by Anuj Bhagwati, Head, A.T.E. Group
In the course of a panel discussion organised by the India ITME Society on Dec. 3, 2020 entitled ‘Safety and Sustainability in the Textile Industry’.
Safety and sustainability have been important subjects for many years, but post COVID-19 their centrality has been much more recognised. We must continue to concentrate on these key issues even after the pandemic dies down – these issues matter regardless of COVID.
A Wikipedia entry defines safety as “the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes” and adds further as “the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk”.
Most times in the years before 2020 when we thought about safety we would think of the kinds of things that could be called either careful behavior or accident prevention – don’t go rock climbing, or motorcycle or car racing; wear safety glasses, shoes, gloves, helmets, …we would think of interlocks on machines, our attitude, and take action in case of incidents. In 2020 though, safety most often refers to COVID-19. We’re thinking more about air.
Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UN’s Brundtland commission in 1987 identified three pillars of sustainable development as economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality.
This is widely recognised as the correct approach today – and that is why the United Nations and most of the countries have adopted sustainable development goals that include indicators that relate to people, planet, and economic growth.