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Clean by Design (Inaugural Program)+ Energy & Water Efficiency for Stage 1 Tier 2 program (CbD S1T2)

Published: 27 July 2021
2 min read
Aii Updates
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Clean by Design (CbD S1T2): This is Aii’s inaugural program which captures low hanging fruit efficiency improvements. It is a Stage 1 (S1) program focused on Tier 2 (T2) wet-processing facilities that results in 10.6% energy and 12.9% water reductions   

For a video overview, please click here

Overview / Context

The Natural Resources Defense council created Clean by Design in 2007 after identifying efficiency in Tier 2 wet processing facilities as an opportunity for water and energy use reductions in the apparel supply chain. The Apparel Impact Institute adopted the highly successful program in 2018 and continues to scale the program. 

The cornerstone of Clean by Design (CbD) is a set of 10 Best Practices that when implemented in any production facility can deliver almost immediate return on investment – most projects pay for themselves in less than one year. These foundational elements of resource management represent the beginning and ongoing steps all wet processing mills can adopt for optimal efficiency and they pave the way for more sophisticated projects when the facility is ready.  Clean by Design and expert partners use a CbD Efficiency Scan to evaluate each mill based on their improvement potential beginning with the 10 Best Practices and then allocate them to programming suited for their level of performance.


Aii is currently scaling CbD S1T2 and (26) Tier 2 facilities in active programming in 2020. The 10 Best Practices are open sourced and available on Aii’s website. Aii continues to improve tools and processes as it scales across Mainland China, Taiwan region, India, and Vietnam. 

  • Facilities: completed, total active in 2020 (26 facilities), started in 2020
  • GHG reduction – total tonnes in 2020 AND since program inception
  • Water reduction – total saved in 2021 AND since program inception
  • 19.5  months payback time on initial investment
  • 8 brands – in active programming in 2020
  • Regions – with active cohort programming in 2020 – Mainland China, Taiwan region, India, Vietnam