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IFC and EPIC Group Partner to Support Sustainable Textile Manufacturing in Bangladesh and India

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) partnered with EPIC Group, a leading player in the global apparel industry and a sustainable fashion company, to help finance its green capital expenditure program and support sustainable textile facility expansion in Bangladesh and India.

IFC and EPIC Group Partner to Support Sustainable Textile Manufacturing in Bangladesh and India

EPIC Group on Monday announced that FC is providing the company with a $100 million debt financing package, which includes a $70 million sustainability-linked loan and a $30 million green loan, to support EPIC Group’s expansion in Bangladesh and the construction of a new manufacturing facility in India.

In addition, the fresh funding will enable EPIC to upgrade its washing and wastewater treatment plant and invest in technology and equipment to reduce energy and water use in Bangladesh.

Besides the positive influence on the environment, the expansion of sustainable textile production in the given countries is expected to create over 10,500 direct jobs and 17,000 indirect higher-skilled jobs.

The IFC’s first green loan with sustainability-linked features in the manufacturing sector is structured with three corporate sustainability performance targets, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity, decreasing freshwater intensity, and increasing the representation of women in junior and middle management.

The textile sector contributes to 6-8% of total carbon emissions annually, and Asia accounts for about 60% of textile-linked emissions. Therefore, EPIC, which dedicates much effort to its ESG goals and constantly raises sustainability standard bars, is currently targeting a 65% reduction in GHG emission per garment produced by 2030 compared to the 2019 benchmark.

The apparel manufacturer is adopting less-water-using equipment to wash its garments, treating effluents through modern treatment facilities, diligently controlling the use of chemicals, and reducing energy waste through proper plant management. The Epic Group’s GTL4 factory was recently granted the coveted LEED Platinum certification under the world’s premier green building programme, achieving an unprecedented LEED rating of 104 points.

Along with the fresh financing from IFC, EPIC Group will receive the Corporation’s advisory support to help develop its ESG capacity and meet its gender targets. Earlier, IFC supported EPIC Group with advisory services on greener production and decarbonization through the Global Trade Supplier Finance program.

“IFC is committed to supporting a robust textile and apparel value chain across Asia. IFC’s funding will enhance the competitiveness of the textile sector in Bangladesh and India by supporting a leading ready-made garment manufacturer to increase efficiency and improve its manufacturing processes through sustainable practices. Making the textile sector more sustainable and competitive is key to the region’s future economic resilience.”

Riccardo Puliti, IFC’s Vice President for Asia and the Pacific

Earlier this year, IFC introduced an AI tool for sustainable investments. MALENA from IFC leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to transform environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis for emerging markets and facilitate sustainable investments.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.