Targeting Training in Jiangsu helps Textile Companies Improve Sustainability Along Value Chains

12-13 September 2017, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China — The Environment and Trade Hub, under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), and in collaboration with the Research Institute for Global Value Chains, International Trade Centre (ITC) and Suzhou Bureau of Commerce, organized a two-day training in Suzhou, on Sustainable Textile Trade and Global Value Chains.

Final PAGE Textile Training Agenda

The training targeted local textile producers and exporters, as well as retailers and policymakers. More than 50 entrepreneurs and supply chain managers from Wuzhong, Guosu, Xiangcheng, Kunshan, Wujiang, Zhangjiagang, Changshu joined the training. Training agenda was tailored to local demand and interest, and covered topics such as global textile trade and value chain development, voluntary sustainability standards, non-tariff measures for textile trade, clean production in textile industry, and corporate social responsibility in textile supply chains. Special thematic sessions were organized focusing on chemical use, water, and energy in textile value chains, as well as labor aspects, competitiveness of SMEs, gender and women empowerment. Experts from international organizations, national agencies and NGOs shared their tools, resources, and insights. Companies also had a chance to share experience and good practice, such as investing in green innovation, applying low-carbon production method and circular economy approaches, engaging employees and suppliers in managing sustainability, improving the resource efficiency of water and raw materials, as well as disclosing environmental information and improving transparency in chemicals.

The training was supported by the Environmental Protection Department of Jiangsu Province, Department of Commerce of Jiangsu Province, Trade Development Bureau of Ministry of Commerce of China, China National Textile And Apparel Council (CNTAC), International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), China National Cleaner Production Centre (CNCPC), China Association for Standardization (CAS), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC),China WTO Tribune, Sino-Swedish Corporate Social Responsibility Website, and China-Germany Centre for Sustainable Development.

37 enterprises participated in the training, 80% of which engage in the textile & apparel production and exports, including upstream and downstream industries, such as fiber, dyeing, weaving, garment making and other production processes. In terms of size, more than half of the participant companies are large-sized enterprises, including leading garment and clothing producers in China, such as Bosideng Group and Hengli Group. 13% were medium-sized enterprises and 30% small enterprises and start-ups. In the group discussion session, participating enterprises were divided into six groups. Group representatives from Suzhou Renli Weaving Co.Ltd, Suzhou Xinshen Group Co.Ltd, Suzhou Hexiang Textile Co.Ltd, Jiangsu Shenghong Group Co.Ltd, Jiangsu Jingcheng textile Co.Ltd, ChangshuXinxinjingweibian Co.Ltd, Suzhou Yibeicleaning Co.Ltd presented key conclusions from their group discussion and shared views on greening textile trade and value chains.

The training created high enthusiasm from participating companies. Participants learned about the basic principles and trends in sustainable trade and global value chains for textile products, as well as tools and approaches to managing sustainability along textile value chains.


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The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.