Green garment makers demanded a premium price for their products to make their business sustainable and to be more environment-friendly.
If the global brands want to ensure sustainable sourcing chain, they should pay more, ready-made garment manufacturers said at the "PaCT Annual Meet" at a city hotel on Tuesday.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) organised the event.
"Bangladesh currently has 108 green factories – the highest in any country. The brands should pay green prices for the green industries as a recognition for green initiatives," said Asif Ibrahim, director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Besides, he stated the government's plan to establish 100 special economic zones ensuring environment-friendly industrialisation in the country.
In the meantime, Viyellatex Group Chairman KM Rezaul Hasanat said, "After achieving all certifications related to environment-friendly production, now I wonder what sustainability is."
"The notion of sustainability, as I understand, is to make profit now as all green initiatives taken so far will be spoiled without money," he added.
Rezaul Hasanat raised the question why sustainability in Bangladesh will remain contentious even after having 0.46 metric tonnes of carbon emission per capita — far below the European Union emission level of 5.94 metric tonnes per capita.
DBL Group Managing Director MA Jabbar shared the story how his company with assistance of the International Finance Corporation reduced water, power, dyes and chemicals consumption.
"Managing cost is a big challenge to shift focus to sustainability as it initially requires five to six years to profit with green industries," noted Ltd Col (Rtd) Hasan Mahmud, executive director of Tarasima Apparels Limited.
We need to change our mindset about energy consumption and the government also should restrict import of less efficient machinery, said Asif Ashraf, managing director of Urmi Group.
"Collaboration between brands and suppliers is needed to make the supply chain sustainable," said Archak Pattanaik, senior manager of supply chain sustainability at PUMA.
The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, introduced 'PaCT Portal' — a web tool to help calculate resource consumption in the readymade garment industry.
The data-driven monitoring software will provide real-time analytics for readymade garment factories, helping garment makers in their efforts to improve use of resources, such as water and energy.
"With programmes like PaCT, we hope to contribute towards improving sector competitiveness by promoting resource efficiency through innovative ways and evolving with global trends," said Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
Five international textile brands partnered with the PaCT Programme while the BGMEA acted as the implementing partner.
A video message of Dr Rubana Huq, president of the BGMEA, was screened at the event.
In her message, Dr Rubana said, "The ready-made garment sector has saved a huge amount of water and energy through the collaborative partnership with PaCT. We would like to think and shape tomorrow for better and we can only do that by being the best of partners in the days to come."