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IFC partners Epic Group on sustainable textile manufacturing
Global apparel firm secures US$100 million loan to upgrade facilities in Bangladesh and India
The Asset 18 Jun 2024

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has teamed up with Epic Group, a global apparel industry player, to support sustainable textile manufacturing and improve the sector’s resource efficiency in Bangladesh and India.

IFC is providing Epic Group with a US$100 million debt financing package, including a US$70 million sustainability-linked loan and a US$30 million green loan, to support the company’s expansion in Bangladesh and the construction of a new manufacturing facility in India.

Additionally, Epic Group will use the proceeds to upgrade its washing and wastewater treatment plant and invest in technology and equipment that will reduce energy and water use in Bangladesh.

IFC’s funding, which includes its first green loan with sustainability-linked features in the manufacturing sector, is expected to help Epic Group create over 10,500 direct jobs and 17,000 indirect jobs in the two countries.

Sustainability targets

The loan is structured with three ambitious corporate sustainability performance targets, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity, decreasing freshwater intensity, and increasing the representation of women in junior and middle management.

"Partnering with IFC is a significant step for Epic Group in pursuit of a more sustainable and innovative textile manufacturing industry,” says Ranjan Mahtani, the company’s executive chairman.

“This collaboration not only allows us to expand our operations in Bangladesh and India but also reinforces our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and enhancing resource efficiency. Together with IFC, we are paving the way for a more resilient textile sector."

The partnership will support Epic Group in reducing its environmental footprint significantly, targeting a 65% reduction in GHG emission per garment produced by 2030 compared to the 2019 benchmark.

Industry emissions

The textile sector contributes around 6% to 8% of total carbon emissions annually, out of which Asia accounts for about 60%.

At the same time, the sector is a critical source of growth in Bangladesh, generating around 85% of its export earnings, and is the second-largest employment generator in India, accounting for approximately 18% of the manufacturing jobs.

In addition to financing, IFC is providing Epic Group with advisory support to help the company develop its environmental, social, and corporate governance capacity, as well as to meet its gender targets.

“IFC is committed to supporting a robust textile and apparel value chain across Asia,” says Riccardo Puliti, IFC’s vice-president for Asia and the Pacific.

“IFC’s funding will enhance the competitiveness of the textile sector in Bangladesh and India by supporting a leading ready-made garment manufacturer to increase efficiency and improve its manufacturing processes through sustainable practices. Making the textile sector more sustainable and competitive is key to the region’s future economic resilience.”

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