Environmental Sustainability

In today’s world environmental sustainability is a core component of sustainable success. Environmental sustainability is about finding innovative ways to minimize the impact of industrial operations on the environment through using state-of-the-art technologies. Sustainability means to take responsibility -- responsibility towards protecting the environment in which we live and operate. So, all products should be made in a caring and responsible way that preserves the environment for future generations. While improving working conditions and protecting the environment are certainly admirable goals, they have also proven to be good business strategies. Therefore, international community is getting increasingly interested in sustainable business and eco-friendly production. There is also a growing pressure on industries for environmental compliance, and at the same time international buyers are giving preference to green producers. Moreover, it is now apparent that companies that fail to integrate sustainability into their core strategies will fail to maintain their competitiveness over time.

Taking all these factors into consideration, BGMEA runs several programs to promote environment friendly green concepts among entrepreneurs and motivate them to adopt energy-efficient technologies and resource-efficient production technologies. In order to institutionalize the process, BGMEA has set up an Environment Cell. BGMEA concluded two pilot projects with IFC-SEDF in this regard, organized a number of workshops and seminars to disseminate the findings of the projects. A MoU was signed on “Promoting Clean & Responsible Production in the Bangladesh Textile Sector” among BGMEA, the Government of the Netherlands and a number of buyers. Following the MoU, the Bangladesh Water PaCT: Partner for Cleaner Textile has been launched. BGMEA is cooperating with IFC in implementing the program that aims to enhance the long-term competitiveness and environmental sustainability of the textile wet processing sector in Bangladesh, by supporting factories in specific geographic clusters to reduce their water footprint through (a) enhancement of water resource management, (b) adoption of low-cost/no-cost Cleaner Production practices, and (c) investments in technologies that significantly reduce water consumption and effluent.

To encourage its members to adopt good environmental practices and recognize thier efforts, BGMEA in collaboration with USGBC awarded 13 LEED Platinum green factories certified by United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Recently BGMEA has taken an initiative to disseminate knowledge, expertise, and experience on resource efficiency and environmental sustainability. BGMEA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSES, a project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by GIZ, to improve environmental performance of garment factories. Under the MoU, BGMEA will cooperate with PSES, GIZ to improve the environmental performance of BGMEA’s 2nd tier factories.

The cooperation will be implemented under the banner of ‘TREES’ (Toward Resource Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability), an initiative of BGMEA to promote cleaner production practices among its member factories and encourage them to adopt eco-friendly technologies. With this joint initiative BGMEA and PSES aim to make existing knowledge and best practices of BGMEA members with 1st tier factories accessible to members that wish to improve their environmental performance.

Besides, there are a good number of green garment factories in Bangladesh. Moreover, beyond the regulations and compliance of the government and buyers, many member factories of BGMEA have commendable environment-friendly practices like use of energy- and resource-efficient technology and machinery, use of renewable energy, material recovery and environment management system etc.

Environmental sustainability is not a mere buzzword, rather it is an integral part of any business that wants to sustain in today’s world and also in the days coming. This is also true for our readymade garment industry, which is gradually going green and BGMEA has been making efforts to facilitate the process.