Global renewable energy developer, service provider and distributor, BayWa r.e., announced its collaboration with Swedish shoe manufacturer, outdoor footwear brand and sustainability pioneer, Icebug, for the Decarbonizing Apparel Manufacturing in Vietnam – On-Site Rooftop Solar Group Procurement programme. Initiated by the Clean Energy Investment Accelerator (CEIA), the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, a pilot was first rolled out in 2021.
The huge success of the pilot has inspired BayWa r.e. and Icebug to scale the project even further to include more factories and partners, opening the door between the renewable energy sector and the apparels industry.
This collaboration, along with the potential participation of more partners, will realise the shared vision of both companies to accelerate the decarbonisation of brand supply chains and the manufacturing sector in Vietnam. The goal is to achieve 100% renewable energy for production and operations through battery storage and on-site thermal operations, allowing factories and partners to take one step further into sustainable, net zero production without sacrificing production scale.
Footwear and apparel manufacturing is responsible for roughly 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide production per year – more than aviation and shipping industries combined. While carbon emissions in Vietnam make up approximately 5% of all global carbon emissions according to World Economic Forum, making this programme a meaningful one to collaborate on for both Icebug and BayWa r.e.
Commenting on the programme, David Ekelund, CEO, Icebug,said “We are committed to reducing our climate footprint by 50% by 2030 and as such, cutting energy emissions is key. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort finding out how to make the switch to solar power in an effective way that also benefits the factory owners. Instead of keeping this invaluable information to ourselves we have decided to share best practice and turn this into a programme – free for other brands to join. Together with BayWa r.e., we look forward to radically changing the footwear industry for the better.”
Icebug operates three factories in Vietnam and the initial programme aims to reduce more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide across these on a yearly basis. The level of carbon reduction will then rise even further, as more partners and factories join the programme, seeing reduced operational costs and gaining energy independence in the process.
“This partnership has opened up new opportunities for stakeholders in their carbon reduction projects. This enables stakeholders to reduce their carbon footprint quickly and easily without interrupting production,” said Bryse Gaboury, General Manager, BayWa r.e. Energy Solutions APAC.
The programme will be supported by brands like Icebug in collaboration with BayWa r.e. leveraging its expertise to rapidly deploy rooftop solar for Tier One factories in Vietnam.
With the footwear and apparel industry being one of the world’s most energy intensive sectors, yet also one that generates a substantial revenue – it accounts for 16% of Vietnam’s GDP in 2021 as mentioned in an article by DFU Publications – it is now more important than ever that footwear and apparel-production companies in Vietnam work together, hand in hand, against the rising climate changes through sustainable, consistent actionable plans.
Factories and apparel partners who are interested in being part of the Decarbonizing Apparel Manufacturing in Vietnam – On-Site Rooftop Solar Group Procurement programme can join for free by following the instructions on changing to solar power via SOLAR PROJECT | Icebug, or by contacting David Ekelund, CEO Icebug: david.ekelund(at)icebug.se.