Bangladesh has more green garment factories than any other country in the world.
At least 67 garment factories have received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
After Bangladesh, Indonesia has 50 LEED certified garment factories, followed by India with five.
Another 280 garment factories in Bangladesh would get the LEED certification soon, said Gopalakrishnan P, managing director of USGBC for Asia Pacific and Middle East Markets, at a programme in Dhaka yesterday.
Entrepreneurs' investment in eco-friendly production to comply with global standards is being attributed to the achievement.
“In every consideration, Bangladesh has the highest number of green garment factories in the world,” he told The Daily Star on the sidelines of an award-giving ceremony for the green platinum-rated garment factories at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Of the 67 running green garment factories in Bangladesh, 13 are rated platinum, the highest category in LEED certification. Gold, silver, and normal are the other certifications.
Bangladesh not only has the highest number of green garment factories, but also the highest number of the top scoring green garment factories, according to the USGBC. Seven out of 10 top scorers are in Bangladesh.
A LEED-certified factory building ensures 25-30 percent less water and energy consumption, and fewer industrial accidents, like fires, causing fewer casualties with special architectural design.
Currently, Bangladesh has 650 green buildings registered with the USGBC, said Gopalakrishnan. Of them, 303 were in non-RMG sectors, like commercial, footwear, and leather goods.
In the case of India, one of the major competitors of Bangladesh in global garment trade, only five green factories are in operation and 25 will get the certification soon, Gopalakrishnan said.
India, being one of the biggest countries in the world, should have more green garment factories, he said.
The Washington-based USGBC has 90,000 green projects covering 20 billion square feet of space across the world, he said.
The 13 platinum-rated green garment factories that received awards from USGBC yesterday are: Remi Holdings Ltd, Tarasima Apparels Ltd, Plummy Fashions Ltd, Vintage Denim Studio Ltd, Columbia Washing Plant Ltd, Echotex Ltd, SQ Celsius Unit 2 Ltd, Kaniz Fashions Ltd, Genesis Washing Ltd, Genesis Fashions Ltd, SQ Birichina Ltd, SQ Col Blanc Ltd and Envoy Textiles Ltd.
Managing Director Fazlul Hoque of Plummy Fashions Ltd said Bangladesh is well ahead of the rest of the garment producing nations.
“However, our positive achievements are not highlighted in the global media,” he said.
Miran Ali, chairman of Remi Holdings Ltd, said, “Over the years, we have heard about the green garment factories in Sri Lanka. But a few years ago, some of our entrepreneurs started thinking about it and finally we succeeded. Now we have the highest number of green garment factories in the world.”
Anisul Islam Mahmud, minister for environment and forests, said in the beginning, the introduction of the back-to-back letters of credit for garment industries helped a great deal. It paved the way for the success of today.