Globally the call for a sustainable future is growing. Rapid urbanization and industrialization have intensified the call for more sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has been at the forefront in providing sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) – is a synonymous institution with USGBC to provide independent oversight of the LEED project certification and professional credentialing processes.
Santanu Dutta Gupta, Associate Director – Market Development- GBCI – East India, Bangladesh and Vietnam markets – is a Green Building Professional with expertise in market development and project management. Santanu is an achievement-focused, target-driven and result-oriented professional with a commitment to optimum organizational output and superior client satisfaction.
As an Associate Director of Market Development with GBCI, Santanu is responsible for market development for LEED, Eastern parts of India, Bangladesh and the Vietnam region.
Recently Santanu Dutta Gupta – also a USGBC Faculty – was in conversation with Textile Today about the USGBC activities, regional progress and the green strides of Bangladesh.
Textile Today: Kindly share with us the current activities of GBCI and USGBC’s in the Bangladesh market.
Santanu Dutta Gupta: GBCI is the international arm of USGBC. We have been working in the Bangladesh market for almost 13 years. Mainly working in the country’s textile and apparel industry. So, we have transformed the environmental sustainability of the garment market.
Now, we are streamlining our LEED Certification system with environmental, social, and governance (ESG). By 2023-2024 entrepreneurs will be mandated to declare their ESG report. Meaning, clarifying how entrepreneurs are giving back to the environment, and society, and how they are maintaining good governance.
So, LEED is getting transformed in terms of environmental sustainability, social equity, resilience and good governance.
Apart from that, we have diversified our activities in the Bangladesh market – we are working in the healthcare sector, real estate, hospitality and other manufacturing industries. Not only that,
we are working in cities and at the communities’ level as well. It is a broad umbrella with multi-faceted activities.
And I must thank BGMEA and its honorable President, Faruque Hassan for his leadership. In 2021, BGMEA’s outstanding leadership has received the US Green Building Council award. They are spearheading the global sustainable garment manufacturing market.
At the same time, in Bangladesh, I see the eagerness among the leaders and associations of industries like, BKMEA, BTMA, healthcare, real estate, hoteliers, etc. are eager to establish their green footprint.
Textile Today: In terms of LEED Certified factories how South Asian apparel-making nations – and especially Bangladesh is faring?
Santanu Dutta Gupta: Bangladesh is a global leader in terms of LEED Certified factories, while other South Asian apparel-making nations like Vietnam and others are not far behind. The most fascinating thing is the countries are learning from each other and transforming themselves. Yes, the Bangladesh textile and apparel market is an example for many other countries in this region.
Simultaneously, as USGBC has a strong presence in the South East Asian region’s LEED Certified projects – other countries are also leading in many other industries. So, the point for the countries in this region is how to learn and support each other.
Therefore, it is a win-win situation for all – we all are learning from each other. The South East Asian region is getting richer in terms of knowledge.
Textile Today: Generally, a group of a company makes one LEED Certified factory – they go for more LEED factories. In this case, do they get any special financial offerings? As the end consumers put more emphasis on sustainability – does the USGBC have any plan to offer an economic package for RMG?
Santanu Dutta Gupta: I would rather put financial benefit differently. When a group of companies makes one LEED Certified factory – they go for more LEED factories – why? Let me give you an example, one of our renowned Bangladeshi clients got an immediate work order from a leading retailer displaying the direct competitive advantage of LEED certification. LEED-certified factories are giving surplus energy back to society. It is also about providing a healthy indoor environment for the Garment factory staff which is a key focus for many apparel brand buyers.