Global brands prioritize me for my green factories, and I get preference to others: Humayun Kabir Salim, Managing Director of Khantex Fashion Ltd. said at the 14th episode of TexTIMe webinar series, titled ‘Green Leverage’ arranged by Textile Today on 28th August. The webinar was moderated by the Founder & CEO of Textile Today, Tareq Amin.
Concern over preserving the interest of future generations enticed me to make my factories green so did the business benefits, he also asserted in response to a question, asking why he has chosen the green pathway.
In response to a similar question, Ananta Ahmed, a Faculty of USGBC and the Managing Director of 360 TSL said that after staying in Canada for 22 years, when he returned to Bangladesh, he thought to do something for the nation, and started working to develop green buildings in Bangladesh by utilizing his long experience of such work in Canada.
“Our climate is really under challenge, the deteriorating idyllic environment of the industrial areas near Dhaka has made this very clear to us,” Tareq Amin mentioned.
“Green certifications like LEED are nothing but a set of checklists that indicates that what we can do with our buildings. In the case of LEED certification, it declares that a factory is compliant with local and international standards of green building. And, it is well known to the western world with its presence in 167 countries across the world.
The LEED system also helps factories to perform well in terms of other certifications like the Higg Index and environmental reporting. It helps factories to reduce carbon footprint by ensuring a proper energy management system.
Overall, implementing LEED in a factory makes it advanced in many aspects.” Ananta Ahmed said in response to a question asking why factories emphasize green certification rather than getting benefits from the ground by making factories green.
To achieve the privilege of our green factories, we have to make a combined effort to promote our green achievements. For this, we have to develop a plan to use the technical tools of branding like videos, news features, GRI sustainability reports, etc. Even, we have been able to erase the taint of the Rana Plaza incident through a positive branding effort so for sure we will also be able to promote our green achievements, the speakers hope.
“Industry owners are more concerned and careful about the environmental conservation nowadays, and they very much positive to make their businesses sustainable to conserve the resources for future generations. When we got introduced to these green ideas by various promotional activities, we studied, and we found these systems very much beneficial in the long run in terms of profit and well-being of the future generation after we implanted these in our factories that also helps us” Humayun Kabir Salim said when he was asked about the factory owners’ interest in green leverage.
The speakers shared from their experience that though it requires a little higher cost initially, green buildings provide many short-term and long-term gains. Reduction of energy cost by 20-25%, and making the work environment pleasing for the employees to increase their productivity are among the short-term goals.
Achieving a good global image, less migration among employees, getting priority in getting orders, green financing by banks are among the long-term benefits of making factories green.
We do not recommend investing in any technology that has a return rate of more than 5 years while making a factory green, Ananta Ahmed said.
“One-megawatt solar plant is more than enough for a composite factory to achieve a platinum LEED certificate. And in terms of land there should be 20% green land, 20% pathway, and 60% ground coverage, just as mentioned in the BNBC code” speakers said in response to a question from an audience.
Banks are very much interested in green financing but loan seekers have to make the right approach by fulfilling the requirements. In addition to Bangladesh Bank, World Bank, JICA, ADB, LDCOL are also providing green funds. Speakers mentioned these while responding to an audience asking about green funds.
When asked, if the green funds make obligatory any particular brand’s machine to be purchased, Humayun Kabir Salim said it’s not done and added that one can buy a machine from any brand meeting the environmental standards.
The green certified factories are designed in a way that these automatically operate sustainably. Besides this, the factories have to send the water and energy consumption data periodically which is monitored by the certifying organizations to check any fluctuation from the standards. And, after every 5 years, the factories have to renew their certification, the LEED certification is the beginning of a continuous process of improvement. The speakers said when asked about how the green certification ensures the sustainable operation of the factories.
“For continuous monitoring and finding new scopes for resource conservation, I have made mandatory to recruit a green officer, whom we train, in the projects under my supervision. And, also a yearly energy audit of the equipment is conducted to check any deterioration in them.” Ananta Ahmed said when asked about monitoring of factories.
Bangladesh has achieved the USGBC Southeast Asia award this which recognizes that we are doing very well in this. To make the impact of green projects visible, there should be a national effort in all other sectors of the country besides the RMG industry, Ananta Ahmed suggested.
Sustainability is an important part of the internal meetings with the stakeholders of BGMEA, and, there will be a positive outcome about this soon, Humayun Kabir Salim said at the end of webinar.
|Question: Is there any assurance that by achieving LEED/green certificate, a factory will be maintaining green culture?
Humayun Kabir Salim: Off course. The process is designed in such a way that it will be maintained automatically.
Ananta Ahmed: LEED certification is a beginning of the process. It encourages continuous improvement and shows way of it.
|Question: How productivity will be higher in green factories compared to conventional?
Ananta Ahmed: Green factories ensure a convenient environment, health & safety to their employees. Greening reduces migration, improves employee satisfaction and thus increases production.
Watch the full video here: