GIZ awards 18 bangladeshi factories for best practices

social and environmental excellence award ceremony

Winners of Social and Environmental Excellence Award pose at the closing ceremony of the three-day Apparel Summit at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Tuesday. Photo: Star

Eighteen garment companies and seven workers won the Social and Environmental Excellence Award 2014 for adopting best practices and skills development in their workplaces.

Germany’s GIZ and the Bangladesh government initiated the award last year to motivate all factories to adopt best practices and ultimately tap the export potential.

The awards were given in four categories: social compliance, environmental performance, building and fire safety excellence and inclusive skills development.

The four categories have nine sub-categories. Inclusive skills development, introduced this year, will encourage factory owners to offer jobs to people with disabilities.

The awards were delivered at the closing ceremony of the three-day Dhaka Apparel Summit and the second International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety. Abanti Colour Tex won the platinum award for grievance handling under social compliance category, while Kwun Tong Apparels won the gold award.

Jinnat Fashions won the platinum award for women’s empowerment and Ananta Garments the gold award.

Beximco Fashions won the platinum award under inclusive skills development category, while Fakhruddin Textile Mills won the gold award. Epic Garments Manufacturing won the platinum award for building and fire safety excellence, while Vintage Denim Studio won the gold award.

This category was sponsored by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Solidarity, a platform of 27 US-based retailers, in recognition of their efforts to improve workplace safety.

“These factories exemplify what is possible through innovation, commitment and collaboration,” said Ellen Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance. They are helping to deliver on the promise of a safer garment industry for all, she added. The Alliance also presented a best trainer certificate to Akhi Akter, a senior operator at Hop Yick Bangladesh.

Akter stood out among other trainers by displaying masterful use of practical examples, stellar confidence and an ability to administer a variety of different trainings in varied settings. She has led more than 40 safety training sessions.

Making sure that garment workers have the correct knowledge about fire safety isn’t just important — it saves lives, said Akter. This award will create awareness and bring welfare for the workers, said Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, minister for expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment.  “All our factories will be compliant soon on the back of awareness among owners,” he said.

The award provides an excellent opportunity for the garment sector to showcase its best practices in the international arena, said Ferdinand Von Weyhe, Charge d’Affaires of the German embassy.

“I hope that their modals of development will encourage other enterprises in the garment sector and beyond to take up similar, or even better, initiatives to follow.”

The introduction of another new category, inclusive skills development, aligns with GIZ’s motto “count us in” and recognises a person with disability as well as factories that include persons with disabilities in their workforce, said Tobias Backer, country director of GIZ.

This recognition is expected to encourage more factory owners to hire persons with disabilities, he said.

Courtesy by: The daily star.

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