Guston Amava, a garment manufacturer in Myanmar, has opened its second LEED platinum-certified factory in the country and SMART Myanmar – a European Union funded initiative aimed at promoting ‘Made in Myanmar’ garments and sustainable practices – says it hopes other factories in the nation will follow suit.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum manufacturing facilities are required to meet strict environmental performance standards set by the United States Green Building Council.

The new Guston Amava facilities use 85% recycled steel in construction, 34% recycled building materials overall, and each facility has 250 kW solar PV rooftop installations (500 kW overall across both facilities) making it among the largest solar rooftop systems in Myanmar.

They also make use of an evaporative cooling system and skylights and employ various strategies for water reduction with the aiming of using 80% less water than their non-LEED counterparts.

“It’s great to see a garment manufacturer leading in this space in Myanmar,” a spokesperson for SMART Myanmar told just-style. “No other factory has achieved these performance measures yet in Myanmar. This represents a substantial achievement for this company and its two factories. Hopefully, it will inspire others to follow suit in establishing truly 21st-century manufacturing capacities.

“Many garment factories in Myanmar are focused on Industry 4.0 innovations, such as RFID process tracking and automated slide rails and such, but it’s important to also adopt best practices for environmental management, especially renewable energy co-generation solutions like solar PV rooftops, strong energy efficiency practices in general, water and waste reduction, effective management of chemicals and hazardous waste, and other similar measures.

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“About nine garment factories in the industry now have various sized solar rooftop installations. Many others are exploring installations and I would predict that total solar PV rooftop generation from Myanmar garment factories could reach about 2 MW by the end of 2020. This is perhaps not a huge figure, but it is also not inconsequential. It signals a “sea of change” moment in the industry. Factories are waking up to the cost-saving benefits of solar and demand for solar PV will continue to increase.”