Women’S Role in Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in Cambodia
07 March 2022
Women play key roles in promoting green manufacturing in Cambodia
As a woman working in the field of industry in Cambodia, Ms. Panharith is a supervisor of health, safety, and environment of Wan He Da Manufacturing Company Limited in Cambodia. She has been working in this field for 7 years now. Ms. Panharith participated in a TEST Project training series organized jointly by UNIDO and the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MISTI) named “Low Carbon Development for Productivity and Climate Change Mitigation Through the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (TEST) Methodology” project which aim to encourage the factories in Cambodia to use the environmentally sound technologies to enhance their productions and at the same time reduce the carbon emission to the environment.
Before joining the TEST Project, she observed that the factory she is working for had faced several issues such as high energy and water consumption and a medium level of efficiency in terms of material and waste management. As a result, the factory had had a high cost in the production line and more or less affected the environment.
When the factory joined the “Low Carbon Development for Productivity and Climate Change Mitigation through the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (TEST) Methodology” in 2019, one of the key projects under the framework of Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) of UNIDO, to which she was assigned as the factory focal point to obtain the technical supports and capacity building from UNIDO Team and MISTI on TEST Methodology and Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) assessment, to build the TEST Team at the factory, to implement the finding measures, and to obtain training on Environmental Management System (EMS) and Environmental Management Accounting (EMA); since then, she has supported and improved the Environmental Roadmap for better performance of factory production. “After gaining the knowledge from the number of training and assessments in the TEST Project, my team and I could improve our environmental performance by meeting the client requirements for instance improving the HIGG Score from 37% in 2018 to 60% in 2021”, Ms. Panharith added.
Furthermore, as a measure implementer, Ms. Panharith has contributed to the improvement of environmental performance through the adoption of green or conserved practices by changing the users' behavior including using the Air-Conditioning at 25 °C instead of 18 or 20 °C, practicing good housekeeping on energy and water consumption, as well as properly managing and recycling waste. She also implemented green and efficient technology such as using LED instead of fluorescent lamps, properly maintaining the boiler, preventing air leakage, using an efficient driving system for the compressor, and also considering investing in Solar PV at the factory.
“As a woman working in the field of environment, many tasks require my substantial contribution in terms of paperwork such as collecting, analyzing, reporting, and presenting data, as well as coordinating and managing work with the technical team in implementing the action plans or RECP measures. When I worked on the tasks, I sometimes experienced challenges on the technical parts like lacking skills and knowledge or facing dilemma in selecting the correct countermeasure on those issues”, she reported to the interviewer.
To deal with the above challenges, Ms. Panharith and her team conducted team discussions, technical consultations, or improved staff’s competence and skills via capacity building programme. Addressing the challenges also helps the factory achieve its green goal since Wan He Da Factory is preparing for a higher standard of work. Importantly, she added, “occasionally, I can find innovative ways to implement those green measures”.
“In brief, with my dedicated involvement in this factory and project, I can see that the factory’s business is growing gradually. The customers overseas namely the EU and US, just to name a few, are satisfied with our performance due to the increase in product ordering despite the COVID-19 outbreak; with this, it is contributing to the creation of more jobs for local workers”, she shared during the interview.
Lastly, she signified her views that environmental protection is the responsibility of every individual without gender discrimination. As she said, “based on my experience, I think environmental work is very suitable for not just men but also women, and it contributes to personal, institutional, and community development. In the present and the future, green skills are important and relevant in supporting the manufacturing sectors in Cambodia”.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Project Assistant of “Low Carbon Development for Productivity and Climate Change Mitigation through the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (TEST) Methodology”