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Bangladesh Green Industry-Moving Ahead

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Md. Mostafa Kamal

Textile Focus & Red carpet 365 Ltd. jointly organized first ever panel discussion on Green Industry at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB), Dhaka on 03rd December 2017. Engr. Abrar Ahmed Apu, Assistant Professor, Department of Textile Engineering, Daffodil International University had a presentation on “Bangladesh Green Industry- Moving Ahead.” Key features are mentioned here for our readers.

img_0168Engr. Abrar A Apu started his keynote showing his deep condolence of the departure souls of Anisul Haque, the city major of DNCC and the Prof. Dr. Aminul Islam, President of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS). He continues as “in this era of creating country-level competitiveness becomes common phenomenon globally. In this segment, Bangladesh is not lacking behind. Private initiatives taken by the private investors are remarkable and appreciating, especially in greening textile-apparel production. But the country needs to go long way otherwise competing countries may take the lead and therefore advantages.”

Before going to green industrial stage, the keynote speaker presented contribution of Bangladeshi Textile-Apparel Industry in the economy. He continued as “Bangladesh born in 1971 and during this time, tea and jute sector were the most export-oriented sector. When jute started to lose status of golden fibres, textile-apparel industry started to step in export economy. Within a decade, textile-apparel industry started to take the lead in the export-oriented sector. Nowits contribution to total export is about 81% and 15% to our total GDPand providing 4.2 million regular employment. In the fiscal year 2016-17, this industry earned 28.15 billion USD, which is only 5.65% of global apparel market and on the statistics, Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of apparel.”

As Bangladesh announced target 50 billion USD export from textile-apparel sector by 2021, he showed his strong believe in industrial green movement that will play vital role reaching the target. He explained that green industry in one side boost sales with better (higher) price and on the other side, it is the economic saver of resources which have economic values in great amount. He explained by saying that obviously audience would like to know how does green industry boost higher sales and save resource. He continued as “green industry interacts with triple bottom lines -Planet, People and Profit. Green industry interacts in a way that shall be viable for environment ensuring reduced (as minimum as required) resources use, reuse, recycle, recovery and or redesign if required. In the same way green industry tries to interaction between planet and people that is bearable for both. The last but not least, profit and people interaction shall be equitable.

To bring fore front the positive impact of green industrial movement, he continued as “traditional textile industry is one of the worst polluter of environment and creates carcinogenic, mutagenic and gender disorder diseases.  That is way, even Bangladesh Environmental Conservation Act categorized textile processing industry in the Red whereas green, orange-A and B are also available for other categories of industries.” He displayed visible and invisible impacts that we have been facing due to processing of textile and manufacturing of apparels.

In green industrial development through Bangladesh is not lacking behind, but the keynote speaker said that this movement should have started earlier. In 1972, scientists concluded that this planet will not exist by 2100 if in the same speed the natural resources go on exhaustion. As the textile-apparel industry is infamous of using natural resources and their pollution, this green initiative shall be initiated in the mid of 70’s.  He tried to relate history of green industrial development and mentioned that “sustainable development” initiated by Brutland Commission in 1987 and UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 1992 contributed intensely to create awareness and knowledge on Sustainable development. In this trend, in 2000, Millennium Summit announced Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to Environmental Sustainability and in 2008, UN Environmental Program defined three pillars of green industrial development- minimum carbon emission, efficient resource utilization, and social inclusivity.

He continued, “Green industrial manufacturing (secondary industry) is one among three pillars of country level sustainable development. The other two pillars are organic/natural Production (primary industry) and Ethical business (tertiary industry).” There are several tools for going green industrial development, and one of them is certification of LEED (Leadership Energy and Environmental Design) by USGBC. The other important tools are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 26000, SA8000, GOTS, Oeko-texSTeP, Fairtrade Textile Production, OCS, BSCI, SEDEX, WRAP, Bluesign, Eco passport, Oeko-texStadnard, Higg Index and ZDHC. From his updated data based, the speakershowed 67 LEED certified industries in the different category, and 7 out of 10 highest rated LEED factories in Bangladesh. By 2020, there will be about 300 LEED certified factories in Bangladesh.

screenshot-66In his keynote, he also talked about opportunities and challenges of green industrial movement. He mentioned some opportunities such business growth potential, because more than 80% consumers like to choose green products. Get competitive advantages being green industry. Green industry can charge higher sales prices. Green industrial policy and implantation increase market image as well new buyers and new markets can be explored being green industry. The challenges are: lack of legal and regulatory framework from government, still there is no sector based policy and planning from government, no scheme for PPP to ease implementation from government. There are also lack of properly trained human resource, lack of investment in green technology and innovation. Last but not least, lack of awareness, knowledge and understanding of green.

He showed path on how an investor may go for green industrial development. He advised to start with own commitment for go green, and based on green commitment start to determine and implement green activities. The green activities will help to set up green systems, then green culture and finally green culture boots green networks. He stressed importance of government policy. There is no government policy for green industrial development. This is way, he highlighted some important recommendations that the government shall include in its policy. Such as minimization of resource utilization, emission and waste minimization, reduce-reuse-recycle of solid waste, production and use of renewable energy, pollution pay scheme and green industry award scheme.

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The keynote speaker also provide recommendations for the green industrial development in the county. As per his recommendations the strategic level activities shall include establish association of green industry, apply adoption and diffusion processes for the creating awareness among industrial people, university level academic structure shall include knowledge and technologies (such as Green MBA Program), formulate green industrial guidelines and standard, and last but least setting up green industrial zones. He gave utter most important on risk based thinking before taking any initiative to foster sustainable industrial green development.

He finished his keynote with thanks giving to the organizer Red Carper 360 and Textile Focus.

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