A new web tool is poised to help Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector improve its use of resources such as water and energy.
Launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at a Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) meeting in Dhaka last week, the new PaCT Portal will leverage data-driven monitoring and real-time analytics to help garment factories make more informed decisions about water and energy consumption, and, in turn, result in greater efficiency and savings.
“It can play a big role in leading the industry towards sustainability and achieve results that are right for the industry, the planet and our future generation,” Nishat Chowdhury, program manager for PaCT, said in a statement.
Bangladesh’s $30 billion clothing sector accounts for 80 percent of its export earnings and 16 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. It’s the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, and employs roughly 3.5 million workers in 4,800 factories.
PaCT says its multi-stakeholder partnership, which boasts support from Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands, has to date helped the industry save 25 billion liters of water and 2.5 million megawatt-hours of energy a year.
“The textile industry in Bangladesh continues to be a priority for IFC,” said Wendy Werner, country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, at IFC, which is the private-sector arm of the World Bank. “Through programs like PaCT, we hope to contribute towards improving sector competitiveness by promoting resource efficiency through innovative ways and evolving with global trends.”
Five leading brands and retailers—Gap Inc., Levi Strauss, Puma, Tesco and VF Corp.—have partnered with PaCT to adopt the tool, along with Jeanologia, Radiant Alliance and Emkay, which will serve as technology providers. PaCT also named the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the country’s trade union for factory owners, as its implementing partner.
“The industry has saved a huge amount of water and energy through the collaborative partnership with PaCT,” Rubana Huq, president of BGMEA, said in a video message at the meeting. “We would like to think and shape tomorrow for the better and we can only do that by being the best of partners in the days to come.”