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KARACHI – The International Finance Corp (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is to help textile manufacturers in Pakistan cut energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to drive productivity and efficiency. An agreement has been signed with US-based clothing retailer Gap Inc to increase resource efficiency in its Pakistan operations and improve long-term sustainability.

The agreement also draws extensively on knowledge and best practice from IFC’s Program for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT), which was implemented in Bangladesh’s textile sector in 2017 and has helped cut its water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the agreement—the first of its kind in Pakistan’s textile industry—IFC’s Advisory Services will assess the use of resources at Gap Inc.’s supplier factories in the country and help them implement efficiency measures to reduce the use of water, energy, chemicals and other resources.

“Gap Inc. continues to invest in water, energy and resource efficiency programs that improve environmental and business performance,” said Christina Nicholson, director of environmental impact, global sustainability at Gap Inc. “In partnership with IFC, this programme will address key impact areas, improve performance and deliver on our environmental impact reduction commitments.”

Pakistan is the fourth-largest global producer of cotton, with nearly 60 per cent of its exports textile related. Textile revenues account for 9 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP, but the industry also consumes almost 70 per cent of the country’s industrial water. A recent IFC study found Pakistan’s textiles sector could save nearly 22 per cent of its energy consumption and boost productivity by implementing cleaner production practices.

“Reducing the consumption of resources is key to improving efficiency and increasing productivity,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, country manager, IFC Pakistan. “We hope to replicate PaCT’s success in Pakistan and demonstrate the importance and benefits of such measures in helping to improve sustainability and mitigate climate change.”

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