The Government of Bangladesh set itself ambitious growth and export targets, approx. US$ 50 billion from the textile and garment industry and US$ 5 billion from the leather industry by 2021. Both the government and the textile, garment and leather industries have identified compliance with social and environmental standards as a precondition for sustainable economic growth and competitiveness on the world market. Wet processes in the textile value chain like bleaching, dyeing, finishing, fitting or printing require the input of high volumes of water and chemicals: The chemicals, many of which contain hazardous substances, are often led into surface waters without adequate treatment, leading to substantial health and environmental risks.
Many textiles finishing companies do not have the required knowledge on how to handle hazardous chemicals which are used in their processes, and they are not aware on how to optimise their processes to allow for a sustainable management of chemical substances. This is partly due to that in the producer countries, there are no adequate offers for training and advice that would enable the textile firms to implement sustainable chemicals management. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and international brands jointly work on developing local capacities in Bangladesh to deal with issues like sustainable chemical management in textile sector and ensure access to competent local service providers.
adelphi supported the establishment of a service provider qualification programme on chemical and environmental management which runs in cooperation with local universities.