Novozymes provides input for UN Global Compact to make sustainable change in the textile industry

In collaboration with the Danish Fashion Institute, Novozymes provides advice to UN Global Compact with the aim of creating sustainable change in the textile industry.

3. May 2012
The UN Global Compact today launches its first sector-specific initiative, a code of conduct for the entire fashion industry.

The launch will take place at the Danish Fashion Summit, and in the lead-up to this event Novozymes has been collaborating with the Danish Fashion Institute to provide ideas for sustainable textile production. The input will be passed on for use in the UN Global Compact Code of Conduct.

“Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The fashion industry has a need to show the world that it can change into a more sustainable path, and to do so it's crucial that we build partnerships and exchange ideas across the industry,” says Eva Kruse, CEO of Danish Fashion Institute.

At the Fashion Summit, a whole catalog of ideas for a more sustainable textile industry will be delivered to the UN by the Danish Fashion Institute.

“We can't force companies into sustainability, but we can inspire and motivate them through existing solutions and new technologies – and the input we have had from Novozymes has given our input for sustainability in the textile industry a big boost,” Eva Kruse continues.

Sustainable savings
The textile industry has an option to take a sustainable path.

Every year, 9 million tons of knitwear is produced. Saving between 1 and 1.3 tons of CO2 emissions for each ton of knitwear produced, enzymes can save 0.3 kg of CO2 per T-shirt and 9 million tons of CO2 annually. That is equivalent to removing 4 million cars from the road.

Production of our T-shirts also requires huge amounts of water. Enzymes are naturally efficient processing aids that can accelerate processes and work in synergy to shorten production processes and handle more steps at once. Through this ability, enzymes have been proven to save 70,000 liters of water per ton of knitted fabric produced in a textile mill. That is about 20 liters per T-shirt.

Sustainable input
To provide ideas and input for the UN Global Compact Code of Conduct, Novozymes has focused on several areas. One of these concerns clean technologies that can reduce energy and water consumption as well as reducing waste in the textile industry. Another area of input focuses on textiles produced using environmentally friendly energy sources.

“Our main focus has been to provide input and inspiration for how the textile industry can move away from processes with high water and energy consumption. With biotech a textile mile could save water and energy. The technology exists today, but we need accelerate change,” says Pernille Lind Olsen, Marketing Manager at Novozymes.

“At Novozymes we hope that the UN Global Compact Code of Conduct will help the industry to move toward more sustainable production of textiles,” says Pernille Lind Olsen. “The industry needs to initiate sustainable change itself. The world really needs it, customers will demand it, and politicians will eventually decide on it.”