Business Business

12/05/2022 - 08:24

"Greenifying" the textile industry

"Greenifying" the textile and garment industry is a global trend that businesses are forced to implement to achieve sustainable development goals and increase exports to major markets.

Production of textiles and garments in Phu Da Industrial Park

Complying with the criteria

The textile and garment industry is considered one of the important industries as the number of enterprises is large, the export turnover is big and the growth rate is stable.

In Thua Thien Hue, there are more than 60 factories producing textiles and garments, contributing about 70% of the province's export turnover and creating jobs for 23,000 workers. However, besides the positive aspects, the textile and garment industry has a strong impact on the environment by using a lot of water resources, discharging pollutants, and using a lot of energy and fuels such as electricity, coal, and oil,… for heating in production.

Son Ha Hue One Member Trading Company is a textile and garment enterprise that always focuses on the criteria of "greenification" in production. Since its establishment, the enterprise has invested in a wastewater treatment plant with quarterly parameter checks to ensure that hazardous wastes are not discharged into the environment.

The company also invited the Central Institute of Occupational Safety, Health, and Environmental Protection to assess noise, smoke, CO2, NH3 levels to ensure a safe working environment for its 1,400 employees. Modern and eco-friendly equipment to save energy, fuel, raw materials, and auxiliary materials is also put into the production process.

According to the company's union president, Mr. Le Van Khanh, with the "greenification" program, on the one hand, the company always has to follow the trends of the world, on the other hand, it is also pressured by the import customers themselves, when they ask for standards on green factories, working environment for employees, reduction of polluting emissions, and reduction of hazardous wastes...

Currently, the entire factory system of the company can ensure the requirements of customers. However, in addition to the green factory element, another factor that must be mentioned is green materials. Currently, many customers require the use of materials of natural origin and recycled materials so as not to exploit many resources and after 5-10 years of use, they can decompose by themselves. This is the goal that many businesses are focusing on implementing in the near future.

Most enterprises in the supply chain of the textile and garment industry that process for major brands in the world have received the requirements of "greenification" in production, such as implementing social and environmental responsibilities and reducing emissions… These are also criteria to evaluate competitiveness when participating in international supply chains, but they are the biggest barrier today for businesses because they have to spend large investments in machinery and technology.

According to Deputy General Director of Phu Hoa An Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company, Mr. Ho Nam Nhat, more than 100 fashion apparel brands in the world have set standards and codes of environmentally responsible behavior for providers. Therefore, it is required that Vietnamese garment enterprises supplying and processing for these brands carry out production in the direction of "greenification" effectively and profitably.

Accordingly, the factory must save energy and water; use environmentally friendly and safe materials; train high-quality human resources and look after the well-being of workers. The factory's activities are closely tied to the responsibility for the environment and society…

Mr. Nhat said that compliance with the brand's rules on social and environmental responsibility is one of the basic and fundamental requirements that factories participating in the supply chain must commit to. At the same time, the prestige and brand names of enterprises will be recognized and can receive support from international brands and organizations.

To increase exports

Currently, brands around the world evaluate their sustainable development on the basis of enterprises' compliance with the environment, society, and responsibility to global employees and consumers when their products are introduced and consumed in the international and domestic markets. In the new generation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), there are commitments to environmental protection and low emissions.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses to invest in modern production technology, increase the competitiveness of products when exporting, and at the same time increase the prestige and brand reputation of the textile and garment industry to consumers.

Therefore, "greenification" of the textile and garment industry is a global trend that enterprises must implement to achieve sustainable development goals and increase exports to major markets that have signed FTAs; in which, investments must be on advancing technology, building wastewater treatment systems, using clean fuels, training laborers...

According to the General Director of Hue Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company, Mr. Nguyen Van Phong, greenifying the textile industry, improving production technology, and reducing energy use to match the global business environment is a way for businesses to improve their competitiveness in the international market and at the same time to increase large orders.

In order to achieve the above goal, in addition to investing in modern technology, gradually replacing outdated equipment that consumes a lot of electricity and labor and affects the surrounding environment, enterprises should continue to deploy solutions for cost management, including the cost of materials and spare parts, packaging, electricity consumption, and raw material consumption to contribute to improving production efficiency. At the same time, enterprises need to continue to implement and perfect 5S procedures (screening-sàng lọc, arranging-sắp xếp, cleaning-sạch sẽ, caring-săn sóc and ready-sẵn sàng), strictly implementing regulations on occupational safety and health.

According to the leader of the Management Board of the Provincial Economic and Industrial Zone, with more than 60 textile and garment factories operating in the area, creating jobs for 23,000 workers, the issue of "greenification" of the textile and garment industry plays an important role. Therefore, the Board regularly appraises environmental protection criteria for projects in economic zones and industrial zones. The Provincial People's Committee strictly regulates wastewater treatment into the environment, in order to protect the surrounding environment, as well as help businesses meet the requirements of partners.

In particular, for companies in operation that have not yet invested in wastewater treatment systems, according to Column A discharge criteria, investment is required. For new companies, it is mandatory to invest in Column A wastewater treatment system and cultural institutions, housing for workers...

The Vietnam Textile and Garment Association has set a goal of "greenification" that by 2023, energy consumption will be reduced by 15%, water consumption by 20%; by 2030, "greenifying" Vietnam's textile and garment industry, and at the same time building 30 international brands.

Story and photo: Thanh Huong

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