New Delhi, Thursday, 04 May 2023: Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) organised an awareness webinar on Climate Fit – an introduction to sustainability metrics (ESG) for the textile sector. To help the textile sector better understand these requirements, CITI will be organising a series of awareness workshops in the coming days. The first in the series was organised today with ESG experts, Ms. Namrata Rana, Director, Strategies & Brand, Futurescape and Professor Utkarsh Majmudar, Member, Board of Directors, IIM Raipur.

Ms. Chandrima Chatterjee, Secretary General, CITI in her opening remarks stated that the Indian textile industry which is one of the largest contributors to the economy and the second-largest employment provider to the youths must align itself with ESG principles for the socio-economic growth of the country.

She further stated that the Indian textile sector needs to keep pace with the global concerns on ESG issues, given it contributes significantly to the environmental pollution, with significant carbon emissions, water consumption, and chemical usage. By adopting ESG principles, textile companies can not only substantially reduce the environmental impact by reducing waste, minimizing resource consumption, and using sustainable materials but also effectively take care of the labour issues and human rights.

She pointed out that today, consumers have become increasingly conscious about sustainability and ethical issues and support companies that demonstrate responsible and sustainable practices in products making. Hence, adopting ESG norms, textile companies can improve their brand reputation and appeal to a growing market of environmentally and socially conscious consumers across the globe.

Ms. Namrata Rana, Director (Strategy & Brand) at Futurescape in her presentation stated that the fashion and textile business worldwide was rapidly transforming and sustainability issues were taking centre stage and impacting trends, manufacturing and consumption. She further stated that what worked in the past may not necessarily work in the future, hence, there was a growing need for the companies to change their business strategies and adopt more sustainable business model which efficiently take cares of environmental, social and governance aspects of the business.

She stated that the Indian companies should align its goal with the Prime Minister’s statement that “”By 2030 India will increase the share of renewable energy in total energy to 50% and Net Zero Emission by 2070” which was announced at the COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. To achieve the PM’s vision, she stated that 58% of top companies in 2022 reported to aspire to be either carbon neutral or achieve net zero. She further revealed that 80% of India’s top 100 companies had shared their decarbonization plans in 2022 and elaborated on the ways how can Indian companies adopt to the climate change.

Prof. Utkarsh Majmudar centred his presentation around understanding sustainability metrics. He elaborated in detail about the 7 Modules of Climate Fit which entailed step-by-step guide to help companies to reduce emissions across their businesses which were 1) Climate Strategy & Governance, 2) Climate Action for Operations, 3) Reducing Emissions in Supply Chain, 4) Design for Net Zero, 5) Financing Net Zero Transition, 6) Engaging People & Communities, and 7) Net Zero Storytelling.

He described that Net Zero refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere. He further elaborated on Carbon Markets, Carbon Tax, Scope Emissions and the seven steps to execute a great energy efficiency strategy that can help the companies to achieve their sustainability goals.

In their concluding remarks, the Secretary General stated that at the moment, ESG considerations are not mandatory for the companies operating in the textile and apparel domain, however, it is widely being recognized as a key factor in the industry’s long-term sustainability and success in the international market. The companies that have adopted ESG practices are better positioned to meet the changing demands of consumers, investors, and other stakeholders, and to thrive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Hence, more and more companies should set their sustainability targets to have better visibility in the international market.