ITMA 2015


World Textile Summit to explore business logic of textile sustainability

The World Textile Summit, co-located with ITMA 2015 in November, has revealed a high-powered line-up to explore the business case for pursuing a strong sustainability policy in the textile manufacturing value chain.

Aligning with the overarching theme of ITMA 2015 and designed to assist senior textile decision-makers in formulating strategy, the Summit will delve into a range of topics that link decisions on sustainability to profitability and corporate success. These include the role of sustainability in:

  • differentiating brands and companies
  • business profitability and security
  • investment decisions
  • the circular supply chain
  • customer acquisition and retention
  • product development

The Summit’s opening address will be made by Mary Porter Peschka, Global Acting Director, Sustainable Business Advisory, of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), which published a 2012 report highlighting the ways in which sustainable business practices can cut costs, increase revenues, reduce risk and improve access to capital through better governance.

In a morning packed with business insights, Paula Oliveira, Director, Interbrand, will explain how sustainability can deliver a marketing edge by differentiating brands and companies. The Summit will also hear from Vivek Tandon, co-founder of French private-equity investor Aloe Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and has interests in the fibre sector.

First-hand experience of the advantages of investment in ‘clean’ manufacturing will come from three textile industry leaders – Alfonso Saibene Canepa, Director, Canepa SpA (Italy); Roger Yeh, President, Everest Textile Co Ltd (Taiwan); and Ajay Sardana, Vice-President, Aditya Birla Group (India) – who will each briefly describe their company’s experience and stance and will then join an open discussion on the investment case for ‘green’ technology.

Finally, delegates will be granted a privileged preview of the findings of an important study by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), part of the University of Cambridge, whose Natural Capital Leaders Platform has investigated the natural capital dependencies and impacts of cotton production and the risks associated with these. The study was conducted in partnership with major businesses including Olam International, Kering, C&A and Asda and its results, presented jointly by Programme Manager Gemma Cranston and Kering’s Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation, Helen Crowley, are scheduled for publication at the end of 2015.

In the afternoon the Summit will begin by exploring ways in which companies in the textile supply chain can capture sustainable growth. Delegates will hear first from Frank Henke, VP for Social & Environmental Affairs, Adidas.

Picking up on the theme, Christian Dietrich, Director, Systain Consulting, will describe the response of suppliers to an initiative by a grouping of major retailers to mitigate the CO2 burden of their businesses.

Helga Vanthournout, Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co – an expert on the ‘circular economy’ as it relates to textiles – will consider how recycling and reuse of end-of-life products can deliver economic and business value. And developing the theme of materials, Linda Keppinger, Global Materials Director, Nike Inc, will review sustainable trends in product development.

In conclusion, Burak Tun, Director Sales, Menderes Tekstil (Turkey) and Alan Garosi, Global Marketing Manager, Fulgar (Italy) will each present a short case study focusing on their own company’s application of environmentally friendly materials and will participate from the platform in an open discussion on the strategic choices to be made in material selection.

Scheduled for 13 November 2015, the second day of ITMA 2015 in Milan, the World Textile Summit 2015 is owned and organised by CEMATEX, WTiN and MP Expositions. The event is sponsored by leading textile-machinery companies and environmental standards bodies including SPGPrints, MS Italy, bluesign technologies, Oeko-Tex, EFI Reggiani, and Oerlikon. Friends and supporters include Novozymes, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, The Textile Institute and the Better Cotton Initiative.

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