The country’s readymade garment factories faced difficulties in performing a number of crucial activities due to lack of sustainability management tools during the COVID-19 outbreak, said a study report on Bangladesh national priority indicators and Sustainable Development Goals.
The report titled ‘A Pathway to Manage Private Sector Impact’ said that 27 per cent of surveyed factories needed to reallocate resources from existing sustainability practices to fight against COVID-19 which resulted in an inability to carry out security awareness training on a regular basis, adjust salaries and compensations, undertake capacity development trainings and maintain regular operations of production process.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Reporting Initiative jointly conducted the study at 47 RMG factories in Bangladesh.
The report was unveiled at a virtual event on Sunday.
According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the lack of sustainability management tools at RMG factories to combat disruptions in the supply chain, but it also provided an opportunity to reflect and plan for future actions.
The RMG factories in Bangladesh had failed to resolve the challenges in a systemic manner as the sector had no Standard Operating Procedures prior to the pandemic to deal with the value chain disruption, it said.
‘The understanding of sustainability language, impacts, risks and opportunities is not yet mainstreamed across factories and the factory management. This creates challenges in strengthening the quantity and quality of sustainability data available,’ the study report said.
The 47 surveyed RMG factories were awarded at the event for their contributions to the country’s NPIs and SDG targets.
The data showed that all participating factories had an environment management system and 42 per cent of the factories had set measurable goals to reduce energy, waste, and resource consumption by 2 to 15 per cent in the next three years.
It also showed that 34 per cent of the factories had either a ‘reuse’ or ‘recycle’ waste practice and in the past three years, they had reduced their plastic consumption by an average of 30 per cent.
SDG affairs principle coordinator of the Prime Minister’s Office Zuena Aziz, Economic Relations Division secretary Fatima Yasmin, UNDP resident representative for Bangladesh Sudipto Mukerjee and BGMEA president Rubana Huq, among others, spoke at the event.
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