Studies show sustainability improvements with minimal investments

An evaluation of about 250 sustainability improvement measures across 16 textile mills in China indicates that small investments can achieve big impacts.

Zhao Lin, Solidaridad programme manager who oversees environmental and social projects in China, analysed several important projects and concluded that the majority of improvements are management related which require relatively little investment.

As illustrated in the recent article published by China Water Risk, Zhao examined the following four important business cases to gain insight on Solidaridad’s holistic and collaborative approach to bringing about sector-wide change:

  1. Caustic soda reclamation
  2. Installation of energy efficient steam traps
  3. Recycling of cooling water and condensate
  4. Installation of water efficient dyeing machines

Results show that water-conscious actions in the textile industry are making money. “Good practices to reduce, reuse and recycle water are therefore not only conducive to reducing the negative impacts to the environment, but also to saving the costs of freshwater intake and end-of-pipe wastewater treatment,” Zhao wrote.

Supporting sustainability in China

Solidaridad launched the three-year Better Mill Initiative (BMI) in partnership with H&M and other major international retailers. The programme supports 43 textile dyeing and printing mills to improve their environmental and social performance through tailor made support, group learning and experience exchange.

China Water Risk is a non-profit initiative designed to help investors, businesses and individuals understand and mitigate risk around water. They work closely with a growing network of water and industry experts and investors from China and Hong Kong as well as with others based internationally to build knowledge that will lead to better management of China’s increasingly scarce water resources.

Read the full report on China Wat
er Risk, which includes a detailed analysis, research results and suggestions for further reading.