Bangladesh boasts 171 Leed-certified green RMG factories now

Green factories help cut down the usage of energy by 40% and consumption of water by more than 30%

The readymade garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh now has 171 US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) certified green factories, the highest in the world.

These green factories help cut down operational costs significantly in the long run, even though setting up such facilities might cost more initially.  

According to BGMEA, green factories are said to help cut down energy use by 40% and water consumption by more than 30% and also emit less carbon dioxide which further ensures environmental safety.

These buildings also ensure a safe workplace for workers as the factory owners have to follow certain rules for the construction of the buildings.

According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh’s RMG sector has taken the lead in green manufacturing with 53 in the platinum category, 104 in gold, 10 in silver and another four Leed-certified factory buildings as of September 12. 

Recently, Ashulia-based Debonair Ltd and Orbitex Knitwear Ltd, Narayanganj-based Fatullah Apparel Ltd and Ashulia-based Sharaf Apparel Washing and Dying Industries Limited, obtained the Platinum certificate from the USGBC.

Moreover, 42 industrial units out of the world’s top 100 Leed-certified industrial units are in Bangladesh. 

According to the BGMEA, another 550 factories are in pipeline or registered to get USGBC’s Leed certification. 

Insiders say the apparel sector of Bangladesh is now standing at the threshold of becoming the global leader by facing the growing challenges in the area of sustainability, climate change, groundwater depletion, efficiency and many more. 

Terming Bangladesh as a green field for investment in the growing apparel sector, BGMEA officials said that their focus is to establish a sustainable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly apparel industry and do more with recycling, circular economy, and innovation. 

Moreover, BGMEA pledges to the Green Button, which is a global seal of excellence in sustainability by the government of Germany.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Mohiuddin Rubel, director of the BGMEA said that Bangladesh is the leader in this.

“Once people questioned investing in a Leed-certified factory but today we can see fruits of the labor by visionary entrepreneurs,” he added saying that initially, green factories cost more to establish but if you think about sustainability, you have to invest here to stay competitive as there is no opportunity to move forward by ignoring the environment.” 

He added saying that nowadays, buyers are very cautious about protecting the environment. 

He also said that in the future, the Leed-certified factories will not only be an option but will be mandatory, as buyers will surely try to place orders at the green factories.

“Bangladesh is doing very well in terms of green and sustainable factories and has already made significant investments which will answer the questions that will arise about eco-friendly production in the future,” he added. 

The BGMEA has always encouraged entrepreneurs in this regard and Bangladesh is gradually moving towards increasing efficiency and producing high-end products.

“Leed-certified factories must be ahead of the rest to implement these. The initial investment in this factory may be high, but will save costs in the long run significantly,” he added.

Green Industrialization is one of BGMEA’s many initiatives to gain sustainability as well as to further improve the image of the sector to buyers. 

According to apparel manufacturers, the move towards green factory buildings helped regain Bangladesh’s image after the Rana Plaza tragedy, which claimed 1,134 lives and left more than 2,000 injured.