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Getting ESG right for the textile industry

The textile industry is on a war footing towards reducing resource use and pollution, enhancing worker protection and upholding the rights of customers to make conscious choices. Sustainable development of the textile industry should be in sync with the negative impact of certain practices upon the environment, with suitable mitigation plans for the same. 

The future of sustainable textiles is completely dependent on the reduction of resource usage, pertaining to water, land, and oil, while recycling products for lowering waste. This calls for a valid need for ESG on the textile industry

ESG in a nutshell 

The term "ESG" stands for environmental, social, and governance commitments. It is fast becoming a key priority for most business stakeholders. ESG in the textile industry offers numerous benefits, although a lot is dependent upon enhancing sustainability practices, which not only enhance the bottom line, but also help the industry build wider societal impact. According to several studies, ESG goals are a vital aspect of corporate performance today. 

The textile supply chain revolves around sourcing, manufacturing, processing, fabric care, and packaging, leading to the generation of several harmful effluents. Mitigation plans should account for the same. This Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme has also been unveiled for offering producers an important responsibility (both financial and physical) in order to collect post-consumer wastes, and ensure their disposal and adherence of operations to ESG standards.

Initiatives being taken by major players 

 Several leading industry players like the Welspun Group are already taking initiatives in this direction. The Group has several solutions towards meeting its ESG commitments and these include the following: 

  • Water stewardship- The Welspun Group is committed towards water recycling, having recycled 4,083 million litres of water in FY22. 
  • Raw material sustainability- The Group sourced 45% of cotton from completely sustainable sources in FY22. 
  • The Welspun Group has also set up a 30 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) at Anjar as part of its sustainability blueprint.
  • It contributes towards the revival and restoration of ecosystems along with recycling waste with under the Spun blueprint. 
  • All suppliers are made aware about the need to be environmentally sustainable and ethical, while the company has taken several steps towards ensuring higher worker safety as well. 
  • ESG Compass- The Group has established an integrated digital platform for tracking, measuring, and reporting on ESG KPIs. This is part of the company’s emphasis on data governance in the ESG spectrum, tapping into digitization for integrating these ESG metrics into a framework of internal controls and audits. 

The Group is also looking at implementing bigger ESG-linked blueprints in the future, as it prepares for the next-generation of sustainable manufacturing, operations, and conservation in its core businesses.