Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Textile industry energy audits rising

Textile industry energy audits rising

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers at Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone. Hong Menea

Textile industry energy audits rising

Minister of Environment Say Samal on March 13 encouraged the garment and other textile-related industries to step up clean-energy and green efforts to better position the Kingdom to meet key government greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation commitments, as a prominent EU-backed programme registers a record-breaking 50th energy audit.

Chief among the commitments raised by the minister was Cambodia’s revised GHG reduction target of 41.7 per cent – or 64.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) per year – by 2030, of which 21.3 per cent (13.7 MtCO2e) is from energy and 9.1 per cent (5.9 MtCO2e) from industrial processes and product use, as noted in the 2020 Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Samal was speaking at an event to review the achievements of the 2020-2024 Promotion of Sustainable Energy Practices in the Garment Sector in Cambodia (Switch Garment) project, which is funded by the EU through the EU SWITCH-Asia Programme. The event was held at the Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC).

In Cambodia, textile-linked sectors contribute about 85 per cent of industrial waste, 70 per cent of industrial toxic-water pollution and 27 per cent of industrial air pollution, the minister shared, adding that the garment industry alone consumes 300,000 tonnes of wood each year for heating purposes.

“Therefore, greening the industries, especially the garment industry, is the task of the times for Cambodia,” he said, calling for increased concentration on sustainable and efficient energy solutions, including renewables.

Choon Yik Thong, chair of a sustainability committee at TAFTAC, said the garment, footwear and travel goods (GFT) and other textile-related sectors provide 800,000 direct jobs in Cambodia, and advocated for a green transition to remain competitive in global value chains.

“The high energy cost as well as lagging infrastructure, productivity, and logistic within the country has decreased the competitiveness of the sector. However manufacturers in [the Kingdom] take sustainability as a competitive factor.

“By reducing energy consumption, manufacturers can lower down the environmental [footprint] of their supply chain and at the same time cut down the production cost[s]. This would make the sector greener, sustainable, and more competitive than other markets in the regions,” he said.

Shomi Kim, Cambodia country representative of Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the lead implementer for Switch Garment, confirmed that, “to date, the project has conducted 50 energy audits, the most ever been conducted within a single project in Cambodia.

“Based on the energy audit results, we have walked our member factories through their energy consumption profile and measures to increase energy saving. As a result, we have secured almost $2 million [in] investment made by the member factories, which is an inspiring sign for the greening efforts being realised in the garment sector,” she said.

EU ambassador Carmen Moreno affirmed that the 27-nation European bloc works with the Kingdom “in support of green growth and decent jobs.

“We contribute to the implementation of the national garment strategy by supporting garment factories to adopt sustainable energy practices and facilitate investment in clean technologies, which will enhance the competitiveness of the sector.

“EU’s ‘Global Gateway’ contributes to more resilient and sustainable value chains around the world, and in Cambodia,” she said.

A press release issued in conjunction with the event noted that the EU, a major buyer of Cambodian GFT items, “has set energy efficiency as a key principle for shaping policies, investment decisions and, for the EU external action”.

“The EU, the European Investment Bank and the European Member States contribute with over $25 billion to support climate action in developing countries around the world, around one quarter of the global commitment of $100 billion a year,” it said.

The environment minister reflected on Kim’s comment on the unparalleled number of energy audits conducted by Switch Garment, stating that this “has created momentum towards and interest among industries in going greener”.

The EU’s commitment to greening the industry “has resulted in the successful implementation of the project thus far”, Samal said.

“Overall, the Switch Garment programme aims to promote sustainable energy practices – concerning both renewable energy and energy efficiency – in the garment sector. This will help Cambodia in achieving its national targets for climate mitigation,” he added.

He said that by the end of Switch Garment’s life span, energy costs for the Cambodian garment industry are expected to be around 20 per cent lower and the Kingdom’s annual GHG emissions will have dropped by some 175 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (ktCO2e).


  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Candlelight Party disqualified from July general election

    The National Election Committee (NEC) has disqualified the Candlelight Party (CP) from contesting the upcoming general election, citing a lack of valid documentation. NEC spokesman Khorn Keomono said the CP failed to fulfil one of the three main requirements: including original documentation proving their registration

  • Thong Khon calls for orderly SEA Games closing ceremony

    Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), calls on all people who have received tickets to the May 17 closing ceremony of the biennial multi-sports extravaganza at the Morodok Techo National Stadium to ensure that the event

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is