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Analysing Economic Social And Environmental Enablers

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Question:

Discuss about the Analysing Economic Social and Environmental Enablers.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Standing in 2017, Bangladesh has been emerging as one of the most potential economies in the southern Asia.  In spite of the corrugated remittances from its strong neighbouring countries, Bangladesh is proving to be a plinth of the global market of fashion industry. In the recent years, Bangladesh has witnessed robust augmentation in its GDP entailing overall growth national economy. According to the survey report of Asian Development Bank, the cause of increment in GDP in FY 2016 has been the private investments and exports in the country (The Asia Foundation 2017). It has resulted in the expansion of surplus and slower rate of inflation. Consequently, job productivity and employment opportunity took a sudden acceleration towards overall economic growth and human development index. The GDP growth record in Bangladesh has consistently remained more than six percent (6%).  

The most significant sector in Bangladesh economy has been the textile and fashion industry.  It is one of the largest suppliers of fashion products in the world. Garment industry in the country has been contributing to the greatest level thus creating huge opportunity for the workers as well as the investors in the country. Since every economic growth has two fold effects upon the society and the environment, Bangladesh’s economic and industrial growth is no exception. Continuous trend towards urbanisation and industrialisation has created a huge gap between sustainability and economic and social development (Stanwick and Stanwick 2015).  

Before a profound understanding of sustainable practice in the Bangladeshi textile industry, one needs to realise the mode of industrial practice in Bangladesh. Textile industry has a notable contribution upon the total industrial production and trade of the country. The country has faced a major increment in the industrial growth in textile and garment sector. Bangladesh having the highest density of population in the world enjoys abundance of labour for the human capital investment. According to the report of Asian foundation, 2013, garment industry has facilitated more than 3.5 million workers with employment.  The same industry has contributed 12% of the total GDP of the country and 80% of the total exported goods of Bangladesh belonged to the garment industry. As of 2013, the total value of garment export from Bangladesh was reportedly 20 billion USD or more. It has witnessed significant growth in the recent years, as the growth of GDP in the year 2016 has been more than 7% that is a record growth for the country in its history.  Though there are some significant advantages in the Bangladeshi garment industry, there are some huge issues as well. The first and the foremost problem pertaining to the garment industry as is extreme low rate of wages (Padmanabhan, Baumann-Pauly and Labowitz 2015). The country is currently classified as a LDC (Least Developed Country).  Average wage of the workers in the garment factories is not more than five thousand (5000) taka (the currency of Bangladesh), which is significantly very low in comparison to the wage structure of the same industry in its neighbouring countries (Islam et al. 2017).

While thinking deep about the effect of fashion industry on environment and society, adversely the most effective sector is the garment dying and washing industry. This sub version of the garment or fashion or textile industry is considered to have the notorious contribution towards the degradation of environment. Since Bangladesh has innumerable mills and factories, where garments are manufactured, sub-divisional industries like dyeing and washing ones have sprouted simultaneously. The quality parameter for water like pH, turbidity, TSS, BOD, COD has been adopted by different NGOs in order to find the presence of metal in the water. It has no doubt found that the water bodies nearest to the industrial regions are highly polluted with metals and chemical particles. However, no vulnerable change in the water bodies of the entire country has been found. Many of the scholars and environmentalists have suggested that this is the high time to bring sustainability into core business practice (Islam and Ahmed 2014). Despite horrendous report of the World Bank pertaining to the sustainability practice in the country, many of the Bangladeshi garment and dyeing factories do not seem to following the guidelines provided to them by the WTO (World Trade Organisation).  Most of the big business organisations and manufacturing companies are strictly instructed to follow the WTO guidelines pertaining to sustainable business development.  Considering all these issues, it can thus be said that a sustainable business model needs to be designed so as to promote responsible consumption. Since the core business model of a company is the value proposition, the model of sustainability should comprise the same. Business model for ensuring sustainability objectifies to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. These are the prime pillars of sustainable development of an economy. Two broad areas of value proposition can be dealt with while designing a model of a sustainable business model. In this case, the basic business attributes need to be addressed.

