Phnom Penh 7 September 2022, GGGI, Ministry of Environment together with the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Science and Innovation join force to promote sustainability and energy efficiency in the garment sector in Cambodia. The combined effort was formalized on September 6, 2022 in Kep Province and was witnessed by representatives from line ministries, development partners and project implementers.
Officially known as Promotion of Sustainable Energy Practices in the Garment Sector in Cambodia or Switch Garment, the project is funded by the European Union via EU SWITCH-Asia Programme. The program is implemented by the GGGI together with Geres and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) since May 2020.
Rogier van Mansvelt, Project Lead, said, “this project agreement marks an important milestone for us because it allows the consortium led by GGGI to expand project activities.” Rogier continued, “Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation are key players in the field of sustainable energy practices in Cambodia, so to have them as our official project partners, the project will be able to achieve more and goes beyond also after the project is ended.”
Promotion of sustainable energy practices and energy efficiency are recognized as the leading factor that would increase the relevance and competitiveness of the Cambodia garment factories. Ly Tek Heng, GMAC’s executive manager, explained that International brands that buy from garment factories in Cambodia focus heavily on sustainability due to growing environmental awareness of consumers, so to survive the changes, the sector must keep up with the trend to remain competitive.
The objective of the Switch Garment Project is to increase the competitiveness of Cambodian garment factories and decrease the industry’s environmental impact through the adoption of sustainable energy practices and facilitating investments in clean energy technologies. One leading example of how to achieve the objectives is via the implementation of the “Model Green Factory Programme” with a Monitoring & Verification Scheme, which includes energy audits on performance standards, energy management practices and reporting, and training factories to go green and increase investment in sustainable energy.
PPSEC, the participating factory in the project, has invested in solar energy, and the project’s energy audit play an important role in helping the factory with the solar energy investment decision. Martin Bandalan’s PPSEC Solar Energy Division Head, said, “PPSEC is constantly looking for opportunity to green its production processes, so we would like to thank Switch Garment for giving us helpful technical guidelines regarding energy efficiency.”
Since the beginning of the project implementation in May 2020, the project has assisted the Cambodian government to include sustainable energy in the garment industry in the updated NDC (2020); identified regulatory measures which followed by Impact Assessment and importantly, the team has finalized 50 energy audits which allow the project to understand the best approach to help the factories in identifying and investing in the right scheme and technology and to reduce carbon emissions.