World’s best green factory now in Bangladesh
Bangladesh now not only has the most green garment factories but yesterday also became home to a textile factory which scored the highest rating of United Stated Green Building Council.
Green Textile Limited Unit 4 scored 104 out of 110 in a platinum level of the council's green building certification programme Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is used worldwide.
A joint concern of Epic Group and Envoy Legacy, the factory is situated in Nijhury Baraid Bazar at Bhaluka in Mymensingh, around 70 kilometres away from the capital Dhaka.
The previous record holder was PT Ungaran Sari Garments Pringapus 6 and 7 in Indonesia. It had been holding the top spot since May 2018 scoring 101 out of 110.
Moreover, two weeks ago, Bangladesh became home to 52 out of the 100 top-rated green industrial units worldwide, according to the council.
This came about on February 1 when KDS IDR Limited, a garment factory in Kalurghat, received a LEED platinum certification.
Platinum is the LEED programme's highest certification level while gold the second highest and silver third. A fourth level for industrial units is for just meeting minimum requirements.
A global champion in terms of the number of LEED certified factories, Bangladesh has 63 platinum-level garment units, 110 gold, 10 silver and four just LEED certified.
Besides, over 500 other garment factories are awaiting LEED certification for their green initiatives, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
China has the second highest number of platinum-level factories with only 10 and Pakistan third with nine. India and Sri Lanka have six each while Taiwan and Vietnam four.
Meanwhile, Myanmar and the US each have two platinum-level factories while Ireland, Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey and the UAE have one each, according to the council.
Local businesspeople started building LEED certified structures following two industrial disasters -- the Tazreen Fashions fire in 2012 and Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 -- in a bid to brighten their image and thereby attract more international retailers and brands.
It is not mandatory for international clothing retailers and brands to pay extra for goods sourced from LEED certified industries even though these manufacturers spend millions to make their factories green.
Still, buyers prefer to place work orders at green units as they know the goods are produced in compliance with environmental and safety standards.
International retailers and brands do not pay more for products of the green factories, said Tanvir Ahmed, managing director of Green Textiles Limited, one of the owning companies of Green Textile Limited Unit 4.
But the buyers prioritise green factories when placing work orders, he said.
The green garment factories of the group exports woven shirts and trousers worth $80 million per month, he added.
Confidence on Bangladeshi garment items have grown a lot among international clothing retailers and brands because of green initiatives, said Mohiuddin Rubel, a director of the BGMEA.
As a result, international retailers and brands are coming here with a lot of work orders even when times are bad, Rubel said.