More than 500 factories are also in the pipeline to get the USGBC Leadership in Environmental and Energy in Design (LEED) – a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership – certification, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Twenty-seven readymade garment and textile factories received LEED certificate in 2022.

According to the entrepreneurs, the eco-friendly facilities generally, cost 5 to 20 per cent more than the conventional ones, but the benefits are long term. Overall, the green factories can reduce electricity consumption by 24 to 50 per, water consumption by 40 per cent and carbon emissions by 33 to 39 per cent.

A number of organisations around the world certify the eco-friendly establishments. Of them, the USGBC, established in 1993, issues the LEED certificate.

Under the USGBC, factories as well as commercial establishments, schools, houses, sales centres and prayer centres could be set up as environment-friendly facilities.

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).

According to BGMEA, 58 out of 180 readymade garment and textile factories receiving the LEED certification were qualified as Platinum, 108 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 in Bangladesh to receive the LEED Certification in 2012.