Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) hosted a webinar on “Promoting Just Transition, Green Energy, and Environmental Sustainability in the Bangladesh RMG Industry” on 29 November. The event brought together participants from 86 factories to discuss issues facing the RMG sector of Bangladesh.
ETI presented several initiatives aimed at building capacity around sustainability within factories, conducting research, and facilitating dialogue between stakeholders.
Audience polls during the webinar revealed opinions on the importance of climate change, green energy, and environmental sustainability for Bangladesh's ready-made garment (RMG) industry. Questions explored the relationship between workers' rights, livelihoods and energy & climate issues, as well as possible impacts on workers from uncontrolled climate change. Polls showed participants believe addressing climate and energy concerns is critical for the RMG industry's competitiveness and worker wellbeing, with failure to mitigate climate change likely to increase costs and health/safety risks.
Speakers from RMG factories discussed challenges like energy and water consumption, as well as opportunities in meeting rising eco-friendly consumer demand. They outlined sustainability initiatives already underway at their factories, including installing solar panels, LED lighting, and water conservation systems.
However, speakers acknowledged the need to scale best practices across the industry, which will require multi-stakeholder collaboration. ETI highlighted its role in convening stakeholders and providing research to support the RMG sector's sustainability transition.
After thanking everyone, ETI wrapped up the webinar. With the hope that the discussion would encourage thoughts among attendees about environmental sustainability, green energy, and just transition in the Bangladesh RMG industry.