EU Switch Garment: 2nd Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting

Sihanoukville, Cambodia – 30 May 2023, EU Switch Garment, a project funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Cambodia, Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC) and Geres, held the 2nd Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting. The objective of the meeting is to discuss overall progress as well as draw strategic direction from PSC in implementing future project activities.

Taking place at Sokha Hotel, the full-day event began with welcome remarks from H.E. Dr. Vann Monyneath, Director General of General Directorate of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Bryan Fornari, Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Cambodia, and Ms. Shomi Kim, GGGI Cambodia Country Representative. Then, the project team presented the overall project progress before discussing the policy output, including the Model Green Factory Program (MGFP), MRV, energy audit status and the planned financing scheme. In his welcome remark, H.E. Dr. Vann Monyneath, thanked the EU and GGGI for supporting the implementation of sustainable energy practice in Cambodia. The Director General, continued, ‘’Today, we have keynote presentations which lay out a lot of detail information that the PSC would focus on to discuss and provide future direction as well as guidance on the project implementation.’’

The Meeting noted that the Project has conducted 50 energy audits, the most ever conducted within a single project in Cambodia. Based on the energy audits, the project has guided the 50 member factories through their energy consumption profile and measures to increase energy saving. As a result, the project has mobilised almost 2 million USD investment made by the member factories.

The Project has also developed a voluntary regulatory measure called the ‘Model Green Factory Program (MGFP)’, which is now approved by TAFTAC Sustainability Sub-committee. TAFTAC, along with its training wing CGTI, will take the lead in the implementation of the said Program. MGFP would help factories by guiding them towards achieving sustainable energy goals as set by their respective buyers while contributing to national goals. Dr. Ken Loo, Secretary General of TAFTAC, said, ‘’Our member factories can turn challenges into opportunities by taking part in MGFP and thereby lowering the environmental footprint of their supply chain, so at the same, they can cut down the production cost and increase attractiveness with the buyers. However, the factories within and beyond the switch garment project will need support in terms of technical assistance as well better access to finance’’.

The Project is now engaging with local and international financial institutions to launch a financing scheme that will enable the factories and the energy service providers to get concessionary financing. Mr. Mahfuzur Rahman, EU Switch Garment Project Manager, said, “The proposed financing scheme, if successful, will address the existing market barriers including high-interest rate, high collaterals as well as shorter tenors”.

H.E. Heng Eang, Advisor to the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Deputy Director-General, General Department of Industry, thanked everyone for attending the PSC meeting in his closing remarks. The meeting appreciated the project outcomes achieved over the last 3 years despite a major halt by COVID. Steering Committee has also provided valuable input to guide the Project in implementing the planned activities in the final year of the Project. The next meeting of PSC is proposed to be held in November 2023.