Optimizing a textile manufacturing facility as demonstration site to reuse water and enhance wastewater management.

Background Information

Excessive water consumption and wastewater pollution are key environmental challenges that face the textile industry, resulting in negative impact to both people and nature. Bangladesh is a textile manufacturing hotspot, and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has announced several key 2030 sustainability goals. Its goals include reducing blue water footprint by 50% and achieving 100% compliance with Zero Discharge of Harzardous Chemicals wastewater guidelines. To contribute towards these sustainability goals, and their own targets, brands will need to work collaboratively with their supply chain and with innovative solution providers, to implement best in class technologies and solutions at scale.

This project aims to address how multi-stakeholder initiatives can best contribute towards the UN’s SDG 6, “clean water and sanitation for all”, in the context of textile manufacturing. To address this sustainability goal, both social and environmental water impacts were accounted for. A consortium was established, consisting of brands (Primark and H&M), service providers (Grundfos and Panta Rei), the NGO WaterAid, and the project end user – a textile manufacturer, Fakir Knitwear.

This project sees Panta Rei deliver the environmental component in the form of wastewater recovery technologies; capable of purifying and recovering 1,200 m3/day of water to recycle back into the textile manufacturing factory (Fakir). This will ultimately reduce the amount of water that the factory extracts daily, and the amount of wastewater generated by an initial 25-30%.

To implement a solution that can be widely adopted across the industry, it is important to the consortium that the wastewater recovery is viewed in the context of holistic factory improvements. Therefore, the water recovery is being implemented as part of a broader business case including water, energy, and chemical consumption, in addition to evaluating generated waste streams and the potential to minimise and recover these. Grundfos will help bolster the business case for the wider uptake of the water recovery system by conducting an energy audit of existing water and heat pumps at Fakir’s factory. This audit will be conducted in parallel with a Primark-funded energy and water efficiency programme which aims to reduce Fakir’s dependency on freshwater. Should the water dependency be reduced over the duration of this project, then the percentage of water recovered will be further increased. Subsequently, the project will also answer the question, ‘how circular can we make water within a garment factory’s total resource envelope?’. This is also an important consideration when addressing the wider uptake potential.

Completing the project and targeting the social water impacts related to SDG 6, WaterAid will lead a workstream centred around Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). WaterAid will establish a WASH baseline at the factory. Using the baseline assessment, training and guidance workshops will be held with Fakir’s management to improve WASH outcomes, especially in the context of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI).

Together, the social and environmental outcomes from this project will form a strong business case for the brands to use; to encourage wider uptake across their respective supply chains, and for the industry in general to use.

Updates

To date a number of key activities have taken place, such as initial feasibility studies for the implementation according to the wastewater characteristics as well as the preliminary architectural drawings for the necessary civil works for the project implementation.

Connect with Optimizing a textile manufacturing facility as demonstration site to reuse water and enhance wastewater management.

Websites

Timeframe

March 2024 – June 2025

Status

Active

Countries of Implementation

Consortium Partners

Showcase Resources

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