The EU-Switch Garment project has come to an end after four years of working to promote sustainable energy practices in the Cambodian garment sector. Pledges for the support of a green transformation in the industry continue.

Launched in 2020, the project promoted competitiveness in the garment industry and decreased the industry’s environmental impact through the adoption of sustainable energy practices and facilitation of investment in clean energy technology. 

According to a joint press release, the project mobilised $2.6 million of investment from the factories for the implementation of sustainable energy tech. It conducted 50 energy audits, helped 22 member factories to go green, and ran three short-term courses, training over 200 factory employees on energy efficiency technology and operation.

"The successful completion of Switch Garment signifies a turning point for Cambodia's garment industry. Working alongside the EU and thanks to the commitment of project partners and industry leaders, we've seen a significant move towards sustainable energy practices by the industry and the garment factories,” said Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth, who attended the project’s closing ceremony last week.

Igor Driesmans, ambassador of the EU to Cambodia explained at the event that the EU, which is a leading market for Cambodia’s garment and textile products, is committed to supporting the green transformation of the industry to contribute to green growth and decent jobs.

Choon Yik Thong, head of the Sub-Commission on Sustainability at the Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC), one of the joint implementers of the project, noted that by embracing energy-efficient practices, garment factories can achieve a double benefit. 

“They can not only reduce their environmental footprint but also cut production costs. This win-win situation creates a greener, more sustainable industry, and positions Cambodia as a competitive leader in the regional market,” he said.

Helena McLeod, deputy director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) – the consortium lead of the project – believed the completion of the project, marked a significant step in the journey towards a sustainable garment industry of Cambodia. 

“We are committed to building on this success and will support Cambodia's journey in greening the garment industry and in scaling up the activities to other sectors,” she said.