Award 2015

2015 GLASA Award Winner – Pratibha Syntex

_X6A2420

 

It was a very difficult choice. Every 2015 GLASA Award Finalist is a leader in their category. But the Jury decided that one finalist deserved extra special praise.

And the winner is: Pratibha Syntex! 

Here is the jury’s motivation:

Pratibha Syntex’s owners, employees and their families have faced an intensifying water crisis for more than a decade. They therefore made the wise decision that operating with a business-as-usual mindset made no environmental, social or economic sense. Instead, with ceaseless discipline, they began to develop and implement water-efficient approaches that are comprehensive, visionary and yield substantial water savings. Pratibha leads the way in the development of organic farming techniques, supports capacity building and economic development for thousands of farmers, applies the best available water efficient dyeing techniques to fabric manufacturing, and with their eye on the future, pioneers the development of highly water-efficient fabrics and business models that are not cotton dependent. Their water improvements are even more impressive and inspirational given they are being achieved during a time when the Indian apparel industry is growing rapidly and is very thirsty. And the future is even brighter – by further applying their exceptional solutions they will be able to reduce their dependence on water by an additional 1 billion liters, thereby reducing risk for at least 30,000 farmers and their families. This is good news for those living in water stressed regions, and for the suppliers, brands, retailers and customers that rely on Pratibha’s products and services. This is even better news for the farmers and fabric manufactures that need leaders to show them the way in this water stressed world.

The jury awards The 2015 Global Award in Sustainable Apparel to Pratibha Syntex.

Award Theme 2015

Each year, in consultation with GLASA’s global network, an important topic or theme is identified which frames the GLASA process for the coming year. The theme chosen for 2015 is Water. The latest research indicates that in certain regions access to water and water quality will be a major problem for both people and the apparel industry during the next twenty years if nothing is done to ensure sustainable water management.

In order to increase the attention given to the current water situation, and to identify what leadership and actions are needed to address the water crisis, GLASA 1) produced a state of the apparel sector report focused on water; 2) identified the most promising leadership and practices in this area; and 3) and hosted a global symposium and award ceremony on the topic.

Why Water

Water is necessary for life. Humans depend on water for sustenance, hygiene and sanitation. Clean and reliable water supplies are also crucial for industry, agriculture and energy production. Despite this, more than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions, and by 2025 an additional 3.5 billion people may be affected. Increasing pollution degrades freshwater and coastal aquatic ecosystems. At the same time, climate change results in changes in precipitation patterns and glacial melting, which alters water supplies and intensifies floods and drought. (Reig, Luo and Proctor, 2014)

The increasing globalisation of trade results in a dramatic increase in the interdependence of the world’s population on the limited freshwater resources that support the production of food, goods and services. It is estimated that 1,000 m3 (1 million liters) to 1,300 m3 per person/year is required to meet minimum standards in food production, giving a more realistic picture of each individual’s minimum water ‘footprint’. A significant part our water footprints are in the form of embedded water in products that are bought and sold by multinational and domestic private sector firms. A recent report estimates that the daily requirement for a UK citizen is over 4,600 liters per person per day when embedded amounts are considered (Ref: WWF, 2009).

As has been dramatically demonstrated through the financial crisis, interdependence can create systemic vulnerabilities to shocks and instability across the world. Companies and consumers in one part of the world are dependent upon and vulnerable to water availability, management and use in another part of the world. Already the world’s freshwater resources (surface and ground water) are stressed by over-abstraction, pollution and environmental degradation of the upstream watershed (WWF, 2009)

Water and the Apparel Sector

Nearly every person on the planet uses cotton, an essential global commodity and one of the largest sources of fiber for the global textile and apparel industry. For millions of people in some of the world’s poorest countries, cotton is also a vital link to the global economy. At the same time, over 53% of cotton fields in the world require irrigation, and a majority of these fields are in regions where water is scarce. The impacts of this are most visible in places such as the Aral Sea where during the period between 1960-2000, the Aral Sea lost approximately 70% of its volume as a result of diverting water to grow cotton in the desert (Ref: China Water Risk).

