Bik Bok’s initiatives to reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions


The clothing manufacturing process is facing numerous climate and environmental challenges. As part of Varner, Bik Bok is conscious of its role and responsibility and participates in the initiatives intended to help improve these processes. Dipankar Bose, Global Environmental Manager at Varner, explains how.


“Climate changes are a great cause for concern and we have a responsibility to reduce the textile industry’s impact on global warming,” the expert says.

Bik Bok is part of Varner and does not own any factories. With more than 140 different suppliers as its partners, there is a responsibility to ensure that the manufacturing of clothes takes place in the most responsible manner possible.


How we work to reduce water consumption at the factories 

As part of an industry that consumes vast quantities of water, we have to ensure efficient use of water resources, as well as efficient treatment of polluted water from production.

“If the factories simply use and discard groundwater, the regions will run out of fresh water sources, which can also be used for drinking water. The factories are not reliant on the water being as fresh as it has to be to achieve drinking standard and we work, for example, to ensure that process water is recycled and reused in production,” the expert explains.


  1. Monitoring consumption using water meters

“In order to secure contracts with Varner, our partner factories commit to implementing water meters so that we can monitor consumption. These are absolutely necessary in order to ascertain whether or not we actually reduce our water consumption.

Varner’s local specialists in the largest manufacturing countries ensure that water meters have been installed in crucial locations and monitor how much water Varner consumes when manufacturing clothing, why this is the case and how much water should or could be consumed.



  1. Part of a sustainable coalition

“We are also part of SAC (Sustainable Apparel Coalition), which carries out verifications at textile factories. Environmental performance is evaluated using their tracking and monitoring tools and our initiatives are based on the results,” Dipankar explains. 

The coalition has more than 50 members worldwide and Varner is currently planning to collaborate with other textile manufacturers on projects to help improve water consumption at factories. 

Dipankar notes that Varner’s responsibility to promote innovative solutions is of particular importance in vulnerable regions, such as the areas of northern India and Pakistan where water is scarce and entire communities are affected by water shortages. A large part of the challenge is that water is a cheap resource for manufacturers and there is often a lack of technical understanding on the part of both the manufacturers and the governments in manufacturing countries.



Our three priority areas when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Varner is one of the companies that map emissions. The figures are used to establish insight-based reduction targets, which in turn show how much the company contributes to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Varner has identified three priority areas for its initiatives:

  1. Preferred materials

The materials we use account for approximately 56% of Varner’s overall emissions. This area is therefore a high priority when it comes to reduction initiatives.

“Materials that require fewer resources to manufacture the final product have lower emissions and a smaller environmental footprint. Examples of preferred materials include recycled cotton, recycled polyester and Eco Vero viscose,” says Dipankar.


  1. Energy-efficiency measures at direct suppliers

The factories that manufacture clothing account for 34% of Varner’s overall emissions. Varner has greater influence on the factories that produce garments – the direct suppliers – than the factories that manufacture yarn or textiles for example.

“We work on energy-efficiency measures and promoting a shift towards clean energy sources at the factories that produce our clothes. If, for example, a factory relies on fossil fuels such as coal, we investigate the option of running the factory on solar energy or the possibilities of buying green electricity from the local grid,” Dipankar explains, before adding:

“Switching to renewable energy at all factories is a challenging task. We depend on the authorities in the manufacturing countries supporting the industry and the crucial changes in the transition.


  1. Transport, energy consumption at retail outlets and packaging

The remaining 10% of the overall emissions arise from transport, energy consumption at retail outlets and packaging. The focus is on reducing the overall energy consumption and increasing the proportion of clean, renewable energy.

“Varner’s environmental specialists are negotiating with carriers to switch to increasingly environmentally friendly fuels and, for a long time, our policy has been to prioritise maritime transport ahead of air, which is always the last resort. We also choose rail transport ahead of road transport,” the expert explains, before adding:

 “When it comes to emissions from retail outlets, these are highly efficient and lower than in many countries, but we are still looking at the possibilities of switching to fully certified clean energy sources. We are also working on initiatives to reduce the footprint from packaging,” the expert adds.


Would you like to know how Varner works with clothing production, the environment and sustainability? In the Varner Sustainability Report 2022 you will find everything you need to know and then some. 

You can also send an email directly to [email protected] if there’s anything else you’d like to know about how we work with sustainability.