Monday, 20 March, 2023

Green factories show the way

We are delighted to learn from a business report of this newspaper that a Bangladeshi apparel factory has secured top position among the world’s top 100 green factories. We are proud to note that the country has emerged as a home to 51 top green factories out of 100 worldwide. US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) certified the factories as green ones. It took into consideration several criteria – transformation performance, energy, water, and waste management before bestowing the honour to the factories. It also considered the use of eco-friendly construction materials, access to sunlight, the use of solar power in the factory, accommodation, schools, markets and bus stands for the workers within acceptable distances from the factory, adequate free space on the factory premises, and the fire fighting system.

Above all, the use of modern technologies was taken into account most. The eligible factory will have to have trade unions, preserve accident register, provide compensation, form safety committee, deposit dividends to the worker's welfare foundation, empower women, engage in corporate social responsibility activities for employees, and ensure maternity benefits, day-care centres and breastfeeding facilities.

It is a remarkable achievement when the country is stressing on green revolution and green economy. We are proud of this rare achievement. The green initiatives have proved that our garment industry is much safer and securer than others. Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza in April 2013, international communities raised concerns over the garment sector's compliance with global standards. Accordingly, local apparel owners took major initiatives to build green factories, improve workplace safety and protect the environment from industrial pollution.

The country is now reaping from these initiatives; it leads the way to building environmentally and structurally safe factories. However, there is no place for self-complacency; our apparel industries have still a lot to improve.  And now, with the fresh award, the government also wants to ensure proper use of effluent treatment plants, create positive perceptions about green factories, increase the participation of workers in the development of industries, and generate new opportunities in other industries alongside the garments. We call on others, which still lag behind, to follow in the footsteps of the green units.