Eco Factory Concept in Bangladesh : Patriot Group Joins The League
Keeping up with the growing demand for environment-friendly RMG products, the garments sector has rapidly started transforming its manufacturing units into eco factories. This will help the country to grab more international orders and achieve USD 50 billion of export earnings by 2021.
Bangladesh should rejoice at the news that seven eco factory of the country have ranked among the top 10 on a list of the world’s 25 most environment-friendly factories. Until recently, Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector had been highly criticised by numerous quarters of the international community before coming under government scrutiny.
However, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington-based NGO, is a testimony to Bangladesh’s success in ensuring maximum environmental safety of its workplaces.
Nevertheless, the idea of a “green eco factory“ (with maximum eco-friendly facilities for workers) should cover factories not only in the country’s RMG sector but also in other sectors. There are numerous complaints regarding the environmental safety of Bangladesh’s other industrial sectors.
However, others should learn a great deal from the recent achievements of Bangladeshi factories. Time has come to rectify the distorted image of the country’s RMG sector left by Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza factory incidents. The process of upgrading standards of workplace environment in every other sector of the country should start now. After all, those people behind the success of these RMG factories have demonstrated that building and sustaining a green factory are not beyond people’s power here. According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), amid a tight scrutiny from the government, most of the Bangladeshi RMG factories now provide for a tolerable workplace environment with adequate humanitarian facilities for workers and staff.
So far, following Eco Factory Concept 35 garment factories from Bangladesh have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States Green Building Council, according to the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association. Of the factories, nine have been conferred platinum status, 17 gold status, and seven silver status. The remaining two just received a normal certification from the US agency. BGMEA sources said a total of 133 garments factories have applied for LEED certification from the agency.
LEED is a green-building certification programme that recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive this certification, building projects must satisfy certain prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. The prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their projects.
Senior vice-president of the BGMEA, Faruque Hassan, said that the local manufactures have been focusing on building eco factory to meet the growing demand of environment-friendly products in the international market. The process will preserve the environment from pollution and encourage international retailers to place more work orders, thus helping to achieve the vision of USD 50 billion of RMG exports by 2021.