BGMEA pledges to join Green Button initiative

BGMEA President Dr Rubana Huq on Friday accompanied Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at a meeting with Dr Gerd Muller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.

Several issues including investment initiative, Rohingya crisis and Sustainable Textile and Garment Production were discussed at the meeting.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed, Foreign Ministry Director General for EU Andalib Elias, Foreign Minister's Office (FMO) Director General Samia Anjum, FMO Assistant Secretary for West Europe and EU Affairs Md Nasir Uddin, Minister of Bangladesh Embassy in Berlin Murshidul Huq Khan, among others, were present at the meeting.

During the meeting, the BGMEA chief mentioned her association’s pledge to join the Green Button initiative.

The Green Button announcement and participation call for the introduction of the seal "Green Button". The Green Button starts in the summer of 2019 as part of an introductory phase.

Interested companies are now invited to apply for a test at the Grüner Knopf office. Companies that play a pioneering role in the Green Button during the introductory phase do not have to pay any test costs under certain conditions.

What is the Green Button?

The Green Button is a global seal with state supervision. It identifies socially and ecologically sustainable textiles that are placed on the market by responsible companies.

Which companies can apply for the Green Button?

The Green Button is aimed at all companies that produce and/or sell textiles.

This includes both manufacturers of such goods, as well as trading companies that sell third-party products as own brands. On the other hand, it does not cover companies that sell third-party products without themselves acting as product managers.

A detailed overview of the recognized classes of goods can be found in the appendix.

Where is the Green Button?

The seal holder is the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The sealer sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. A branch office is established at the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH. Independent examiners check compliance with the criteria.

The German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) ensures reliable examinations. If the certification is successful, the Green Button will be awarded on behalf of the BMZ.

What role does the Green Button play in public procurement?

The Green Button is certified on the basis of international, harmonized ISO standards. The Green Button is therefore suitable for sustainable public procurement in the European Union (EU).

What requirements does the Green Button set for the company and the product?

As the first state seal, the Green Button combines the requirements of the product (such as fashion, home textiles) and the company. A product must comply with 26 minimum social and ecological standards.

Compliance with the product criteria is demonstrated by existing, recognized and credible seals. In addition, the company as a whole must demonstrate its due diligence requirements based on 20 criteria.

The business criteria are based on the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and on sector-specific recommendations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). During the introductory phase, the certification procedures are carried out by selected and accredited testing centers and which are carried out in close coordination and supervision by the DAkkS.

Which stages of the supply chain are covered by the Green Button?

In the introductory phase, the Green Button covers the production stages "cutting and sewing" (packaging) and "bleaching and dyeing" (wet processes), In the next few years he will be further developed with the help of an independent advisory board and extended to further production stages.

What are the specific conditions in the introductory phase? Why does the Green Button start with an introductory phase?

The introductory phase is from July 2019 to the end of June 2021 and serves in particular to prepare the conformity assessment program in consultation with the German Accord.

Accreditation Body (DAkkS) and the accreditation procedure for the inspection bodies. The insights gained during the introductory phase will be used to provide all those involved with experience and to validate and further optimize the process for obtaining the Green Button.

The issuer, the office and the verifiers rely on feedback from the participating companies. To this end, undertakings participating in the introductory phase are required to Assist in the evaluation of the processes.

To increase transparency, the test reports are made publicly available in a suitable form. The time and administrative effort involved in participating in the introductory phase will not be reimbursed to the participating companies.

How is the application process designed in the introductory phase?

The Green Button certification is a three-step process. Participation in the next stage requires successful completion of the previous stage.

1.      Application


• The company submits an informal application to the Grüner Knopf office. The office checks the eligibility to apply (see "Which companies can do Apply for the Green Button?").


•The office will offer the company a consultation to prepare for the exam. The company prepares the audit intensively.


2.      Initial verification by an independent audit office


The office provides the company with an independent audit office. The company concludes an audit contract with the audit authority. The audit body controls the fulfillment of all corporate criteria and existing seals Fulfillment of the product criteria.


3.      Completion of a license agreement


In the case of a positive company and product review, the company signs a license agreement with the office.


• During the term of the license agreement, the company authorizes the company to mark the tested products with the green button.

What costs are associated with applying for the "Grüner Knopf" seal?

In the introductory phase, the seal holder provides funds for taking the initial test (pilot certification). This also includes possible consulting services provided by the office.

The cost assumption will be part of the contracts to be concluded by the companies and the audit offices. Costs incurred after pilot certification (for example, to verify compliance, re-certification and, if applicable, license fees) are borne by the companies. The cost of the introductory phase provided by the seal holder is limited.

Admission to participate in the introductory phase is also subject to available capacities of the verifiers. There is no legal claim to admission to the free enterprise audit in the introductory phase.

What are the special contributions to be made during the introductory phase of the business?

The cost absorption by the head office during the introductory phase depends on the company participating in the introductory phase agreeing to grant the seal holder and the office access to the documentation of the initial audit.

This may include taking note of documents and business processes used to review and evaluate the indicators of the business criteria and the product criteria to be submitted to the Green Button.

In individual cases and after consultation, employees of the office and/or the owner of the seal may attend examinations. The independence of the test centers remains unaffected. Inspection of the introductory phase of information, documentation and verification processes will serve the seal holder and the office only to verify and optimize the certification schemes and processes of certification.

The inspection is strictly limited to this purpose. The confidentiality of the information obtained is regulated in a separate confidentiality agreement between the company, the seal holder and the office.

To whom is the application for the Green Button to be addressed?

Applications for the Grüner Knopf certificate are accepted by the office.

Office: Grüner Knopf Potsdamer Platz 1010785, Berlin, Germany.


The Green Button 5 System:

Goods considered and classes are based on the "International Classification of Goods and Services for the Registration of Trademarks" (so-called Nice Classification).

Class 5: Cloth diapers; panty liners; tampons; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 9: Spectacle bands; Glasses bags; Spectacle cases, cases for camcorders; Cases for data storage devices; Cases for digital players; Cases for photographic apparatus; Cases for contact lenses; Cases for headphones; Cases for mobile phones; Cases for music storage devices; Cases for optical lenses/lenses; Cases for PDAs; Cases for satellite navigation apparatus; Cases for tablet computers; Cases for pocket calculators; Cases for telephones; Cases for portable players; All the aforesaid goods predominantly of textile materials.

Class 10: Blankets for medical purposes; Printed clothing for medical purposes; Sheets [cloths] for medical purposes; Medical clothing; Medicated hosiery; Surgical drapes; Surgical clothing; Protective clothing for medical purposes; Socks and hosiery for medical purposes; Bags for operating theaters; Straitjackets; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 11: Customized fabric coverings for steam straighteners; Custom fabric covers for electric toasters; Adapted fabric covers for hot water bottles; Lampshades; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 12: Footmuffs for prams; Mosquito nets for prams; Luggage bags for bicycles; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 15: Cases adapted for musical instruments; Bags for musical instruments; All the aforesaid goods predominantly of textile materials.

Class 16: Cases for stationery, mainly of textile materials.

Class 18: Luggage, bags, wallets and other carriers; Rain and umbrellas; Clothing for animals; Blankets for animals; All the aforesaid goods predominantly of textile materials.

Class 20: Camping beds; Camping mattresses; mattresses; All the aforesaid goods predominantly of textile materials.

Class 22: Bags and sacks for packaging, storage and transport; tents; Hammocks; awnings; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 24: Furniture coverings; Curtains and curtains; Linen; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials; Labels of textile material.

Class 25: Clothing; Headgear; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.

Class 27: Carpets, rugs and mats; All the aforesaid goods mainly of textile materials.