'The world is moving towards green industrialization. To keep up, we should also start taking green initiatives in the apparel industry to attract these global brands and retailers'
A feasibility study found a lack of awareness towards environmental sustainability and funds are the major constraints towards building green RMG factories.
The study “Developing Capacity Building Framework for Green Industry in RMG Sector in Bangladesh” was conducted by Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and sponsored by the Commerce Ministry and funded by France Development Agency (AFD).
The findings of the study were discussed at a workshop on Thursday where experts also cited a lack of technical expertise, limited availability of resources, lack of knowledge and technology to go green, scarcity of land, poor data management at the factory level, lack of branding and strong support from brands and buyers, and an acute scarcity of the experts on the US Green Building Council (USGBC) guideline.
Both RMG stakeholders and development partners emphasized the importance of green initiatives in the RMG sector as demand by buyers around the world for eco-friendly factories is growing.
“The world is moving towards green industrialization. To keep up, we should also start taking green initiatives in the apparel industry to attract these global brands and retailers,” said Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose said as chief guest.
“The RMG sector is very crucial for Bangladesh and we have to move towards the development of the sector and move towards a green revolution in the RMG industry, which has already taken the lead in the world,” he added.
The feasibility study also found that Green Industrialization can play a vital role in increasing product diversification, price competitiveness and cost competitiveness as buyers are attracted to green factories because of their commitment towards the environment.
“Last year, France imported clothing products worth $2 billion. If Bangladesh builds its image as a green industry in the global market, the country’s exports will see more growth in earnings,” AFD South Asian Regional Director Nicolas Fornage said.
BKMEA First Vice-President Mansur Ahmed hoped that the government would support the RMG sector’s green initiative.
Since 2011, a total of 67 Bangladeshi RMG factories have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC), one of the top green building rating systems in the world, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data.
Out of the 67 factories, 13 have been rated platinum, 20 gold, and five silver. At least 222 more factories have been registered with the USGBC for the LEED certification.