Advancing Internet-based Competence Development in Sound Chemicals Management

The various production steps in textile and footwear supply chains involve the use of a wide range of potentially hazardous chemicals. Where these cannot be avoided or replaced altogether by less harmful alternatives, special attention to selection and safe handling is required. Chemicals management is thus one of the key prerequisites for sustainable supply chain management. This requires adequate knowledge and skills in the establishment and application of appropriate chemicals management systems as well strategies and good practices for chemicals risk management.

As part of the regional initiative for promoting sustainability in the textile and garment industry in Asia (FABRIC), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), together with its partners in some of the important textile, garment and footwear manufacturing countries in Asia, supports joint efforts to improve the necessary competences of workers and management in sustainable work practices. To date, the GIZ has developed and launched its own training programmes and toolkits for chemicals management. It also works closely with other initiatives. Against the background of the Sars-CoV 2 pandemic and the associated restrictions, there is a particular need to adapt competence development approaches to meet changed conditions.

Together with the Distance Learning Institute at Beuth University for Applied Science in Berlin, adelphi supported the FABRIC initiative in developing and introducing a web-based training programme for sustainable chemicals management, primarily aimed at employees in the textile and shoe manufacturing sector. A self-learning course formed the core element of the concept, which was combined with additional blended learning elements at a local level in the production countries. As part of the process, local service providers such as trainers and consultants in the FABRIC target countries received special training to integrate these web-based training elements into their own initiatives and services. In order to ensure that the course content and teaching concepts were closely aligned with the needs of the target groups, a peer review and advisory group, consisting of representatives of the textile and footwear industry, local industry associations, service providers and brands, worked closely together with the expert team. The self-learning course was open to all interested parties.