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DGCN updates the climate management guide

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09.05.2022

DGCN updates the climate management guide

Introduction to climate management. Step by step towards effective climate management in companies

Against the background of advancing climate change, holistic climate management is becoming increasingly important for companies. In this way, companies define specific strategic approaches and the embedding of individual measures in an overall concept. The German Global Compact Network as recently revised and updated its guidelines on climate management.

"Our guideline describes the procedure for introducing climate management in detail: from the creation of a greenhouse gas balance to the setting of ambitious science-based climate targets. It can therefore ideally accompany companies on their way to holistic climate management. At the same time, the guide also shows its readers where they can get further information. For example, there is a long list of tools and publications in the appendix that deal with the topic of climate management in more depth. This combination of a step-by-step guide with information on supplementary publications makes the guide so special," says Lena Kern from the GGCN.

The guide is aimed at companies of all sizes and offers concrete and practice-relevant information, approaches and tools to introduce effective climate management step by step. The guide is divided into four main steps:

  1. Establishment of the greenhouse gas balance,
  2. Development of climate targets,
  3. Measures to achieve the objectives, and
  4. Reporting and communication.

Further information on the sector risk climate & greenhouse gas emissions and the activities of the Textiles Partnership can be found here.

Review-Prozess: Bericht des Deutschen Instituts für Menschenrechte

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04.05.2022

Report of the German Institute for Human Rights

"With their mixture of consultation and review, the evaluation interviews are a valuable component of the review process."

The German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) accompanied six of the 55 evaluation discussions in the Review Process. The aim was to assess the quality and suitability of the evaluation discussions as an instrument for promoting due diligence obligations in the Textiles Partnership.

In its 19-page report, the DIMR concludes that the evaluation discussions are an important part of the review process and should remain a mandatory part of the process in the future. On the one hand, mutual understanding could be significantly increased by the talks. On the other hand, the increase in knowledge that is necessary for the continuous improvement of companies with regard to their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles has increased.

"Many companies continue to face content challenges, such as the involvement of local stakeholders. Nevertheless, we can generally state that the evaluation discussions with their mixture of consulting and review are a valuable component of the review process. For the individual companies, they are well suited to achieve a better understanding of the individual implementation of due diligence obligations and to adequately present their own performance. This is a positive sign and points in the right direction towards more sustainability in the entire industry," explains Melanie Wündsch from DIMR.

Suggestions for improvement

In order to be able to exploit the potential of the evaluation discussions even better in the future, the DIMR recommends placing a special focus on those areas in which the companies show the greatest implementation difficulties. In this context, the stronger integration of the perspectives of stakeholders in the supply chain is emphasized.

In the Review Process, the Textiles Partnership should also work even harder to ensure that companies prioritise their risks in accordance with the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles, i.e. according to severity (degree, scope, irreversibility) and probability of occurrence. Both risk prioritization and the derivation of effective measures are sometimes the biggest challenges for companies.

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Partnership Initiative Complaints Mechanisms: Start of the second module in Pakistan

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03.05.2022

Partnership Initiative Complaints Mechanisms: Start of the second module in Pakistan

Since 2020 the Partnership Initiative Complaints Mechanisms supports partnership members with implementing effective grievance mechanisms in their supply chains. In addition to the first module in Vietnam and India, a second module has now started in Pakistan.

In April 2021 a first module – the opening of the Fair Wear back-up complaints mechanism to PST and AGT members in Vietnam and India – has been started. Together with the Partnership member Fairtrade Deutschland e.V. the Partnership secretariat and secretariat of the Green Button have developed a project for the second module.

The aim of the project is to support suppliers of Partnership and Green Button-licensed companies in setting up or further developing functioning internal complaints structures and to enable management and workers to solve incidents and grievances together in dialogue.

The brands Primark, Hch. Kettelhack, Hugo Boss, Takko and texidea are participating in the project. Another GIZ initiative to improve labour, social and environmental standards in textile industry in Pakistan (TextILES) provides financial and technical support and brings other interested suppliers into the project. A total of about 20 factories are to be supported.

Transferring success of the Fairtrade textile program to Pakistan

Fairtrade Deutschland e.V. is implementing the project in cooperation with a local team. They draw on the experiences and know-how gathered during the Fairtrade Textile Programme, which has been successfully implemented since 2014 in India and is now being transferred to Pakistan. The Fairtrade Textile Program supports brands in improving working conditions in their textile production facilities. The program covers the areas of occupational health and safety, strengthening workers' rights, living wages and improving efficiency and productivity.

