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New Tool to Help Textile Industry Reduce Water Consumption

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Norway’s DNV GL on Monday launched a new tool to help the textile industry manage water consumption in a more sustainable manner.

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population, a number that’s projected to rise, UNIDO noted. While about 2.5% of the world’s water is freshwater, only 0.5% of that amount is made available to satisfy society’s needs.

Water is also an important resource in manufacturing processes, especially in the textile sector. Reducing water consumption by establishing sustainable production processes can therefore be an advantage for companies and the communities in which they operate. This is widely reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that aim, among other things, to ensure sustainable production by companies and water access for all by 2030.

DNV GL and UNIDO have jointly developed a self-assessment tool to assist textile companies in evaluating the water footprint in manufacturing processes. This will help them make more informed decisions about how to manage water consumption in their supply chains.

“The textile processing industry is heavily dependent on water in virtually all steps of the production process, from de-sizing to bleaching and dyeing. It has one of the most extensive water footprints of all sectors,” said Smail Alhilali, industrial development officer and manager of the Global Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) program at UNIDO. “That’s why we have developed this tool, which is a measure for textile companies to obtain a better understanding of their resource efficiency and insight into where they can reduce consumption.”

[Read more about industry water conservation: Will the Apparel Industry Actually be Able to Improve Water Sustainability?]

Antonio Astone, global sustainability manager at DNV GL – Business Assurance, said, “DNV GL and UNIDO have a common interest in combating water scarcity and improving industry awareness of water-related risks and opportunities. This is an area where companies have a significant potential for improvement and we are pleased to use our combined expertise to help industries assess and reduce their water footprint.”

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RECP, supporting organizations in more than 60 developing countries, will facilitate the use of the tool, which primarily targets small and medium-sized companies. It will guide companies on the use of the tool and interpretation of results. The tool is available at

DNV GL, headquartered in Oslo, enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business by providing classification, technical assurance, software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries. It also provides certification services to customers across a wide range of industries.

Combining leading technical and operational expertise, risk methodology and in-depth industry knowledge, DNV GL continuously invests in research and collaborative innovation to provide customers and society with operational and technological foresight. Operating in more than 100 countries, the company is dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development, including globalization and environmental sustainability, in order to reduce poverty. UNIDO works to improve the quality of life of the world’s poor by drawing on its combined global resources and expertise, as well as by fostering partnerships with the private sector to enhance the productive capacities of small and medium-sized industries, build trade capacities and promote renewable energy solutions.