Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturers are not too happy with the green factories they have made, despite the widespread international acclamation they have received, saying that it does not help where it matters – generating more money.
“It needs one-third more money to set up a green garment factory. If we do not make green garment factories we could have employed one-third more workers and increased our productivity,” said KM Rezaul Hasanat, CEO of Viyellatex Group, a leading garment exporter.
“I regret I made green garment factories,” Hasanat lamented. The buyers do not pay even a single cent more for sourcing from a green garment factory, he said.
He was speaking as a panel discussant at a dialogue on green compliance, held at Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in Dhaka on September 9, 2018. The MCCI, in partnership with Adam Smith International and UKAid, Bangladesh, organised the dialogue which retailers, exporters, and officials of the garments industry attended.
Currently, Bangladesh has the highest number of green garment factories in the globe. Some 67 have already obtained the LEED certification of the US Green Building Council and over 300 more are waiting in-line to obtain the certification.
At the programme, Shahpar Selim, a consultant of the Economic Dialogue on Green Growth, UKAaid, presented the keynote paper on ‘Environmental Compliance Opportunities in the Bangladeshi Ready-Made Garments Industry: Lessons from the Green High Achievers’.
Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of local independent think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said, “Time has come to adopt the green compliance voluntarily. The whole green concept was largely implemented during the global financial crisis mainly to save the food and fuel by using natural resources.”
Among those present in the programme were Golam Mainuddin, Vice-President for MCCI, Miran Ali, Managing Director of Bitopi Group, and Suvojit Chattopadhyay, Country Manager of Adam Smith International.