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IFC and VF Corporation to Grow Sustainability in Bangladesh’s Textile Sector

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Area of Dhaka, the Capital of Bangladesh

VF Corp. and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are working together to make Bangladesh’s textile wet processing sector more sustainable.

The apparel giant and the financial institution will reduce energy use and excessive groundwater extraction, as well as minimize surface water pollution, through IFC’s Bangladesh Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) program, Dhaka Tribune reported.

“Water is a key input in the textile sector and large quantities are consumed in the direct operations and supply chain,” said Mohan Seneviratne, IFC Program Manager for PaCT . “Current groundwater abstraction rates in Bangladesh are close to their limit and growth projection of $50 billion by 2021 can only be achieved with the development of sustainable water supplies, effluent treatment facilities and resource efficient practices.”

VF will be the 13th brand to join PaCT’s family. Since its establishment, the program has contributed 14.4 billion liters and 1.23 million megawatt hours annually to water and energy conservation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 188,000 tonnes per year and also facilitated yearly savings worth $10 million in 162 partner factories.

“Resource efficiency is a core facet of VF’s responsible sourcing program,” said Brad van Voorhees, senior manager of VF’s environmental practices and sustainable operations. “Through investments and continuous support from VF, we aim to assist our strategic suppliers in reducing their water, energy, waste, and chemical use, while simultaneously reducing the cost of production.”

Currently, IFC is providing advisory assistance and collaborating with other stakeholders in Bangladesh, to help the nation’s garment sector become more competitive and safer for all employees. To further both goals, PaCT will work with VF’s supplier factories in awareness building, basic cleaner production (CP) assessment and in-depth CP assessment.

The partnership will also provide factory-level assistance with CP measures, assessment of resource efficient textile processing and bring new sustainable water technologies to textile facilities in Bangladesh.

To date, IFC has contributed greatly to a greener textile sector in Bangladesh. For the fiscal year ended June 30, IFC invested $635 million in Bangladesh across 13 projects, to enhance the nation’s sustainable growth and private sector development.

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