Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world. Apparel exports account for 80% of the country’s exports.

Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world. Apparel exports account for 80% of the country’s exports.

The second phase of an initiative to adopt state-of-the-art efficiency and cleaner production practices in Bangladesh's textile value chain has expanded its scope from spinning to the final finished product – and is eyeing savings of 10.9bn litres of water and 1.3m megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy every year.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) also says the next phase of its Partnership for Clean Textile (PaCT) – PaCTII – in Bangladesh will avoid the use of 241,160 tonnes of green-house gases and 10,000 tonnes of chemicals each year.

The programme is aimed at reducing water, energy and chemical use and reducing environmental impacts at more than 200 manufacturing operations in Bangladesh. Its first edition ran from 2013 to 2017 and helped generate savings of 21.6bn litres of water a year (the average annual water use for 840,000 people in Bangladesh) and 2.5m MWh of energy annually (equivalent to 5.4% of total national grid output of Bangladesh in 2015-16). 

The second phase, which kicked off in January 2018, has seen five organisations get on board including VF Corp, Puma, Levi Strauss & Co, Tesco and Gap Inc. Jeanologia and Omera Solar have joined as technology providers, while the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is a long-term partner for the campaign.

Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world, next only to China, according to the World Trade Organization. Apparel exports account for 80% of the country's exports and 12% of its gross domestic product. 

"In Bangladesh, the textile manufacturing sector remains a strategic area of focus for IFC. Our advisory program, PaCT, has made a significant impact on changing the landscape of the sector through greater awareness of resource efficiency, and better adoption of efficient technologies and manufacturing processes. We are working towards creating markets for greener investments," says Rana Karadsheh, IFC director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services for Asia.

Miran Ali, director of BGMEA, adds: "The BGMEA is happy to be a partner of IFC. We are proud to say that Bangladesh not only has the most transparent garment industry, it is also one of the most sustainable garment industries in the world."