Despite the challenges of COVID-19, local apparel and textile suppliers have cut energy and water consumption through a range of sustainable solutions under an IFC programme which aims to increase resource efficiency and reduce operating costs, according to a press release AKP received this afternoon.

As part of the IFC’s Cambodia Improvement Programme, ten suppliers with cut-and-sew and garment-washing operations implemented resource efficiency measures in 2019 and 2020, saving energy and water consumption by 18 percent and 29 percent respectively. It’s a move which helps boost productivity while supporting the country’s climate goals.

Over a period of 22 months, the participating manufacturers implemented a combination of low-cost and more complex resource efficiency initiatives, such as preventive measures to avoid steam loss or using highly efficient washing systems. Given the pandemic, so far about 60 percent of the recommendations have been implemented. Once fully adopted, the interventions could collectively reduce the annual consumption of energy by 29 percent, water by 44 percent, and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent as compared with the numbers in 2018.

Cambodia’s garment industry employs over 750,000 workers—mostly women—contributing to more than a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). With US$11.3 billion in garment export in 2021, the sector continues to be the largest exporter for the country. However, high energy costs and poor productivity impact Cambodia’s competitiveness in the region.

High energy costs and poor productivity have impacted the competitiveness of Cambodia’s garment industry, said Rana Karadsheh-Haddad, IFC Asia Pacific Regional Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services.

Rana Karadsheh-Haddad said it’s why IFC has been supporting the greening of global textile value chains at the local level to promote sustainable private sector growth and improve the competitiveness of local manufacturers. Building on these positive results, IFC will leverage its partnerships with leading global brands to drive sustainability in Cambodia’s garment sector, boost the recovery and build resilience.

Local suppliers with better sustainability performance will get pricing incentives from IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF) programme, which provides short-term financing to suppliers exporting to international buyers, by discounting invoices once they are approved by the buyer. In 2021, GTSF programme provided US$276 million to Cambodian suppliers.

IFC’s Cambodia Improvement Programme (CIP) has been implemented since 2019 with support from Korea’s Ministry of Economic and Finance. The aim is to increase competitiveness, productivity, and sustainable growth of the garment sector, contributing to the achievement of Cambodia’s national target of 40 percent reduction in its GHG by 2030. CIP is part of IFC’s broader effort to decarbonise manufacturing industries across Asia through sharing knowledge and expertise on resource efficiency, renewable energy, and the circular economy. IFC has implemented similar programmes in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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