The textile industry is not only one of the largest polluters but is also one of the largest consumers of water and energy. The industry has high levels of wastewater discharge, about 600 liters of wastewater per kg of textile on average. It is estimated that around 25% of the chemical compounds produced world wide are used in the textile industry and it also takes up to 40,000 liters to irrigate the cotton to maturity and provide finishing for 1 kg textile (Asano and Visvanathan, 2001).

Prices for clothing has fallen 25% in real terms since 1995, partly due to the pressure from discount retail chains that has led to low pricing for textiles. The constant need to cut margins has led some factories to dump wastewater directly into rivers instead of treating it. Treating contaminated water costs around 0.13 US dollars/metric ton and factories can increase margins substantially by sending wastewater directly to rivers. Substances often found in high concentrations near textile plants include heavy metals, known carcinogens, fibers and may organic materials. The oxygen required to breakdown organic compounds can lead to a reduction in fish population and stagnant water (Carmody, 2010).

An estimated 65% of the world’s clothing is now manufactured in China. However, China is also one of the worlds most water stressed countries. Despite the 2008 Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law aiming at limiting pollution and discharge, 70% of China’s rivers and lakes were significantly contaminated in 2010. 50% of China’s cities have polluted groundwater and over 30% of China is affected by acid rain (Ref: China Water Risk).

Aware of the fact that China must support 20% of the world’s population with just 7% of the world’s water sources, and that it holds a reputation for being one of the least water-efficient countries compared to its fellow G20 countries, the Chinese government has made water efficiency and conservation a top priority, and agriculture is firmly part of this agenda (Ref: China water risk). Further, China’s pursuit of water security poses an “existential threat” to the fashion industry as policy makers increasingly target textiles – one of the country’s most polluting, water intensive sectors that emits “lots of wastewater for not a lot of money.” (Ref: Textile Exchange)

On a national level are the several water shortage and droughts weakening China’s economic development. Water shortages are responsible for direct economic losses of 35 billion US dollars every year, about 2.5 times the average annual losses due to floods. For example the 2009 drought left nearly 5 million people and 4.1 million livestock short of drinking water and damaging 8.7 million hectares of cropland (Ref: China Water Risk).

In 2011, drought struck Texas, forcing farmers to abandon millions of acres of cotton and corn, the price tag – $5.2 billion in losses. China’s 2010 drought resulted in knock-on price increases of cotton of 150%. H&M was one of the many companies affected, announcing a 30% drop in profits, after deciding to internalize the inflation (Ref: China Water Risk)

Award Ceremony Program

The 2015 GLASA Award Ceremony was held on Thursday, August 27th, from 17:30 to 18:45.

The ceremony took place in the Auditorium of Norra Latin (Stockholm City Conference Centre) on Drottninggatan 71B, Stockholm. View on map.

Here is the official program of the 2015 GLASA Award Ceremony.

17:30 Opening of the Award Ceremony
Doors officially open. Musical salute in honor of the GLASA Finalists

17:45 Welcome Address
Presentation of the 2015 GLASA Award and Theme by Michael Schragger, Chair, GLASA Award

17:50 Panel Discussion
International experts and business leaders will join the stage to discuss key water challenges and opportunities for the apparel industry.

• Dorothy Maxwell, Director, The Sustainable Business Group
• Helen Crowley, Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation, Kering
• Neil Brown, Investment Manager, Alliance Trust
• Mohan Seneviratne, PaCT Program Manager, IFC

18:05 Presentations from the Finalists
All finalists are introduced, followed by short presentations by each finalist of their unique initiatives.

• Dhawal Mane, Pratibha Syntex
• Stephanie Kotin, Levi Strauss & Co.
• Rami Abdelraman, STWI / SWAR
• Mats Blacker. DyeCoo
• Debra Tan, China Water Risk

18:30 Presentation of the 2015 GLASA Award Winner
Moderated by Michael Schragger, Chair GLASA Award
Ms Gunvor G Ericson, State Secretary to Minister for Climate and the Environment

18:45 Ceremony Ends
Ceremonial ending with music

 

 

State of Apparel Sector Report

In preparation for the 2015 GLASA Award and Global Symposium, GLASA commissioned The Sustainable Business Group to provide and conduct and analysis regarding how water demand and scarcity will affect the apparel sector.

