Leading Bangladesh-based apparel manufacturer AKH Group has opened a flagship eco-friendly garment factory that has been certified by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building accreditation scheme.

The company, which according to its website supplies apparel retailers including Gap Inc and PVH Corp as well as Marks & Spencer and Primark, opened the AKH Eco Apparels Ltd factory in Dhamrai, near Dhaka, at the weekend. The factory meets the LEED certification requirements of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). 

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, BGMEA president Md Siddiqur Rahman, senior vice president Faruque Hassan, vice president of finance Mohammed Nasir, first vice president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and former president of BGMEA Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), former FBCCI president AK Azad, and chairman of AKH Group Delwar Hossain were present at the opening ceremony. 

The EU ambassador and head of delegation to Bangladesh HE Pierre Mayaudon, US ambassador HE Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, German ambassador Dr Thomas Prinz and Japanese ambassador Masato Watanabe, were also present. 

According to local reports, the company hopes to exports garments worth US$80m from the factory, which should also generate significant savings in electricity, fuel and water consumption.

In 2014, Bangladesh set the goal of doubling apparel exports to US$50bn by the country's 50th anniversary in 2021 – with the industry's investment in more sustainable factory environments seen as having an important part to play in achieving this target. 

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