NHT Fashions Ltd, a concern of Pacific Jeans Group, achieved leadership in energy and environmental design (Leed) re-certification in platinum category from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) on March 1.
The Chittagong-based factory unit has upgraded to Platinum from Gold with a score of 84 on the Leed O+M: Existing Buildings v4 rating system.
In Bangladesh, this is the first instance of the official upgrade to Platinum from other categories.
According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), NHT Fashions Ltd obtained a gold certificate from the USGBC on August 30, 2017 with a score of 64.
As NHT Fashion has upgraded to another category, there is no change in the total number.
So far 189 factories in the country’s garment industry presently have the Leed certification.
Currently, the local RMG sector has consolidated its position in green manufacturing units with 66 in the platinum category, 109 in gold, 10 in silver, and another 4 Leed-certified factory buildings.
Among the top 10 Leed-certified factory units of the world, nine are from Bangladesh and among the top 100, 52 are in Bangladesh.Moreover, an additional 550 factories are either registered or in the pipeline for USGBC’s Leed certification, reported the apex body of the apparel sector.
So far, six factory units have already achieved Leed certification in 2023 and in 2022, a total of 30 factory units received Leed certification, the highest in a year.
The factory units of Bangladesh have been obtaining the Leed certificate since 2001.
The USGBC credits factory units based on several criteria including transformation performance, energy, water, and waste management, and the best performers are rated with platinum, followed by gold and silver.
These criteria help green factories significantly to reduce operational costs over time even though they may initially cost more to set up, according to industry insiders.
These factories also provide a safe working environment for employees.
According to apparel manufacturers, the move towards green factory buildings helped regain Bangladesh’s image after the Rana Plaza tragedy, which claimed 1,134 lives and left more than 2,000 injured in 2013.