After a global consultation process, the final version of the report is now available here.

Should you have any additional questions please contact Mike Schragger, Chair of the GLASA Award, at m.schragger@fdse.se or by phone at +46733309060.

 

 

Advisory Board

Members of the advisory group include leaders working with the global apparel industry. The advisory board provides feedback regarding what should be considered when framing the award and symposium, assists in engaging key industry actors, and acts as a jury when deciding upon the award winner.

Anette Andersson
Investment Management
SEB

Alan AtKisson
CEO
AtKisson Group

Neil Brown
Investment Manager – Pan European Equities
Alliance Trust

Jonas Eder-Hansen
Vice President
Danish Fashion Institute

Anna Gedda
Head of Sustainability
H&M

Johanna Giorgi
Sustainability Coordinator
The Swedish Agency for Economic & Regional Growth

Jason Kibbey
Executive Director
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Michael Kobori
Vice President, Sustainability
Levi Strauss & Co.

Dorothy Maxwell
Director, The Sustainable Business Group

Emma Ohlson
Secretary General
Association of Swedish Fashion Brands

Usha Rao-Monari
Chief Executive Officer
Global Water Development Partners / Blackstone Portfolio Company

Carolina Sachs
General Secretary
The Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Sustainable Development

Liesl Truscott
Director Europe & Farm Engagement
Textile Exchange

Katarina Veem
Director, Swedish Water House

Jury

Members of the jury include leaders working with the global apparel industry. Together, the jury members decide upon the award finalists and the award winner.

Anette Andersson
Investment Management
SEB

Alan AtKisson
CEO
AtKisson Group

Neil Brown
Investment Manager – Pan European Equities
Alliance Trust

Jonas Eder-Hansen
Vice President
Danish Fashion Institute

Anna Gedda
Head of Sustainability
H&M

Johanna Giorgi
Sustainability Coordinator
The Swedish Agency for Economic & Regional Growth

Jason Kibbey
Executive Director
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Emma Ohlson
Secretary General
Association of Swedish Fashion Brands

Usha Rao-Monari
Chief Executive Officer
Global Water Development Partners / Blackstone Portfolio Company

Carolina Sachs
General Secretary
The Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Sustainable Development

Liesl Truscott
Director Europe & Farm Engagement
Textile Exchange

Finalists

After intensive deliberation, the jury has selected five finalists for special recognition. These finalists will now compete for the 2015 GLASA Award.

Each finalist represents a leading practice in their category (Advocacy, Technological Innovation, Collaboration, Brand Leadership in the Supply Chain, Manufacturer Leadership in the Supply Chain). Together they illustrate a comprehensive range of approaches that can help the apparel sector transform they way we manage our precious water resources.

Here is a short description of their work, with more detailed case studies in the links below:

China Water Risk (CWR). CWR is a Hong Kong based, non-profit initiative dedicated to addressing business and environmental risk arising from the country’s urgent water crisis. CWR aims to foster efficient and responsible use of China’s water resources by engaging the global investment and business communities, civil society and individuals in understanding and managing China’s water risk. The rationale behind addressing business and environmental risk for investors and corporates stems from the fact that 85% of water in China is used by agriculture & industry, which are also the largest polluters of water. Textiles is one of six water intensive and water polluting sectors CWR focuses on. The others include Agriculture, Power, Mining, Food & Beverage, and Electronics.

To learn more, please click on the link below or visit www.chinawaterrisk.org.

