Textile Exchange wants to create material change in Textile and Apparel

RMG Times
বৃহস্পতিবার, জানুয়ারি ২৫, ২০১৮
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Washim Mia, Staff Correspondent: Textile Exchange, a global non-profit company that promotes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks, wants to create material change in Textile and Apparel. It supports and has incorporated the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (#GlobalGoals), officially known as Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, into its strategy. The Goals represent 17 aspiring global goals to end poverty, protect the environment, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. The Goals provide a framework and targets for the textile industry to address a number of global issues impacting its value chain.

Throughout its work over the years, Textile Exchange has supported the three dimensions (environmental, social and economic) of Sustainable Development. In addition to its work in promoting more sustainable agricultural practices and preferred fibers, Textile Exchange published Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through Organic Cotton (2016). This was followed by its inclusion of certain Global Goal 12 indicators in its Preferred Fiber & Materials Benchmark (2017). Textile Exchange also launched an SDG Action Roundtable in 2017 which will support and help direct its work in support of the Global Goals through 2030. In October 2017, Textile Exchange devoted a substantial portion of its annual conference themed “United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles” to the Global Goals in which certain key sessions have been included.

According to Textile Exchange website, the Sustainable Development Goals — colloquially known as The Global Goals or the SDGs is an inter-governmental agreement of the United Nations and 193 countries. The SDGs provide a framework to be implemented by “all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership” around a set of 17 specific, aspiring goals that address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. With 169 targets to be met by the year 2030, and over 232 indicators for measuring progress, The Global Goals were designed to stimulate action in the following areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. In addition, the themes covered by The Global Goals which include poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, equality, sanitation, decent work, and production that all reflect current challenges and risks the textile value chain is facing.

The themes covered by the Global Goals—poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, equality, sanitation, decent work to name a few—all reflect issues that not only impact quality of life, security and fundamental human rights across the globe, but also directly impact the apparel and textile value network, increasingly underscore the urgency to advance many of the themes identified by the Global Goals. According to the recently published Global Risks Report 2018, published by the World Economic Forum, environmental risks continue to dominate the risk landscape in 2018. The Report confirms last year’s trend and identifies “numerous areas where we are pushing systems to the brink, from extinction-level rates of biodiversity loss to mounting concerns about the possibility of new wars.” The top 5 global risks, based on likelihood of occurrence cited in the report, include extreme weather events, natural disasters and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. These same risks are also ranked in the top 5 global risks by impact along with the addition of the risk of water crisis.

Aon’s Global Risk Management Survey 2017, which identifies the top ten risks facing the textile sector, identifies damage to reputation, brand and corporate social responsibility and sustainability as top risks.

Aon has identified linkages to economic, environmental and social factors such as climate change, which directly correlate to the themes underlying Global Goals. One example is that corporate social responsibility and sustainability risk can arise from environmental risk, climate change and natural resource scarcity and/or availability of raw materials.

A report is issued annually by the Secretary General during the UN’s High-level Political Forum (HLPF), the platform that reviews progress on The Global Goals by Member States and the UN’s specialized agencies. While the latest report notes that there has been some progress towards achieving the goals, the current pace of progress will not achieve them by 2030. It is, therefore, incumbent on the private sector to fulfill its role in partnership with other global actors.