The export association AEPC said on Monday it was promoting sustainable manufacturing practices such as the use of green technologies to reduce carbon emissions in various apparel clusters in the country to boost exports. The Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) is conducting a series of consultations with all stakeholders including brands, associations and industry on this issue.
The Council educates the industry on the adoption of sustainability practices, such as ways to promote water and energy conservation, wastewater management and chemical management, carbon emissions monitoring and green building certification.
The measure gains momentum as the European Union (EU), a major export destination of India, decided to impose a carbon tax on imported goods if their manufacturing process involves environmentally harmful practices.
The EU accounts for about 18 percent of the country’s total exports.
In a statement, AEPC said it initiated AISA (Apparel Industry Sustainability Action) to encourage such manufacturing practices.
The council held “roadshows in the country’s top five garment clusters in Tirupur, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Delhi-NCR (Gurugram) from May 5 to 12,” it said.
AEPC Chairman Naren Goenka said the aim of these roadshows is to map the existing sustainability status across all clusters and allow them to showcase their sustainability actions to renowned brands, documenting the best stories across India to present to global buyers and brands .
“The insights from the roadshows will help us to engage in a policy dialogue with the government on appropriate policy interventions to support MSMEs so that they are better prepared for the changing scenario,” he said.
Sudhir Sekhri, vice chairman of AEPC, said global garment production is expected to increase by 63 percent by 2030, with the Indian garment industry making a major contribution.
“This spectacular growth brings with it an ever-growing global concern about the detrimental impact of this fashion industry on the environment,” said Sekhri. He added that the transition to a green environment has become the top priority for the EU.
The European Commission’s climate change strategy focuses on making Europe a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
“We’re trying to empower the industry and raise awareness about sustainability through these roadshows, which is no longer a choice for us,” Sekhri said.
AEPC has partnered with the Brands and Sourcing Leaders Association (BSL) for this initiative, which seeks to recognize companies that have made progress in the area of sustainability.
Mithileshwar Thakur, AEPC secretary-general, said sustainability is a “serious” issue that industry can only ignore at its peril.