USAID Green Invest Asia supports first supply of fully traceable, sustainable wood to Cambodian garment factory
BANGKOK, November 7, 2019 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Green Invest Asia, a regional platform connecting sustainable agriculture and forestry companies with investors, facilitated the first fully traceable delivery of sustainably produced acacia timber to a garment factory in Cambodia, which has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation.
“The importance of shifting Cambodia’s ever-expanding textile sector towards more traceable and sustainable fuel supplies cannot be understated,” said John McGinley, Managing Partner of Mekong Strategic Partners, an investment and advisory firm focused on Southeast Asian emerging markets and an implementing partner of USAID Green Invest Asia.
“As the garment sector expands, aligning its activities with Cambodia’s forestry conservation priorities becomes increasingly important. In turn, this creates a great opportunity for further investment into sustainable community and plantation-scale forestry,” added McGinley.
Through the convening and negotiating efforts of USAID Green Invest Asia, the international fashion and design company H&M Group and Grandis Timber have started daily supplies of certified acacia timber to fuel steam boilers of an H&M Group supplier, King First Industrial. The timber comes from the country’s first and only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantation, Grandis Timber.
The garment sector accounts for 80 percent of Cambodia’s export earnings and is a key driver of growth as the country’s largest employer. With H&M Group’s goal of being climate neutral across its supply chain by 2030, ensuring transparent and sustainable sourcing of materials among suppliers is a key focus.
“Working with our stakeholders here in Cambodia to improve access to traceable, sustainable biomass sources, such as rice husks and plantation wood, is a critical step in ensuring H&M Cambodia continues to improve the environmental impact of our work. By lowering greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiencies and supporting the development of sustainable energy logistics, not only do Cambodian communities benefit, but also our global consumer base,” explained Christer Horn af Aminne, H&M Group’s Cambodia Country Manager.
With support from USAID Green Invest Asia, Grandis Timber is exploring sales to more garment factories and other industries that presently use wood in their operations to improve their market chain of the sustainable timber product.