International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan's SMEs (ILES)
Pakistan is facing varying economic, political and social challenges with the overall GDP growth rate reduced to around 2% in 2007-2008 and only slowly increasing up to 4.14% in 2014-2015. The economic growth remains significantly hampered by the energy crisis, fragile law and order situation.
Population growth coupled with unsustainable industrial expansion has placed enormous pressure on Pakistan's resources and has also resulted in unabated pollution.
Pakistan is a water stressed country with average per capita water availability at 964 m3 per annum.
Keeping in perspective the current social and environmental scenario of Pakistan, WWF-Pakistan has joined hands with the European Union and International Labor Organization (ILO) to implement international labour and environmental standards in Pakistan in order to improve the competitiveness of the industrial sector and to strengthen the capacity of the public sector to implement multi Lateral-environmental agreements (MEAs) and national environmental laws and standards in Pakistan. Compliance with international and national standards promotes enterprise efficiency, supports competitiveness in international trade and protects workers and consumers’ health and safety. This in turn leads to sustainable socio-economic development of the country.
The ILES project aims at contributing to improved environmental sustainability and livelihoods in Pakistan by supporting sustainable economic growth and development. Considering the alarming levels of pollution discharged from industries, the project will focus on an overall improvement in the sustainability of production and consumption practices, with a particular focus on water use and management in water intensive, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The project aims at enhancing capacities of the textile and leather sector SMEs to adopt (SEMPs) Smart Environmental Management Practicesto reduce water and energy use as well as hazardous chemicals (by 10%), in addition to addressing other relevant environmental issues such as air and noise pollution, and solid waste management.