An international “Environment Forum” has been organized as part of the GIZ Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garment Sector in Asia (SLSG) project together with the Pakistan German Textile Cluster. The event was held on 28-29 November 2018 in Lahore, Pakistan with 120 participants in total and targeted decision makers and experts from government bodies, producers and producing associations, international brands as well as representatives from civil society and international organisations who discussed challenges and solutions of environmental sustainability in the textile and garment production.
The event focused in the environmental challenges triggered by the growth of the textile and garment industry, such as increased demand for raw materials, depletion of natural resources and pollution, especially of water bodies.
The forum overall focused on environmental sustainability, especially regarding energy, water and chemical management. During the conference, representatives from Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Consulting Service International (CSI) and GIZ, among others, provided valuable insights for improving industry’s sustainability. The key topics mainly covered Best Available Techniques (BAT), wastewater standards, sequence of interventions to implement environmental standards, resource efficiency measures and reducing carbon footprint. A panel discussion on challenges of sustainable production and need of capacity development engaged participants from Oekotex, Ambition Apparel from Pakistan, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA). Speakers from Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemical (ZDHC) and SQ Group also shared beneficial inputs to promote sustainable production.
During the second day, the conference participants split up into three groups, based on participants main interests, into parallel sessions on topics such as opportunities of the use of renewable energy, solutions for sustainable chemical and environmental management as well as water efficiency, each run by different experts.
The two-day conference was followed by a chemical management training workshop organized by Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.