Mohammad Nurul Alam
Bangladesh is a global champion in terms of the number of LEED-certified factories. The world’s top eco-friendly factories are in Bangladesh now as per the US Green Building Council (USGBC)’s standard certificate. After the tragedy of Tazrin Fashion and Rana Plaza, the country successfully proved its overall industrial improvement in terms of safety and environment. As brands are focusing more on products that are made from sustainable processes and to meet their commitment to the users Bangladesh is now going to be a hub of sustainable products as the first choice from the world’s leading fashion brands.
Why does Green Factory in Bangladesh?
The green factory building is a commendable effort with the foremost concentration on the use of energy, use of water, indoor environmental quality, and material selection to amplify the positive and minimize the negative impacts of the entire life cycle for life and the environment. In line with the world’s fashion trend, Bangladesh started a green initiative for sustainability because green factories can reduce production costs and save the eco-system.
Mohammed Khasru Zaman, Director of Pinaki Group said, “We are not focused on certification only, we are committed to environmental sustainability for our 5000 employees.” Ridhwanul Haq, a business administration professor at Dhaka University, said manufacturing of ready-made garments had dominated Bangladesh’s economy for four decades but greener plants were positioning the country “for the next level of competitiveness” – and helping Bangladesh meet its own climate goals.
Ananta Ahmed, Managing Director, 360 Total Solution Limited (360TSL) expressed his views in a seminar that sustainability is a concept to make a profit and the profit can be generated only by reducing waste in the industry and from its entire production process. The green concept is the best investment because the construction of green buildings can be done for 5-7% less than the cost of a regular building constitution, the running production cost is less than about 30% and people in the building can live in a healthy environment. This is a win-win situation in the green process. So, we must illuminate the green concept to a minimum at the time of construction as well as operation for a sustainable workplace.
Eco-friendly factories in Bangladesh
Along with USGB’s top ten LEED Platinum-certified eco-friendly 2 factories are in Bangladesh of which 74 are platinum-rated, 116 are gold-rated, 10 are silver-rated, and 4 are certified factories. At present, some of the best factories in the world- 18 out of 20 top LEED green factories are in Bangladesh.
In 2022, 30 garment factories received LEED certification. In 2023 so far, 22 factories have secured the recognition. Green Textile Limited’s unit 4, located in Mymensingh’s Bhaluka is the world’s top eco-friendly factory that is now Bangladesh. As per data delivered by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) standard certificate, Green Textile Limited has made it to the top of the list of the world’s best eco-friendly factories. USGBC’s latest list also disclosed that eight of the world’s top ten eco-friendly factories are in Bangladesh alone. Earlier Indonesia was in the top rank as the world’s top eco-friendly factory since 2018. Now Green Textile has beaten it to the top. The factory had scored 101 out of 110.
The other eco-friendly factories from the top ten list include Bangladesh Remi Holdings, Fatullah Apparels, Tarasima Apparels, Plummy Fashions, Silken Sewing, and Mithela Textile Industries. However, the factory that has ranked third on the USGBC’s list has not been disclosed. It has been said the third green factory is also from Bangladesh. Most green factories are located in Dhaka, followed by Gazipur, Chattogram Narayanganj, Savar, Comilla, and Habiganj.
BGMEA sources said 500 more garment factories are in the pipeline to receive LEED certification for their green initiatives from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Ananta Ahmed, Managing Director, 360 Total Solution Limited (360TSL) said Bangladesh apparel manufacturers realized that green factories are always profitable and so, many groups of companies are increasing green buildings like Masco group which has 19 green factories, and DBL group has 17 factories.
We must understand that green building is for both structure and the application of processes to reduce overall cost. In this regard, buyers will ask for products that are made from the cheapest process like the green concept. That means green factories are for profit, safety, and saving the environment. He added further.
Green factories in other country:
As per data shared by USGBC 10 platinum-rated factories are in China which ranked the country as second highest following Bangladesh, while Pakistan ranked third with nine platinum-rated factories.
Six in number platinum factories are in India and Sri Lanka whereas Vietnam and Taiwan have four and Myanmar and the USA has only two factories each. There are only a single number of LEED-certified platinum-rated factories in Turkey, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, Romania, and UAE.
Green concept versus fair price:
Many of the Bangladeshi manufacturers expressed their deep concern about the brand’s attitude not to offer a fair price for green factories. Buyers are very often considering the green project for a lower price soon after having the comparison with the conventional factories. The green project set up needed additional cost while traditional factories are not obelized to maintain some of the sustainable standards that related to extra cost. So, the brand should at least offer a fair price just for the sustainable process. Engr. Mehedi Hasan, Founder president, of BGWTF and General Manager, of Starling Laundry Ltd said in a seminar “Despite of sustainable agenda Buyers are not ready to pay the cost for pure underground water that is used for apparel making let alone to provide fair price for the green factory.” He urges that brands should come forward for sustainability in the making process and provide fair prices.
What is a LEED Platinum certificate?
Factories that score 80 out of 110 on different standards are provided LEED Platinum certificate and LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A factory or project has to maintain the precise quality that is set on different standards starting from construction to production by USGBC and under its supervision to achieve this certificate. After constructing a new building or renovating an old one while maintaining a fixed standard, factories can apply for this certificate.
What does USGBC do? The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization that supports the development of prosperous, healthy, and resilient communities through the transformation of the built environment. It is a council of US architects. They have specific standards for building eco-friendly factories or establishments. It also provides advice and assistance in building eco-friendly buildings and factories around the world.