Phnom Penh, October 19th, 2018 – Recently, H&M and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) co-organized a kick-off meeting to identify sustainable waste management solutions for the garment sector. This meeting was attended by the Royal Government of Cambodia, garment industry representatives and waste and energy management experts.
The meeting had the main objectives to:
· Review waste management practices and their environmental impacts in the garment sector; and
· Share best practices and identify innovative solutions to manage waste.
While noting on the remarkable economic growth of Cambodia, H.E. Chuop Paris, Deputy Secretary-General, National Council for Sustainable Development highlighted the importance of waste management including the management of the garment industry’s solid and liquid waste.
The garment industry has been a key driver for the economic growth accounting for 80 % of the country’s export. However, at present, most of waste collected from the industry is disposed at a landfill without recycling, reuse and reduction of waste, adding another layer of the waste management challenge for the country.
Highlighting the urgent need for innovative solid waste management solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle waste from the sector, Moeko Saito Jensen, environmental policy advisor of UNDP explained, “This meeting provides a crucial opportunity for all of us to jointly assess challenges and opportunities in waste management in the garment sector.”
“By collaborating with UNDP as well as other stakeholders within the garment industry, we can find joint ways to promote innovative waste management solutions for the garment sector in Cambodia,” added Aurelie Pruvost, Lead, Sustainability and Environment Program responsible for H&M in Cambodia.
During the meeting, participants identified several initial options for innovative waste management including turning waste-to-energy. The meeting concluded with a recommendation to develop a clear guidance and robust monitoring system for the industry to adapt highest environmental standards in applying new solutions.