World Bank to help Gap clothing suppliers in Pakistan save water, energy

October 5, 2018

Photo: AFP

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has entered an agreement with the global apparel company Gap Inc. in Pakistan to help save water and energy as it did in Bangladesh last year.

Under the agreement—the first of its kind in Pakistan’s textile industry—IFC’s Advisory Services will assess the use of resources at Gap Inc.’s supplier factories in the country and help them implement efficiency measures to reduce the use of water, energy, chemicals and other resources, a press release said.

The development comes at a time when Pakistan’s energy needs are growing and it faces a water crisis.

Pakistan is the fourth-largest global producer of cotton, the backbone of the country’s exports as 60 percent of its exports are textile related. The sector’s revenues are nearly a tenth of our GDP, but this industry also consumes almost 70 percent of our industrial water, a big drain on our water resources that have already reached a critical level.

The country needs to adopt water conservations techniques to avoid drought. Similarly, the energy starved industry needs to focus on achieving high efficiencies by adopting new technology to save the government funds that go into subsidizing the power sector losses.

The IFC says its recent study found Pakistan’s textiles sector could save nearly 22 percent of its energy consumption and boost productivity by implementing cleaner production practices. The agreement draws extensively on knowledge and best practice from the IFC’s Program for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT), which it successfully implemented in Bangladesh’s textile sector in 2017. The program helped Bangladesh cut its water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the IFC said.

“Reducing the consumption of resources is key to improving efficiency and increasing productivity,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, the country manager for IFC in Pakistan. “We hope to replicate PaCT’s success in Pakistan and demonstrate the importance and benefits of such measures in helping to improve sustainability and mitigate climate change.”