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IRBC targets 80% of Dutch textile businesses by 2021
Aug '17
Courtesy: IRBC
Courtesy: IRBC
The Dutch Government and several industry organisations, trade unions and NGOs concluded an agreement in July 2016 on International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) in the garments and textile sector to fight discrimination, child labour and forced labour, to reduce the negative impact of their activities on the environment and to prevent animal abuse.

Sixty-four business establishments representing about 80 different clothing and textile brands have signed the agreement so far, representing more than 35 per cent of all textile business units in the Netherlands. The aim is to make 80 per cent of all businesses in this sector in the country to sign by 2021, according to the IRBC website. The agreement will remain in effect for a five-year period.

The participating business entities seek to reduce the amount of water, energy and chemicals they use and produce less chemical waste and waste water. For the first time ever, businesses as a group will state which factories produce their clothing.

The trade unions and NGOs involved will support with their expertise and networks and will involve their local partners in implementing the programmes. An independent disputes committee has been appointed with the power to issue binding rulings.

Facilitated by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), the agreement addresses issues that cannot be resolved by one business acting alone and focuses on collective projects and cooperation, increasing the chances of success.

The agreement represents the Dutch approach to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises promoting international responsible business conduct. (DS)

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