Sustainable Production in the Printing and Dyeing Sector in China

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Sustainable Production in the Printing and Dyeing Sector in China
Introducing sustainability into China’s printing and dyeing industry

The Challenge

China is the largest textile producing and consuming nation in the world. In 2010, national textile production was valued at EUR 570 billion and accounted for 6.56% of national industrial production. The development of the textile industry is vital to China’s economic development. Printing and dyeing (P&D) is a key process (and an important sector) in the textile industry in China. In 2010, Chinese companies printed and dyed 54.8 billion metres of fabric. Of that, over 50% was produced in Zhejiang province and about 33% of total national production was produced in Shaoxing County in north-eastern Zhejiang Province. Industry insiders know that printing and dyeing is by far the most polluting stage of production in the textile industry, due to high water and energy consumption, and high water pollution or high chemical oxygen demand (COD) load due to the use of dyestuffs / chemicals.

The Objectives

The project sought to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the textile printing and dyeing (P&D) industry in China, supporting Keqiao District in establishing a ‘Green Printing and Dyeing Industrial Park’, and promoting a level playing field through capacity building of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the sustainable production requirements of the European Union (EU) and other developed countries. The specific objectives included:

  • Reducing negative environmental impacts of the textile printing and dyeing industry through promoting sustainable production among 350 SMEs in Zhejiang Province, with Keqiao District as a demonstration area;
  • Supporting the creation of an enabling policy environment;
  • Promoting the replication of project experience.

The Way Forward

  • Establishing Model Companies to show what the project can do for the companies in the P&D sector in China;
  • Providing SME owners in P&D sector with CSR leadership training;
  • Offering environmental management trainings to top management and/or chief engineers of SMEs;
  • Encouraging SMEs to submit action plans to be followed up by experts;
  • Compiling case studies and giving recognition for successful SMEs;
  • Coordinating with other local governments in Zhejiang;
  • Undertaking stakeholder consultation with fashion groups (brands companies), ESCOs and banks.
2/2013 – 1/2017
Total Budget:
EUR 1,499,000 (EU Contribution: 79.97%)
Contact Detail:


Mr. Zheng Yifang

[email protected]

Building 8, Administration Center, 479

Tiyuchang Road, Zhejiang


Lead Partners

Zhejiang Province Economic and Information Commission, China


Keqiao District Government, China

Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden

Zhejiang Association of Printing and Dyeing Industry, China

Zhejiang University, China


Impact Sheet