A tool designed to monitor the use of resources such as water and energy in Bangladesh garment factories has been launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The PaCT Portal is a web tool and comes as the IFC-led Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT II) enters its third year with eight partners working to reduce the environmental impact of the export-oriented sector.

Bangladesh is the second-largest apparel exporter in the world, next only to China, the IFC says, citing the World Trade Organization (WTO), with apparel accounting for more than 80% of the country’s exports.

The data-driven monitoring software will provide real-time analytics for readymade garment factories, helping them in their efforts to improve the use of resources.  

“The textile industry in Bangladesh continues to be a priority for IFC,” says Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. “Through programmes like PaCT, we hope to contribute towards improving sector competitiveness by promoting resource efficiency through innovative ways and evolving with global trends.”

The portal was introduced at an event in Dhaka today (12 February) where panel discussions focused on issues such as low-carbon opportunities in the textile industry. Panelists also highlighted how emerging consumer behaviour and choice are now shaping the global apparel market.

Supported by Denmark, Australia, and the Netherlands, PaCT’s multi-stakeholder partnership has already helped the industry save 25bn litres of water and 2.5m megawatt-hours of energy annually, IFC says. Launched in 2018, PaCT II works with 132 factories to adopt state-of-the-art efficiency and reduce water, energy, and chemical use to meet global standards.

“This monitoring tool will work as an analytical information exchange platform to help with users’ decision-making regarding water and energy consumption,” says Nishat Chowdhury, programme manager for PaCT. “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.”

Five clothing companies – VF Corp, Puma, Levi Strauss & Co, Tesco, and Gap Inc – have so far partnered with the PaCT programme. Jeanologia, Radiant Alliance, and EMKAY are the technology providers, while the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the implementing partner.

Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA), adds: “The industry has saved a huge amount of water and energy through the collaborative partnership with PaCT. 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.”