Half of the top 100 environment-friendly factories are in Bangladesh

Prothom Alo illustration

Half of the top 100 environment-friendly factories in the world are located in Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Two of the top three factories with the highest points are from Bangladesh. However, the PT Ungaran Sari Garments of Indonesia is at the top of this list.

Bangladesh is moving ahead with quite a rapid speed in terms of building environment-friendly factories in the apparel sector.

Some 129 environment-friendly factories have been set up in the last five years and of them, 30 factories were built in 2022.

Not just in numbers, Bangladesh is far ahead of the rest of the countries in terms of quality of these factories as well.

In the second place is a company not disclosing its Bangladeshi origin. And Remi Holdings and Fatullah Apparels in Narayanganj are at the third place in the list.

A number of agencies across the world provide the certificate of environment-friendly establishments.

One of these agencies is the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The agency provides certificates for environment-friendly buildings under the name ‘LEED’ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

To get this certificate, a project needs to maintain the highest standard from construction to production under the supervision of the USGBC.

One can appeal for the USGBC certificate after renovating an old building or after the completion of the construction.

The USGBC was established in 1993. Apart from industrial establishments, different sorts of environment-friendly establishments, including commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, houses, shopping malls and prayer halls, can be constructed under the supervision of the USGBC.

The number of LEED certified commercial establishments crossed the 100000 mark worldwide in November, last year.

There are 110 points to fulfil nine conditions of the LEED certificate. There are four levels of qualification—Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points), Platinum (above 80 points).

Almost all environment-friendly establishments have achieved USGBC certification.

According to the latest data, 187 out of 210 factories receiving the LEED certification are readymade garment and textile factories. Of these RMG and textile factories, 63 were qualified as Platinum, 110 Gold, 10 Silver and 4 Certified.

Established by entrepreneur Sazzadur Rahman, Vintage Denim Studio (VDS) in Pabna’s Ishwardi Export Processing Zone is the first eco-friendly factory in Bangladesh to receive the LEED Certification in 2012.

Entrepreneurs in apparel industry became eager to set up green factories following the 2013 Rana Palza building collapse that drew global attention over workplace safety at factories in Bangladesh.

Eco-friendly factories are also being built in other sectors including shipbreaking, leather and electronic product manufacturing. Even high-rise eco-friendly commercial building is being constructed.

Bangladesh has half of the top 100 green factories while China has 10 such factories. Besdies, there are nine eco-friendly factories in Pakistan, six in India and Sri Lanka each, four in Vietnam and Twain each and two factories in Myanmar. United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, Romania and Turkey have one eco-friendly factory each.

Regarding this, Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said, “Bangladesh reached new heights in setting up eco-friendly factories, which is why foreign buyers show respect to Bangladesh’s garment industry and we are getting its benefit too.”

“Bangladesh is receiving a good portion of work orders those have been relocated from China because of coronavirus pandemic and geopolitics,” he said adding, eco-friendly factories would bring more benefit in the coming days.