The Bangladesh wind project, still in its early stages, was announced at COP28 today (5 December) as a collaborative effort involving fashion groups Bestseller, H&M Group and GFA partnering with the renewable sector’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), and local partner Summit Power.

This endeavour envisions energy generated by near-shore wind turbines feeding into Bangladesh’s electricity grid, thereby supplying companies with a sustainable source of power. The wind farm, if approved, is anticipated to commence operations in 2028.

The potential approval of the wind project is said to mark a huge milestone, as it would be the “first large-scale offshore wind park in Bangladesh” claiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 725,000 tonnes annually.

With a capacity of around 500 MW, the project is said to align with Bangladesh’s goal of achieving energy independence from fossil fuels, contributing to job creation, and enhancing energy stability.

CIP will work closely with Bangladesh authorities and other strategic partners to progress the project through necessary analyses and environmental tests.

Bestseller’s financial commitment of $100m towards the wind project is part of the total project investment scheme.

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By GlobalData

Niels Holst, partner and co-head of the growth markets fund at CIP said: “With Bestseller, we get backing for our ambitions in Bangladesh from one of the largest and most reputable companies in the fashion industry.”

The move comes as a response to the escalating need for a robust green energy infrastructure, especially in regions with a significant presence of international fashion companies.

GFA has advocated the need for collective investments of fashion brands to secure large-scale, cost-effective supply of renewable energy in manufacturing countries, and now calls for other fashion brands to co-invest in the wind plant and potentially future energy projects in manufacturing countries.

Thomas Tochtermann, chairman of GFA commented: “Renewable energy availability is a necessity if we are to truly transform the emissions trajectory of the fashion industry, and collective action is essential to realising this.”

Anders Holch Povlsen, CEO and owner of Bestseller acknowledged the challenges of reducing indirect emissions in not only Bestsellers but the entire global fashion industry’s value chain and added:

“It is important to acknowledge that we still have a long journey ahead of us and that there are many necessary and important steps to take. One of them is to invest significantly and ambitiously in Bangladesh, as we are doing now.”

Bestseller says it is actively engaged in working with its suppliers to establish reduction targets and facilitate transitions to renewable energy sources and noted that in 2022 it facilitated the installation of solar panels at its textile manufacturers in Bangladesh.

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