Corporate Social Responsibility
Roughly 20 pieces of clothing per person are manufactured each year. Growth of the multi-trillion-dollar apparel industry has been fed by “fast fashion,” which makes clothing cheaply and quickly with a low price-tag. Fast-changing trends and low prices have allowed people to consume more. The average consumer is now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000 Cotton is the most common natural fibre used to make clothing, accounting for about 33 percent of all fibres found in textiles. Cotton is also a very thirsty crop, requiring 2,700 liters of water—what one person drinks in two-and-a-half years—to make one cotton shirt. In areas already facing water stress, cotton production can be particularly damaging. In Central Asia, for instance, the Aral Sea has nearly disappeared because cotton farmers draw excessively from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Cotton farming is also responsible for 24 percent of insecticides and 11 percent of pesticides despite using about 3 percent of the world’s arable land.
The carbon footprint of a garment largely depends on the material. While synthetic fibres like polyester have less impact on water and land than grown materials like cotton, they emit more greenhouse gasses per kilogram.* (Source, National Geographic & WRI)
M/s Fine Fabrics Ltd, a listed company, manufactures cotton fabric and its multiple blended variants as per customer/client demands. Customers/clients include fashion houses, designers and large clothing manufacturers across Asia & Europe. You are the Head of CSR with the company.
Q1. As Head of CSR you have been asked to come up with a detailed plan to sensitize your employees on water as a critical resource and also initiate setting up of an innovation driven cell/campaign for saving water. Design and develop a strategic plan/roadmap involving sensitization of 100+ employees as well as setting up of the Water innovation cell/campaign with SMART goals/outcomes for M/s Fine Fabrics Ltd. Please be very specific and relevant to the company.
Q2. Your company is committed to protect, respect and remedy Framework of UN Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Head of manufacturing at M/s Fine fabrics Ltd wants to partner with the supply chain in generating similar Human Rights commitments across their businesses, which are mostly midsized. He wants your guidance on how to convince these vendors to buy in into this voluntarily. Develop a business case and a broad plan that your Head Manufacturing can use to convince the vendor businesses to come on board and adopt UN Principles for Businesses & Human Rights.
Q3A. Carbon Offset is one mechanism used to reduce the carbon footprints of a business. Suggest to your CEO at Fine Fabrics Ltd two concrete ways in which Fine Fabrics can reduce its carbon footprints, develop a convincing business benefit argument around each of the suggestion.
Q3B. An NGO has approached the CEO of M/s Fine Fabrics Ltd requesting funding for a project on cotton fabric based Traditional Crafts making workshop for girls & women from weaker socio economic background. Your company falls under the criteria of 2% spend on CSR as per Companies Act 2013. Your CEO thinks this project can be funded but wants you to do the due diligence of the NGO. Prepare a questionnaire with at least 5/five questions that you think your company should ask and receive answers to before agreeing to fund the project/ partner in the project.