Bangladesh’s RMG sector, a $28 billion industry, has taken the lead in green manufacturing as it has established 67 eco-friendly green buildings, the highest number in the world.
Officials of the apparel industry and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) came up with the initiative at an awards ceremony for Green Factory owners in the city on Thursday.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in association with USGBC and GBCI launched “LEED Green Factory Award” in recognition and celebration of Bangladesh’s RMG sector’s strides in green industrialization.
A total of 13 best green building factories of Bangladesh were honored with “LEED Green Factory Award” to recognize their efforts in sustainability by achieving LEED Platinum certification.
Bangladesh, the second largest ready-made garment exporter in the world, has taken a leading position in sustainable green industrialization with the world’s several top ranked Green factories.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Bangladesh’s RMG sector now has 67 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green factories. Among them 13 are LEED Platinum rated while more than 280 factories are registered with USGBC for LEED certification.
Indonesia is the second largest with 40 green factories followed by India with 30 and Sri Lanka with 10.
“After independence in 1971, Bangladesh was termed as a bottomless basket and told that it would be an example of a failed state. People were used to thinking of the Bangladesh RMG industry as a place of forced labor, child labor and small factory,” Environment and Forests Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said while addressing the event as chief guest.
Today, it is a matter of pride that Bangladesh’s apparel sector has a 13 LEED platinum and a total 67 certified green factories in platinum, gold and silver categories, the highest in the world, said Mahmud.
Thanking the individuals behind the green initiative in the RMG sector in Bangladesh, Mahmud said green initiative gives resilience to the economy as a whole. Sustainability is a big factor in the business, he adds.
Over the years, we have heard about green buildings in the RMG sector in other countries like Sri Lanka. Now, Bangladesh has the highest number of green factories in the apparel sector,” said Md Miran Ali, chairman of Remi Holdings Ltd, a LEED platinum certified company, which scored 97 out of 110.
We have to inform the people about the latest green technology so that everyone can learn and be encouraged in establishing the sustainable industry, said Miran. He expressed hope that about 10% of the total RMG sector in next decade will use green technology.
“Bangladesh’s overall branding as well as the RMG sector is negative. We cannot just say that Bangladesh is a country of green buildings,” Fazlul Haque, managing director of Plummy Fashions, a platinum certified factory. “It is time to say and brand Bangladesh, as well,” he adds.
“Sustainability is no more an option, it is a need, and it should be inclusive. In South Asia, Bangladesh has taken the lead in green initiatives,” said Gopalakrishnan P., Managing Director of GBCI in Asia Pacific and Middle East Markets.
“We are pleased to recognize this important achievement and to express our deep appreciation for the support of our efforts to transform the built environment in Bangladesh region, said Gopala.
“In recent years a silent revolution has taken place in the RMG industry of Bangladesh. The world’s highest rated LEED Platinum Denim factory, Knit factory, Washing Plant and Textile mill all are situated in Bangladesh,” BGMEA president Md. Siddiqur Rahman said.
“The entrepreneurs of our RMG sector are the architects of this achievement in green industrialization. The LEED Green Factory Award is for them to recognize their efforts and achievement,” he added.
Speaking of wages, the minister said there will be no dispute between the workers and owners, if the wages is set based on the needs of workers, and the capacity of industry.
He also urged the sector people to take initiative so that it can enjoy the present trade benefits after its graduation to middle income levels.
The award winers are Remi Holdings, which scored 97 out of 110 followed by Tarasima Apparels, Plummy Fashions, Vintage Denim Studio, Columbia Washing Plant, Echotex, SQ Celsius Unit 2, Kaniz Fashions, Genesis Washing, Genesis Fashions, SQ Birichina, SQ ColBlanc and Envoy Textiles.