GLASA_2015_Finalist_WebsiteSummary_ChinaWaterRisk_150610

DyeCoo. DyeCoo is the world’s first supplier of water and chemical free dyeing technology. Its revolutionary CO₂-based dyeing process makes dyeing sustainable, efficient and profitable. Dyeing textile has always used water-based technologies. But no matter how sophisticated those technologies have become, the fact remains: a lot of water is used and polluted. DyeCoo imagined a better way to dye things. The company has developed a scalable technology that can transform industry practice if adopted more broadly. The technology uses reclaimed CO₂ as dyeing medium in a closed loop beam dyeing system – recycling 95% of the used CO₂ after each batch. The patented CO₂-dyeing also uses less energy, less dye, less time, no processing chemicals and zero water. According to Dyecoo, this also reduces operating costs by 45%. The technology is currently focused on dyeing polyesters but research and development is under way to adapt the process for use with cotton.

To learn more, please click on the link below or visit www.dyecoo.com.

GLASA_2015_Finalist_WebsiteSummary_Dyecoo_150610

Sustainable Water Resources (SWAR). SWAR is a capacity building and technical support programme for 42 suppliers and sub-suppliers to Swedish brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex in India (Delhi NCR and Rajasthan). The programme was co-funded by the companies and the Swedish International Development Agency and is implemented by SIWI. The pilot programme ended in March 2014 after 2 years of implementation – and is now being scaled up to 5 different countries, including India, expanding its impact to 120 factories supplying 20 major Swedish brands. SWAR saved 84.5 million litres of water (annually) during 2013, and 284 million litres of water (annually) during 2014. This is enough water to serve more than 15 Indian villages on an annual basis. This was achieved through capacity building on efficient water, energy and chemical use combined with implementing projects at the factory level to increase the efficiency of resource consumption in a systematic, cost-efficient way through: water reuse, pollution prevention, and effluent treatment.

To learn more, please click on the link below or visit www.siwi.org/project/swar.

GLASA_2015_Finalists_WebsiteSummary_SWAR_150610

Pratibha Syntex is a vertically integrated, sustainability-oriented manufacturer of knitted textile products. As part of its strategic mandate to reduce its carbon & water footprint, Pratibha worked closely with its key stakeholders – customers, suppliers, employees and farmers, to evolve a holistic approach to reduce water consumption at its manufacturing facilities and at its cotton farms. Pratibha’s technology team developed Allure range of fabrics, an award-winning product innovation, which uses spun dyed fibres leading to 85% savings in water and 35% less energy usage. By working closely with its garment customers, Pratibha increased its use of mélange fabrics, which use substantially less water than conventional dyeing. Other initiatives include adoption of a new generation of water & energy efficient dyestuffs, optimization of its color palette and solid capital infrastructure for effluent treatment. Recognizing its efforts, Pratibha is a bluesign® System Partner, making it the first textile manufacturer in India to receive this certification. Pratibha also implemented drip irrigation in organic cotton farms, coupled with intensive training to farmers, in water-efficient farming techniques for producing BCI and Fairtrade cotton. Through a structured methodology of reverse engineering and by challenging the norms for existing products and processes, Pratibha’s blue water footprint has reduced by 53% in 2014-15, from base year 2010-11.

To learn more, please click on the link below or visit www.pratibhasyntex.com.

GLASA_2015_Finalist_WebsiteSummary_Pratibha_150610

Levis Strauss & Co (LS&Co). LS&Co conducted the apparel industry’s first lifecycle assessment (LCA) study in 2007 to assess the entire lifecycle impact of a core set of products. The study uncovered that the greatest water and energy impact was in two areas: cotton cultivation and consumer care. Since then, LS&Co. has made tremendous progress addressing areas within its control, leading to more than one billion liters of water saved to date through the Levi’s® Water<Less™ process and implementation of the apparel industry’s first water recycle/reuse standard in its supply chain. The company has also taken bold steps to reduce the environmental impact of its products in the areas outside its direct control. This includes educating consumers through its Care Tag for the Planet initiative that encourages consumers to adopt care methods that use less energy and water. LS&Co. also joined the Better Cotton Initiative® to invest in cotton that uses less water and chemicals and improves farmer livelihoods and is one of the founding signatory members of the CEO Water Mandate.

To learn more, please click on the link below or visit levistrauss.com/sustainability/planet/water.

GLASA_2015_Finalists_WebsiteSummary_LevisStrauss_150610