- Why Bangladesh
- Trade Information
Home to world's highest number of
green garment factories
We have 155 LEED green garment factories
certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
9 out of the world's top 10 green garment
factories are in Bangladesh
40 out of the world's top 100 green industrial projects
are in Bangladesh
500 more factories are in the process of getting
Bangladesh RMG industry now standing at a cross road in one hand it has huge opportunity to become the global leader, on the other hand it is also facing some growing challenges in the area of sustainability with issues like climate change, groundwater depletion, efficiency and many more. Globally fashion industry is known as the most polluting industry only after oil and gas. It requires thousands of chemicals and many sophisticated processes to give the fast fashion industry the colors it has. There is always a negative correlation between economic growth and environmental sustainability. We have seen in 2019 the issue of environmental sustainability has taken in the core of fashion industry, and is the most critical area of concerns now a day. Big global brands come up with pledges to their customer to provide fashion with lesser environmental impact, global policy leaders, environmental watch dogs and civil society organization found very vocal about the impact of fashion industry. But clothing is one of the basic needs of human being and we cannot stop wearing fashion able items.
So, the only way would be how we can be eco-friendlier and more efficient to reduce the environmental cost of production. Bangladesh RMG industry being the 2nd largest apparel exporter of the world has responded to this global demand in a very proactive manner. Few of the initiatives and activities of BGMEA to take the sustainability stride of the industry to next level are:
Attaining SDGs are one of the core areas of concern for government of Bangladesh and it is said that there without the help of the private sector it is not possible for the government to achieve the goals on time. BGMEA being the apex trade body of the RMG industry have always been supportive to the government of Bangladesh. BGMEA has signed an MoU with the Unilever Bangladesh to achieve SDGs 3, 5, 6, 12 and 17 by impacting lives of 10% population of Bangladesh. We have identified 6 NPIs (National Priority Indicators) to work with Unilever and these are: NPI 5&6- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being all at all ages, NPI 16: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. NPI 17 & 18: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water sanitation for all, NPI 13: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
According to IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Annual report Bangladesh in one of the most vulnerable country to climate change. But ironically, we are one of the lowest carbon emitters of the world. But still understanding the importance of climate change BGMEA has signed the UN fashion industry charter for Climate Action with UNFCCC as a supporting organization to reduce GHGs emission of the industry by 30% within 2030.
BGMEA has pledged to “Green Button Initiative” of the German government. Germany is one of the most important markets for Bangladeshi RMG product. The “Green Button” initiative is the 1st ever state-owned global seal on environmental sustainability. It looks into all aspects of sustainability of the apparel product.
BGMEA has joined the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, an initiative convened by the UN Climate Change. The Charter goes beyond previous industry-wide commitments. It includes a target of 30 per cent GHG emission reductions by 2030 and a commitment to analyze and set a decarbonization pathway for the fashion industry drawing on methodologies from the Science-Based Targets initiative. By joining this initiative, BGMEA pledges to support implementation of the principles enshrined in the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, in line with the goals established by the Paris Agreement of 2015.
After the successful implementation of the PaCT first phase the 2nd Phase of the project have started and till now 75 factories have joined the initiative that looks in to water footprint reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy and chemical management. Besides the program introduced web based system of monitoring on resource efficiency. Through this program the factories are being able to enhance their environmental performances and becoming more sustainable and efficient.
A proper policy frame work is prerequisite for development of a country. Though Bangladesh is not yet a policy driven country it has a huge implication with national policy framework. BGMEA is been very closely associated with such policy initiatives of the GoB. BGMEA is the member of the task force on GEZ (Green Economic Zones Guidelines) for BEZA. A proper green economic zone policy will uphold the green industrialization of Bangladesh.
BGMEA is one of the key partner of the Water Resources Group 2030 a public, private, civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group. Ultimate goal of this MSP is to improve water resources management through collaborative transformative actions. Through this platform BGMEA have worked on “Valuing Water”, MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge), ISPP (Incentivizing Sustainable Production Practices).
Under the MSP, the IWWS (Industrial Water Work stream) a sustainable integrated sludge management system is being developed for the EZs.
WARPO (Water Resources Planning organization) has drafted an industrial water use policy for Bangladesh and BGMEA was closely associated with technical insights and supported the initiative.
The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturer and Exporter Association (BGMEA) is proud to publish the second-edition of its Sustainability Report from an association level. It is an attempt to assess its performance in the changing business landscape of the new normal. BGMEA took the initiative to report its sustainability performances through the lens of the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) sustainability reporting framework. Globally, this reporting structure is validated and acclaimed by all the stakeholders and adopted by major businesses.
In the global business landscape, sustainability and business are strongly intertwined. The ready-made garments (RMG) industry of Bangladesh has faced numerous challenges since its inception. And every time, we transformed and upgraded our industry to make it more resilient. Besides workplace safety, our RMG industry of Bangladesh has been proactively contributing to sustainability. Many of our members already have sustainability reporting practices. Therefore, sharing a collaborative story on sustainability should help us author the narrative of the industry’s stride and accomplishment, which will, hopefully, break the usual perception of the stakeholders and society at large.
The impact of our RMG industry is not just confined just stitching garments but it extends to a socio-economic strata. The RMG industry of Bangladesh, with regard to sustainability, is committed to maintain a strong foothold in line with the global apparel brands.
Click here to read the full BGMEA Sustainability Report 2020.
RMG sector sustainability report:
A PATHWAY TO MANAGE PRIVATE SECTOR IMPACT on Bangladesh National Priority Indicators (NPIs) & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)