(PHOTO / VIET NAM NEWS / ANN)
HANOI — The garment and textile industry was one of the country's key export industries, but also produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The statement was made by Truong Van Cam, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), at a meeting held in Hanoi on Tuesday.
According to Truong, the industry gained US$31.7 billion and US$36 billion in export turnover in 2017 and 2018, respectively. This year, the industry has set a target of US$40 billion in export turnover.
Global customers are aiming for environmental sustainability which has made many world famous brands change their production methods. If the textile sector does not change its production method right now, Vietnam will lose its competitiveness and opportunities
Hoang Viet, Manager of WWF’s Sustainable Development Program
However, it also has high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This field is facing a number of social and environmental issues, affecting the reputation of the textile industry, Cam added.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and VITAS have coordinated and implemented the “Greening Vietnam’s Textile Sector Through Improving Water Management and Energy Sustainability” since October 2018.
The project aims to transform Vietnam's textile and apparel industry from a low-cost manufacturing and low environmental standard industry to a sustainable, environmentally responsible manufacturing industry.
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The project has a vision to transform the textile-apparel sector in Vietnam. It will achieve this by engaging the industry and influencing environmental governance in order to bring social, economic and conservation benefits to the country.
Hoang Viet, manager of WWF’s Sustainable Development Program, said global customers are aiming for environmental sustainability which has made many world famous brands change their production methods; in particular, enhancing environmental and social standards.
Therefore, if the textile sector does not change its production method right now, Vietnam will lose its competitiveness and opportunities, Hoang said.
In fact, the textile industry can cause the most environmental impacts today. Intensive water extraction, use and discharge of wastewater and high energy consumption for water heating and steam generation can have significant impacts on water resources and greenhouse gas emissions.
Factories and industrial parks still face many difficulties in meeting the national standards for water discharge due to various reasons such as financial resources to invest in equipment for wastewater treatment.
In addition, policies and regulations governing the management of existing water and wastewater resources are quite complicated, with limited implementation. This creates barriers for businesses to invest in cleaner technologies and production methods, which could lead to the difficulties in complying with environmental regulations.
In order to deal with this issue, Le Thi Minh Anh from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shared the orientation to amend environmental protection laws.
The ministry would ask the State to consider revising criteria for screening investment projects: allocating investment projects according to the level of risks affecting the environment; mechanisms to strengthen control; and an environmental licence integrated under those conditions.
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