CAMTEX held its fifth sustainability forum focused on sharing international best practices to advance towards a decarbonization process in the industry.

The Chamber of the Textile, Clothing and Free Trade Zones Industry of El Salvador (CAMTEX) held its fifth sustainability forum called: the Decarbonization Challenge, the impact of carbon footprint emissions.

During the event, held virtually, specialists from different geographical areas participated, who shared strategies to improve environmental efficiency in production processes.

“The industries of El Salvador have advanced and know about the benefits of implementing cleaner production practices and establishing the principles of a circular economy, to date according to the most recent survey of our sector, 83% of companies "They participate in global compliance programs required by large buyers, our clients," said Patricia Figueroa, executive director of the union during the opening of the forum.

The textile, clothing and free zone sectors of El Salvador currently have a strategic importance in the local economy, accounting for more than 78,000 jobs at the end of last year, where 57% of its workforce is led by women. The fact of moving towards new production requirements dictated by the international market ensures its competitiveness compared to other producing countries on different continents.

Decarbonization of the textile industry

During the forum, one of the main presentations was given by the firm Peterson, specialized in carrying out audit, measurement and improvement processes regarding decarbonization on a global scale. Andrea Amador, project manager of the organization explained how this practice consists of reducing or eliminating all carbon gases caused by human activity, achieving net zero emissions.

“It is about gradually replacing fossil fuels with fuels that are less harmful to the environment. In that sense, decarbonization is achieved through the implementation of efficiency technologies and low-carbon energy sources,” explained the specialist.

Currently, 60% of industrialists in the textile, clothing and free zone sectors have investment programs or projects in the use of energy from renewable sources, 43% of them also know about decarbonization programs and 13% are applying programs directly related to the reduction of emissions in initial stages, according to the latest survey of the state of the sector at the end of the third quarter of the year.

“We know that there is still a way to go to be able to contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, which aims to limit global warming to below 2°C starting from pre-industrial levels and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. To achieve this goal, countries must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050” concluded the executive director of CAMTEX.

Currently, the Salvadoran industry is working to achieve this hand in hand with international organizations in various accreditations and programs. Each of these initiatives has required investments in responsible management of environmental strategies, responsible management of wastewater and waste such as HIGG INDEX, ZDHC's Roadmap to Zero, implementation of social transparency and compliance programs. The textile, clothing and free zone sectors also manage Social Responsibility programs according to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition SAC, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production WRAP and occupational protection, health and safety programs in conjunction with the Social & Labor Convergence. International companies that manage their supply chain within national borders rely on the traceability and transparency provided by the regulatory framework of the CAFTA_DR free trade agreement and the Free Trade Zone Law to support their operations.