While Bangladesh Financing Strategy expects a 42% contribution from the private sector to achieve SDG financing and the 8th Five-Year-Plan envisions 75% of the achievements to be supported by private sector, no industry consolidated impact on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has yet been reported.
On 28th March, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) took the first step towards a consolidated industry approach to private sector sustainability reporting in association with Principal Coordinator Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Affairs Prime Minister's Office and with technical support from Global reporting Initiative (GRI).
In the past months 47 BGMEA member factories conducted sustainability self-reporting translating their impact into the language of NPIs and SDGs. ‘In Bangladesh, the Readymade Garments sector not only contributes to economic development, but also to SDG achievement: it provides employment; supports healthcare of the workforce; invests in up-skilling the workforce; adopts resource recycling; increasingly uses renewable energy, and so on. While some individual factories produce sustainability reports, the appreciation of the magnitude of the impacts has so far remained outside of systematic studies and reporting making it difficult to understand industry trends and align private sector efforts to government goals.’ said UNDP Resident Representative, Sudipto Mukerjee.
Today for their pioneering effort the 47 factories got awarded a certificate of appreciation for their contribution to NPIs and SDGs through sustainability reporting in the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Salman F Rahman, MP, Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to Honorable Prime Minister, Ms. Fatima Yasmin, Secretary Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, and Zuena Aziz, Principal Coordinator, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Affairs Prime Minister's Office.
Ms. Zuena Aziz highlighted how ‘for attaining SDGs by 2030, the role of private sector is very crucial. Only the Inclusive participation of Government, Private sectors and civil society will ensure the timely implementation of SDGs.’
Mr. Salman F Rahman, MP Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to Honorable Prime Minister, further stressed this point highlighting how ‘to translate the private sector contribution to SDGs into action is critical to know how is the private sector already contributing to national priorities and use these data points to make decisions so that the contribution can get to scale and public and private partnerships can be strengthened’
The efforts of the 47 factories were consolidated in the report A PATHWAY TO MANAGE PRIVATE SECTOR IMPACT on Bangladesh National Priority Indicators (NPIs) & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
‘With this report we wanted to measure the RMG industry’s impact on SDGs to communicate with key stakeholders, such as the Government, buyers, trade partners, and communities so that together we can take action to support the Country. We hope to inspire more RMG factories and other industries to undertake sustainability reporting in the future as it is a key step in the journey of translating the private sector contribution to SDG financing into concrete achievements and future actions.’ said Dr. Rubana Huq President of BGMEA.