It is a matter of great encouragement that seven industrial units of Bangladesh have made it to the highest scoring top 10 on the list of 25 environment-friendly industrial structures of the world. At a juncture when Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry has been under criticism from various international quarters, this LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate awarded by the US Green Building Council is a proof that Bangladesh is capable.
Scoring 97 out of 100, Bangladesh’s Remi Holdings, the readymade garment factory in the Adamjee Export Processing Zone (EPZ) of Narayanganj, became the world’s number one environment-friendly factory. Number two on the list is Narayanganj’s Plummy Fashions. Other Bangladeshi factories making it to the list include ABA Group’s Vintage Denim, SQ Celsius 2, Genesis Washing, SQ ColBlanc and SQ Birichina.
We congratulate the owners of these factories. We thank the workers of these factories. It is their joint efforts that have lead to this success in protecting the environment. We hope they have set an example for others to follow. Environment-friendly factories shouldn’t be restricted to the garment industry alone.
A comment of one of the top-ten environment-friendly factory owners should be taken into cognizance. Even though it costs more to make a factory environment-friendly, the buyers will not pay extra. Why won’t the foreign buyers who are so conscious about the work environment of factories, pay the additional price?
The achievements of these factories are an inspiration to others. The harm done to the image of the garment industry by the Rana Plaza and Tazreen incidents, must be rectified by improving the work environment of the factories in this sector. The owners of these winning factories have proven that this is not an impossible task. According to the BGMEA, most of the garment factories in the country have a tolerable work environment. There hardly seems any justification in the US not granting Bangladesh GSP facilities. They express their concern about the work environment of the factories, but have nothing to say about paying a fair price. That is simply not acceptable.