Stockholm (4 May 2016) – Sweden Textile Water Initiative global results for 2015 have surpassed expectations, measuring water savings equivalent to the daily need of almost 50 million people.

The environmental, social and financial results are collected from the Initiative’s scaled up global programme to increase efficient water, energy and chemical use at factory level in India, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and Ethiopia.

It is estimated that 20 per cent of all industrial freshwater pollution is caused by the textile industry. The Sweden Textile Water Initiative was developed with this context in mind and with the aim of generating economic, social and environmental savings from sustainable water use in textile and leather production. The water quantities saved during 2015 ensured that vital resources in water scarce regions remained within the environment or were not expelled as polluted effluent into local freshwater reserves.

Starting life in 2010 as a small working group, Sweden Textile Water Initiative has grown to become an initiative that works with over 120 factories in five major global production hubs supplying 20 major Swedish brands. It is the largest global supply chain programme working with the factory base for their own improvement. The initiative won the prestigious Habit Fashion Award for Sustainability in November 2015 for its impact in transforming textile and leather supply chains.

2015 Headline Figures

  • 5 countries (India, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and Ethiopia)
  • 20 Swedish purchasing brands
  • 72 supplying factories
  • 8 per cent overall reduction in water (Annual water savings reached 2,456,700 m³.)
  • Annual water savings were equivalent to the daily need for almost 50 million people (based on the UN Human Right to Water minimum of 50 Liters per day per capita)
  • 11 per cent overall reduction in energy (6347979ms of natural gas and 5358MT fuel, 2,557,974 MWh electricity)
  • 6 per cent overall  reduction in chemical use (1,140 MT chemicals)
  • Trainees : 12000+ people
  • Investment by factories: 43.3 MSEK
  • Annual Operational cost savings by factories: 39 MSEK
  • ROI for factories: 89 per cent
  • Private Capital Mobilised: 128 per cent

Notes to editors