi Koyama, Operations Officer to the Partnerships and Multilateral Engagement Department, IFC; Archak Pattanaik, Senior Manager – Supply Chain Sustainability, PUMA; and Vincent Chen, Team head Environment Sustainability, PUMA were present on the occasion.