The event took place in Dhaka and delved into the implications of the German Due Diligence Supply Chain Act, which Dr Michael Klode, project manager of the programme for Sustainability in the Textile and Leather Sector (STILE) at GIZ, presented in a comprehensive overview.

M. Maksud, president, and Dr. Md. Kamruzzaman, senior vice president of BGCCI, addressed the gathering and Faruque Hassan, president of BGMEA was in attendance as the chief guest.

Promoting responsible business protocols

In a speech, Hassan touched on the need for equipping stakeholders with knowledge of due diligence protocols, enhancing capacity, and promoting transparency to ensure the prosperity of future businesses.

He mentioned BGMEA’s commitment to assisting manufacturers in adapting to new regulations, exemplified by the creation of the ‘Responsible Business Hub.’ This unit, supported by the German development agency GIZ, serves as an information centre, offering training, awareness initiatives, and guidance on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence.

The president also issued a call to action, urging stakeholders, particularly buyers, to consider the cost of compliance and work collaboratively to distribute the burden fairly while ensuring competitiveness. He stressed the importance of harmonising various international legislations to avoid conflicting obligations.

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Sustainable 2030 vision

Hassan outlined Bangladesh’s vision for sustainability, encapsulated in BGMEA’s Sustainability Vision 2030 which contained ambitious targets relating to carbon emissions reduction, sustainable raw material use, responsible groundwater usage, chemical usage, energy consumption, and deforestation mitigation.

BGMEA’s vision places a strong emphasis on inclusive workplace practices, gender equality, and good governance, accompanied by an online data platform to monitor progress.

Hassan believed in the necessity for sustained attention and collaboration among supply chain stakeholders to foster an environment conducive to responsible business practices.

In March, BGMEA and GIZ partnered on a project to strengthen human rights and environmental due diligence in Bangladesh’s RMG sector.