World Bank's IFC promotes better energy, water use in Vietnam textile sector

By Khanh An, Thanh Nien News

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A garment factory in Vietnam. Photo: Reuters A garment factory in Vietnam. Photo: Reuters


Many Vietnamese factories are expected to operate with better energy and water efficiency under a program announced Tuesday by International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.
The program was launched by IFC, in partnership with global apparel and footwear company VF Corporation and consumer products retailer Target Corporation, aiming to improve resource efficiency at their supplier factories in Vietnam.
Under the first phase of this program, energy and water efficiency assessments will be conducted at about 30 factories over the next 12 months.
Assessments will be carried out across the textile value chain, including cut-and-sew, dyeing-and-printing and garment-washing operations.
The program will provide advice for technical solutions to improve energy and water efficiency while helping suppliers increase productivity and competitiveness. In addition, IFC will help facilitate financing through its partner banks in Vietnam.
“With Vietnam’s increasing participation in trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the EU Free Trade Agreement, the local textile sector is poised for faster growth, creating increased demand for sustainable energy and water use practices,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
“Vietnam’s textile enterprises stand to benefit from this IFC program by further access to global markets while implementing resource efficiency best practices.”
Last year, exports of Vietnam’s apparel and footwear sector reached US$39.2 billion and generated approximately three million jobs, most of which are for women.
While this sector is energy and water intensive, there are opportunities for reducing resource consumption by 20 percent or higher by using latest technology and good operating practices, according to IFC.

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