The following measures are planned in Pakistan:

  • Sensitisation of management to the needs of employees and training in dealing with received complaints
  • Training for workers on their rights and the benefit of complaints mechanisms
  • Training on the function and set up of grievance mechanisms for workers and management.

After completion of the project, all suppliers involved should have a transparent complaints procedure in place so that management and employees are able to solve incidents and grievances together.

Trainers learning from each other

To kick off the implementation of the project, a training seminar for the local project coordinator and the three Pakistani trainers in charge of the factory trainings was held in Dubai at the end of March 2022. It was conducted by the Fairtrade trainers who implement the Fairtrade Textile Programme in India. The aim was to transfer the relevant contents of the Programme to the Pakistani context, to pass on background information as well as to discuss learning experiences. In addition, the further steps of the implementation were developed.

Background: Textile industry in Pakistan

The textile and garment sector is Pakistan’s most important branch of the manufacturing industry. Some 15 million people (around 38 per cent of the total workforce) work in the textile sector, of which approx. 70% are male.

The working conditions in the textile industry in Pakistan are characterised by poor workplace safety, low wages, as well as a lack of co-determination at company level and a lack of dialogue between management, workers and state institutions.

The analysis has shown that a legal framework on labour law, grievance handling, trade unions and labour inspections on a provincial and federal level is in place. The laws prescribe e. g. the implementation of grievance committees in the context of harassment, shop stewards for internal grievance handling or the right of freedom of association and collective bargaining is legally guaranteed. However, insufficient job security and rarely conducted labour inspections lead to a lack of implementation and do not contribute to address and remediate the most pressing topics as intimidation and harassment of independent unions, forced overtime, sexual harassment, unsanitary conditions, lack of breaks or medical leaves, denying wages or absence of written contracts.

Further information on the partnership initiative and the modules can be found here.

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Launch of the Partnership Initiative Organic Cotton in India for more transparency and fairness

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28.04.2022

Launch of the Partnership Initiative Organic Cotton in India for more transparency and fairness

Tangible benefits to at least 12,500 farmers converting to organic farming

The Partnership Initiative Organic Cotton in India now starts its on-site implementation. Ten companies and organisations have joined forces with the aim of building a fair, environmentally friendly, and economically viable organic cotton supply chain. 12,500 cotton producers in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Gujarat are expected to benefit from the project by converting to organic farming.

These ten companies and organisations participate in the Partnership Initiative Organic Cotton in India: Brands Fashion, C&A, Esprit, Formesse, GOTS, HAKRO, H&M Group, s.Oliver Group, Tchibo and Fairtrade. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and its strategic partner Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) are coordinating the project, which will run until August 2025.

Interview mit Dr. Jürgen Janssen, Leiter Bündnissekretariat | © GIZ

"The new Partnership Initiative has several positive effects; for the farmers, who earn more and receive greater security, for the textile companies and brands, who can purchase more organic cotton, and last but not least for the environment. It is also a good example of successful private-public financing: the companies bear more than three quarters of the costs, while the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development finances the rest through two GIZ projects," says Jürgen Janssen, head of the PST Secretariat.

Improvement for cotton farmers and the environment

The Partnership Initiative helps cotton producers to strengthen their business case and create the right conditions for organic cotton supply to grow. To this end and within the framework of the"OCA Farm Programme“ farmers will have access to reliable non-GM (genetically modified) seeds, receive training on organic practices and decent working conditions.

OCA, working through local farm groups or implementing partners, will support the Partnership Initiative’s brand partners connecting to farm projects in various Indian regions. In return, the Initiative partners will provide a sourcing commitment for both in-conversion cotton and certified organic cotton including premiums to farmers (higher than the market price).

In turn, thousands of hectares of farmland will be regenerated through organic practices, eliminating the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, building long-term soil health, and increasing on-farm biodiversity for generations to come. The support of the initiative is very welcome particularly by cotton farmers, who want to transition from conventional to organic. The in-conversion process, taking up to three years, can come with challenges such as temporary drops in yield that require extra financial support.

