A Bangladeshi woven garment factory, Green Textile Ltd unit 4, has become the global leader among the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green factories after it received a score of 104 out of 110, the highest ever in the apparel industry category.
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) had issued the LEED platinum certification to the factory on 21 February, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Following the certification, Mymensingh-based Green Textile Limited’s unit-4, a joint venture project of Epic group and Envoy legacy, now holds the top position among its peers globally.
Talking to The Business Standard, its Managing Director Tanvir Ahmed said the factory had aimed to secure LEED platinum certification during the construction phase, adding, “We have given priority to eco-friendly construction materials and environmental management practices have been emphasised.”
Instead of fossil fuels, Green Textiles has focused on green energy since its inception three years ago.
About one megawatt of electricity is generated here through solar panels, he added.
“We have a total of four units under the Green Textile Ltd name. Of those, two are LEED platinum certified and the rest are LEED gold certified,” said Tanvir, also managing director of Envoy Textile Ltd, the world’s first LEED platinum certified denim mill.
Of the categories for the LEED certification process, Green Textile unit-4 scored 10 out of 10 in the Sustainable Factory Premises category; 11 out of 11 in Water Efficiency; 32 of 33 in Energy and Environment; 11 out of 13 in Materials and Resources; 14 of 16 in Indoor Environment Quality; 6 of 6 in Innovation; 4 out of 4 in Regional Priorities; and 15 out of 20 in Location and Transportation, according to the USGBC.
The Green Textile Limited journey started in 2010, its MD Tanvir said. All units intotal employ over 5,000 people and have an annual turnover of about $80 million.
Currently, Bangladesh hosts a total of 189 LEED certified factories, of which 65 are in the platinum category, 110 in gold, 10 in silver, and another 4 are LEED-certified factory buildings.
Among the top 10 LEED-certified factory units of the world, nine are from Bangladesh. Among 100 globally, 52 are from Bangladesh.
Moreover, an additional 550 factories are registered with USGBC awaiting LEED certification, according to the BGMEA.
Talking with the Business Standard, BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel said although the highest number of green factories was in Bangladesh, none had the highest score until now.
The good news is that Green Textile Ltd is now the highest scoring green factory in the world, overtaking the previous record-holder from Indonesia, he said.
He also said scoring 104 was a rare and proud moment for Bangladesh.
“We want this position to be ours. May more factories come up with scores of 105, 106 or more,” he added.
Despite times rife with worries over orders and exports, manufacturers are continuously branding the country through Leed-certified factories.
“Moreover, there are things like a safe workplace and employers’ safety which is increasing our strength. Amid the global turbulent economic situation, these brandings are serving us to cope with the losses as we are better positioned than our competitors,” Rubel added.
Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers have been moving towards green initiatives aiming to improve Bangladesh’s image after the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013 which claimed 1,134 lives and left more than 2,000 injured.