Climate change and global value chains in Bangladesh

Project summary

This research and capacity building project will investigate how the garment/textile value chains connecting Europe/Bangladesh are being reconfigured in response to climate change. Our research will answer the following questions: How are the garment/textile value chains connecting Europe/Bangladesh being reconfigured in response to climate change, and what are the consequences for economic, social, and environmental upgrading in the garment/textile industries of Bangladesh?
The main research objective is to create insights into the actors pushing for decarbonization and value chain resilience efforts in the garment/textile industries of Europe/Bangladesh; the drivers behind their engagement; the scope of their practices, experimentation, and collaboration; and the consequences for economic, social, and environmental upgrading in Bangladesh. Scientific results: 8 articles (in journals such as World Development & Economic Geography) & 8 book chapters, as well as 8 working papers coauthored with Bangladeshi colleagues. The PhDs will publish their own articles in addition.
Results will be shared widely through publications/blogs/meetings in DIEH/BRAC University in DK/Bangladesh. Research capacity strengthening outputs: 3 Bangladeshi PhDs; exchange visits to extend participating scholars’ international experience/networks; conferences in DK and Bangladesh on climate change/the garment industry, and strengthening university-industry linkages.
The project is headed by the Copenhagen Business School. Partner universities include Aalborg University (DK), Roskilde University (DK) BRAC University (Bangladesh) and University of Dhaka (Bangladesh). Private sector partners include the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative and Danish Fashion and Textile.

Outputs

First year report
In terms of scientific results, it looks as if the project will exceed its original target of eight journal articles, eight book chapters, and eight working papers with the 3 PhD scholars to publish their own articles in addition. In 2022, we are publishing a book with Cambridge University Press (which includes 5 chapters) on sustainable value chain and climate change innovation in the global garment and textile industries. We are planning a special journal issue and an edited book (with Edward Elgar Publishers) + producing background working papers. And we have 5 journal articles in preparation before fieldwork has been initiated.

We have 3 PhD students (1 at AAU, 1 at RUC, 1 at CBS) that are part of a sandwich agreement where they will also take PhD courses at Dhaka University and be based at the CED, BRAC University with our research team. We have had extensive stakeholder interaction/communication. In September 2021, we had an online project launch in cooperation with the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), the UK-ETI, the Norwegian ETI, and Danish Fashion and Textile. In Dhaka in March 2022, we met the senior leadership of the Bangladesh Garment and Manufactures Export Association (BGMEA). This was followed by a CBS thought leaders-BGMEA stakeholder dialogue held in Copenhagen in June 6 2022. Our entire project team (from Europe and Bangladesh) participated in the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen in June 2022.

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