“Progressive targets for organic cotton sourcing are great, yet they need to be combined with tangible support to farmers, in particular those that are transitioning from conventional to organic agriculture. It is great to work with members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles who understand that they need to go the extra mile to realize their organic cotton ambitions and provide farmers with long-term commitments and better prices. This initiative helps to mobilise more support to farmers during the challenging phase of transitioning to organic practices and deepen our impact by a special focus on decent working conditions. This truly helps accelerate organic cotton’s potential for positive impact.” Bart Vollaard, OCA Executive Director.

The Partnership Initiative contributes to the increase of available organic cotton on the world market. As one of the key organic cotton producers and as the country with the largest cotton in-conversion areas, India is forging promising potential to achieve a lasting role in this field.

Collective Engagement in the Textiles Partnership

In Partnership Initiatives several Partnership members engage on-site in production countries, for example on Living Wages, a sound Wastewater Management, effective Complaints Mechanisms and Improved Working Conditions in Tamil Nadu (India). Where individual actors reach their limits, members can work together to achieve better outcomes for people and the environment in the countries of production.

In 2020, PST members started a pilot project on organic cotton in India (Süd-Odisha). The objective is to increase the amount of available organic cotton on the world market, among other things through training, targeted support for women, support for conversion to organic farming, GMO-free seeds, purchase commitments and premiums.

The Partnership Initiative and the pilot project contribute to achieve the joint goal of the PST members: By 2025, the share of sustainable cotton sourced by member companies is to increase to a total of 70 per cent, and the share of organic cotton contained therein to 20 per cent.

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New expert group on forced labour

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26.04.2022

New expert group on forced labour

Ziel der neuen Expert*innen-Gruppe (EG) Zwangsarbeit ist es, den Dialog zu vertiefen und auszuweiten, der bereits in einer Ad-hoc-Gruppe anlässlich der Zwangsarbeit in Xinjiang begonnenen hat. 14 Mitglieder beteiligen sich an der EG und vereinbarten bei der ersten Sitzung die Themen, Länder und Regionen, denen sich die Gruppe in diesem Jahr widmen will.

According to estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO), around 16 million people worldwide work under force in the private sector. In line with ILO Conventions 29 and 105, the social Partnership goalscall for the prohibition of all forms of forced and compulsory labour, including debt bondage, slavery, serfdom and prison labour.

Different challenges to identify and combat forced labour

Implementing human rights due diligence and identifying and combating forced labour are a challenge for companies for several reasons. In the deeper supply chain and in the informal sector, the risk is greater, but all the more difficult for companies to identify. Another problem is that employers in some production countries sometimes recruit forced laborers within the framework of state-sponsored or organized programs. Counteracting forced labour in such political and social conditions with effective remedial measures is difficult for companies, as employees of the supplier companies and/or their own personnel on site can be put at risk.

Objectives of the working group

Die Mitglieder der neuen EG tauschen ihre Erfahrungen und Informationen zum Thema aus und diskutieren, wie man den Herausforderungen begegnen kann. Die spezifischen Themen, denen sich die Gruppe in diesem Jahr widmen will, sind u.a. Recruitment Fees, Zwangsarbeit von Geflüchteten und Wanderarbeiter*innen, Zwangsarbeit im informellen Sektor und in der Logistik- und Transportbranche sowie Schuldknechtschaft. Dabei wird die Gruppe insbesondere auf die Länder China, Türkei und Indien fokussieren. Die Themen Social Audits und Zertifizierung und die Fragen wie und mithilfe welcher Tools identifiziere ich Zwangsarbeit, aber auch wie gehe ich damit um, wenn ich Zwangsarbeit in der Lieferkette entdecke, bleiben weiterhin auf der Agenda. Außerdem wollen die Mitglieder an der Übersicht der Hilfestellungen weiterarbeiten, die die vorangegangene Ad-hoc-Gruppe erstellt hat. Sie enthält neben allgemeinen Orientierungshilfen und Handlungsempfehlungen auch Good Practices und Beispiele für praktische Ansätze zur Risikoanalyse. Darüber hinaus steht die Gruppe im Dialog mit der Bundesregierung und internationalen Organisationen sowie mit anderen Multi-Stakeholder-Initiativen und Branchen. Und nicht zuletzt ist es das Ziel der EG-Mitglieder, mögliche Kooperationen zu sondieren.

