Washington D.C., United States – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) presented cumulative results of their joint Green Textile City Initiative in Shanghai. Launched in partnership with leading global apparel retailers and fashion brands in 2013, it aimed to scale up sustainability efforts in large textile clusters in Shaoxing and Guangzhou. This sector-level initiative was expanded to Suzhou in 2015.
China produces more than half of the world’s textile fabrics with $267 billion in exports in 2016, but this water-and-energy intensive sector has a large environmental footprint.
The Green Textile City Initiative, under IFC’s China Water Program, provided sector-level capacity building and technical training for over 100 textile mills in the three textile cities. Half of the trained mills implemented resource efficiency projects on their own.
In the Greater Suzhou Area alone, 23 textile mills implemented 138 factory projects last year, saving $8.4 million in water, energy, and chemical operating costs. These projects had an average payback of 17 months and collectively saved 4 million cubic meters of water and 30,000 tons of coal (or its energy equivalent) per year.
“The latest results from the Suzhou program further demonstrate that the Clean by Design best practices can drive significant environmental improvement and cost savings for apparel and textile supply chains,” said Kurt Kipka, NRDC Senior Project Manager.
“This joint initiative with NRDC is a good example of how we can leverage partnerships and expertise of multiple stakeholders to scale up resource efficiency in manufacturing supply chains,” said Navneet Chadha, IFC Resource Efficiency Lead for East Asia and Pacific. “A sustainable textile industry will benefit the private sector while supporting a better environment in China.”
IFC’s China Water Program has been implemented since 2012 to catalyze industrial water efficiency financing in partnership with the Hungarian Export-Import Bank, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.
“We are encouraged to see the strong developmental results this program has achieved in a difficult market and Hungary is happy to have partnered with IFC to support sustainable development in China,” said Mr. Gábor Szõcs, Director for Hungarian Export Import Bank and Private Sector Liaison Officer for Hungary.