Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) organized a brand members’ forum meeting in Dhaka on 7 February 2024. The discussion focused on just transition, green energy, and environmental sustainability in the RMG industry.
16 representatives from 14 ETI member brands participated in the event along with ETI UK and ETI Bangladesh staff members. Discussions centered around the findings of a new ETI research titled “Climate Change, Just Transition, and Environment Sustainability: A Study on The Perception of Stakeholders”. The report was launched just before this meeting.
Key findings from the report revealed knowledge gaps around the concept of "just transition" to environmental sustainability. Brand representatives had varying reactions, with some citing existing sustainability efforts and others calling for more training and alignment.
Some insights from the participants included, a Bangladesh-specific definition of just transition should be developed, beyond adopting global terminology; While we see brands global teams are aware and engaged, awareness and engagement of national level and regional level is important; Knowledge building and sharing on energy transition is critical as a first step; ETI can include climate & environment in their base code; Factories and brands are taking actions like installing solar panels and rainwater harvesting, but more collective solutions involving workers are needed.
The ETI UK Collective Action Team presented the ETI collective action strategies and approach. They did so by providing an outline of ETI's goal, which is to advocate for worker rights through cooperation and innovation. The collective action pathway specifically aims to address systemic industry-level issues. They also outlined ETI initiatives to work with apparel and textile members to strengthen workers' rights and business resilience.