Participating PST members:
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Working Meeting 2022: Let’s Play, Fair!

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22.04.2022

Working Meeting 2022: Let’s Play, Fair!

On 17 and 18 May, the Textiles Partnership members will meet at BeachMitte in Berlin.

At this year's Working Meeting, not only the location is special, but also the concept deviates from the usual process. Unlike in previous years, the participants determine the agenda themselves on the second day and contribute their topics. Some may also be familiar with this unconference format as barcamp. The focus is not only on the exchange among each other, but also on the topics, questions or challenges that the members deal with and that they want to work on together.

17. May: Hybrid Working Meeting

The Working Meeting starts with a review of the year 2021 and an update from the Partnership Secretariat. The subsequent panel discussion "Mitigating climate risks in the textile and garment industry: How to achieve the 2030 goals of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action" will focus on current developments in the reduction of greenhouse gases. Up to this point, the day is hybrid and virtual participation is possible. For all participants in presence, the day ends with a get-together in a relaxed and work-related atmosphere in the BeachMitte.

18 May: The Unconference

The unconference on the second day is planned as a solely face-to-face event. At the beginning, the participants have the opportunity to briefly present their topics (pitch). Afterwards, everyone votes on what they want to discuss in smaller or larger groups during the day.

At 2.45 p.m., Torsten Safarik, President of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), will give an input and answer questions about the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains.

All Textile Partnership members have already been invited and will receive further information on the internal member area. If you are interested in participating in the Working Meeting, please contact mail@textilbuendnis.com.

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Welcome to the Partnership: Circularity Germany GmbH i.G.

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08.04.2022

Welcome to the Partnership: Circularity Germany GmbH i.G.

We are pleased to welcome Circularity Germany to the Textiles Partnership.

The textile company from Hamburg pursues a closed-loop approach and focuses on the longevity of the textiles. Only textiles made of mechanically recycled cotton and polyester materials are produced and distributed.

Circularity Germany, like its sister company Circularity B.V. from the Netherlands, initially produces circular knitted textiles such as t-shirts, polos and sweatshirts in 100% recycled quality. Sustainably oriented end consumers are addressed online. In the fashion sector, wholesalers and retailers are supplied and with the "Circularity All-In Concept", the young company has developed its own circular system for industrial customers and sees great potential for this in the field of workwear and corporate fashion. Public institutions are also expected to show great interest.

Germany managing director Robert Kapferer explains the motivation to join the Textiles Partnership: "We want to rethink sustainable textile production and approach it holistically ecologically as well as socially. Our clothing items are circularly designed, are taken back worn by us and largely without harmful environmental influences, purely mechanically recycled and newly produced. The circular economy based on textile waste streams thus becomes an opportunity for us to rebuild new, crisis-resistant and fully integrated production sites in Germany. For us, these locations are a symbol of our attitude towards sustainability towards employees, customers and our planet. We are looking forward to the interdisciplinary cooperation in the Textiles Partnership. Circular economy is teamwork."

Find more information about Circularity Germany GmbH i.G. on www.circularitybv.nl.

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Welcome to the Partnership: Artus-Trade House GmbH

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04.04.2022

Welcome to the Partnership: Artus-Trade House GmbH

We are pleased to welcome the Artus Group to the Textiles Partnership.

The Artus Group sees itself as a solution provider for the circular economy with a focus on the fashion industry. The new Partnership member offers holistic and integrative solutions for the physical processes in combination with digital applications. The target group are clothing brands and retailers who want to implement circular economy. The Portfolio of the Artus Group includes: post-production, waste treatment (pre- and post-consumer), innovative stationary and online take-back solutions, the processing of used clothing for further recycling solutions and the distribution of excess stock.

The company has many years of know-how and a worldwide trading structure. The Artus Group is already involved in Textile Exchange and is GRS certified (Global Recycling Standard).

Managing director Nerses Ohanian (former owner and CEO of the SOEX Group) explains: "We develop digital solutions to simplify the return of used textiles. Our focus is on the sustainable recycling of textiles to protect the environment and save clothing from destruction. It is of great interest to the Artus Group to network with corresponding companies that have also committed themselves to this high level of responsibility. We hope that we will be able to jointly promote forward-looking developments through the Textiles Partnership."

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The Partnership Initiative Tamil Nadu entered its second phase