Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy for natural and built assets, received a grant from the Dutch Government to develop a program to improve environmental and social performance in the Chinese wet processing industry. The project will support Dutch clothing brands with a supply chain in China to gain more insight by reviewing and improving their suppliers’ current environmental performance around pollution prevention, reducing resource consumption and occupational health & safety.
The program originates from the signing of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile (AGT) in 2016 to improve social and working conditions, environmental performance and operational sustainability. The AGT is a coalition of apparel brands, industry associations, trade unions and civil-society organizations working with the Dutch government to make textile supply chains more transparent and sustainable by performing their due diligence based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. As a direct result of the AGT, Arcadis will now lead a program providing technical knowledge and tools to drive change in China’s wet processing industry, with a focus on dye houses on Yangtze River Delta, as this is where largest environmental risks and impacts occur.
Joe Chan, Head of China East, commented: “This is an exciting project to be a part of, but it comes with its challenges. The sector is built of complex relationships with many local and global stakeholders, and various inconsistencies in process. An immediate area of improvement is awareness around sustainability issues, and the limited transparency and clarity when it comes to responsibility. Issues tend to change rapidly, and it becomes difficult for companies to focus on one specific sustainability issue.
Project delivery will be done with the Dutch Consulate-General based in Shanghai and the Secretariat of the AGT to create a link to local businesses and implement the program.
Grant Sprick, Head of Water and Environment, China, said: “Working with the consulate will be essential as they hold relationships with key stakeholders. By doing this we can ensure progress especially when trying to align with current initiatives and coordinate site visits to identify and understand current onsite practices. The work delivered in partnership will create a greater map of the industry’s requirements, resulting in the provision of critical training and recommendations on sustainable practices around environment, water and energy.”
Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.2 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. www.arcadis.com
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