 

It is not only the factories or the industries the customers also need to be aware and responsible for while purchasing the clothes or garments. Due to the demand of unauthentic products, the industries are encouraged to carry on with foul businesses. Followings are the requirements for a sustainable business model that would promote responsible consumption:

Radical source productivity refers to the stretching of the natural resources by the companies in order to increase production. However, the practice of excessive procurement of natural resources ought to be checked as it creates a vacuum in the availability of the natural resources (França et al. 2017). Since, sustainability covers both the genre of social and environmental development, the textile manufacturing companies in Bangladesh need to ensure the effective circulation of the natural resources so that it can satisfy the urgent want of human being who directly depend upon the usage of natural resources such as cotton, oil and rubber.

In order to sustain the business needs, the companies tend to maintain and restore ecosystem. Though Bangladesh is not deprived of its natural balances, the urban areas are highly affected by water and air pollution. The model of borrow- use and return of the natural components can be used as the ideal one in terms of business expansion. It may affect the level of consumption, however, sustainable consumption needs to be checked in due courses (Bocken et al. 2014).

Closed –loop technique in the production process is highly recommended in the textile and its sub-industries (Maas and Reniers 2014). It has been found that textile industry has been affecting mostly the river and inland waters. Therefore, closed- loop technique is one of the major requirements in the fashion industry in order to maintain ecological balance in Bangladesh.

In case of service and flow economy, most of the companies tend to are found to set a revamped plan i.e. replacement of goods with services. However, it is not possible for the textile manufactures in Bangladesh to go fr service economy as it is the base industry for the country’s development (International Institute for Environment and Development 2017).

Though the phrase sounds bit of an oxymoron, it can be brought under profound contemplation. It is true that responsible consumption reduces the motivation to produce more, however, the phrase has different dimension as well. It shall be responsibility of the companies to educate the customers or the consumers. In order to do this, the companies need to educate themselves about the value and importance of sustainability. The breakthrough of proper education can be done through different strategic actions like discouraging people from using poly- bags. The promotion of responsible purchase is based on the education process towards the customers for selection of purchase options. They ought to make the buyers properly understand the motif of the purchase, its position, the producer, labour involvement, used ingredients and so on.

It can thus be concluded that the business model for sustainability is not only associated with the sustainable practice of the producers. It needs to be circulated to the greater mass by expanding the value of sustainability.

 

Reference:

Bocken, N.M.P., Short, S.W., Rana, P. and Evans, S., 2014. A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of cleaner production, 65, pp.42-56.

França, C.L., Broman, G., Robèrt, K.H., Basile, G. and Trygg, L., 2017. An approach to business model innovation and design for strategic sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, pp.155-166.

International Institute for Environment and Development. (2017). Business models for sustainable development. [online] Available at: https://www.iied.org/business-models-for-sustainable-development [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Islam, N. and Ahmed, S., 2014. Socioeconomic factors and the labor unrest in ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh. Journal of Education Research and Behavioral Sciences, 3(2), pp.p65-74.

Islam, N., Tasnim, T., Biswas, M. and Shahriar, T., 2017. Application of Labor Laws and Other Compliances in Readymade Garment Industry of Bangladesh.

Maas, S. and Reniers, G., 2014. Development of a CSR model for practice: connecting five inherent areas of sustainable business. Journal of Cleaner Production, 64, pp.104-114.

Padmanabhan, V.M., Baumann-Pauly, D. and Labowitz, S., 2015. The Hidden Price of Low Cost: Subcontracting in Bangladesh's Garment Industry.

Stanwick, P. and Stanwick, S., 2015. The Garment Industry in Bangladesh: A Human Rights Challenge. Journal of Business & Economic Policy, 2(4), pp.40-44.

The Asia Foundation. (2017). Bangladesh's Garment Workers - The Asia Foundation. [online] Available at: https://asiafoundation.org/slideshow/bangladeshs-garment-workers/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

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