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WWF, business group seek to green textile industry

Update: October, 29/2018 - 09:00
A project to make the textile industry more environment-friendly has been launched in Hà Nội by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association.— Photo

HCM City — A project to make the textile industry more environment-friendly has been launched in Hà Nội by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association.

“Greening Việt Nam’s textile sector through improving water management and energy sustainability” will engage multiple players in the sector to promote better river basin governance and contribute to water quality improvement and sustainable energy use.

It is part of the “Driving impact reduction through the textiles value chain” project sponsored by HSBC to support the green textile industry in China, Bangladesh, India, and Việt Nam.

The textile and apparel industry is one of Việt Nam’s most economically important sectors. It contributes 15 per cent of exports and has seen a steady annual growth rate of 12 per cent since 2010.

With 6,000 factories nation-wide and employing three million people, the sector is not only economically but also socially important for Việt Nam.

But the sector also causes environmental impacts.

Intensive water extraction, use and discharge of wastewater and high energy consumption for water heating and steam generation mean that the industry can have significant impacts on water resources and greenhouse gas emissions.

As it continues to expand, changes in practice will be required to reduce impacts and adapt to changing conditions. The UN predicts that a 40 per cent water shortage globally by 2030.

“Việt Nam is the fifth largest exporter of apparel in the world, but our industry is more famous for low-cost production with limited environmental standards and we must change now,” Vũ Đức Giang, chairman of VITAS, said.

“That is why this project is so important and timely.”

The project will be implemented from 2018 to 2020 with a vision to transform the textile-apparel sector in Việt Nam.

It will achieve this through engaging the industry and influencing environmental governance in order to bring social, economic and conservation benefits to the country.

Geographically, the project will focus on the Mekong and Đồng Nai deltas where more than half of Việt Nam’s apparel factories are located.

The main focus of the project is to improve water and energy sustainability in the sector, thus reducing its impacts on the environment.

It will also work with textile–apparel manufacturers to encourage them to be more active river stewards, practise sustainable energy planning and discuss collective actions for long-term sustainable investments and development in the sector.

One important target of the project is to influence Vietnamese textile investors to implement more sustainable practices.

Key stakeholders in the project include international brands with suppliers in Việt Nam, factories around the country, in particular in the Mekong and Đồng Nai deltas in areas around HCM City, financial institutions, development partners, and other relevant stakeholders.

HSBC has long been involved in supporting the conservation of water globally through the HSBC Water Programme, an eight-year, US$150 million project started in 2012. — VNS

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