New Safety Effort Launched for Bangladesh Mills

Huntsman Textile Effects and GIZ GmbH are joining forces to raise industry standards in the management of chemicals by textile mills in Bangladesh.

Huntsman Textile Effects, a global provider of dyes and textile chemicals, and GIZ GmbH, a German federal agency that promotes sustainable development around the world, are joining forces to raise industry standards in the management of chemicals by textile mills in Bangladesh.

Ten mills have so far signed up to participate in the GIZ Chemical Environmental Management for Competitiveness Program. The cooperation was formalized Monday with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Huntsman Textile Effects and the Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards, a textile industry initiative jointly developed by the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, and implemented by GIZ.

The GIZ program will include managerial and technical training, audit and consultancy services and implementation support from local and international environmental management system experts from GIZ and Huntsman. Working closely with the local textile sector, the two partners will support the development of industrywide chemical management, or CM, best practices in Bangladesh and accelerate the adoption of these practices, with the ultimate aim of supporting the industry’s environmental and economic sustainability.

Bangladesh has seen two major factory disasters in the last 19 months that have resulted in more than 1,200 workers perishing, turning the spotlight on safety standards in its manufacturing sector.

Peter Gregory, brand and retail marketing director of Huntsman, said, “Huntsman Textile Effects has a long-established presence in Bangladesh. As a global leader in the transition to a more sustainable textiles sector, we are pleased to join hands with GIZ in Bangladesh to help local factories optimize their production efficiency and environmental compliance, while also building local competence to enable continued adoption. Our international staff will also receive training from GIZ on its CM toolkit so that we can extend our efforts to factories in other countries as well.”

The cooperation with GIZ is part of Huntsman Textile Effects’ commitment to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals program, a global initiative of 18 leading apparel and footwear brands and retailers intended to eliminate hazardous chemicals from textile production by 2020. Based in Singapore, Huntsman, which has a comprehensive sustainability program, sells into more than 90 countries, with seven primary manufacturing facilities in six countries. Its parent company, Huntsman Corp., is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with 2013 revenues of more than $11 billion.