Eco-Friendly Opportunities in Bangladesh – Development of ‘Green’ Bricks 

by Raihan Hadi

Bangladesh is steadily moving toward eco-friendly solutions. One example of this movement is the brick manufacturing industry and its commitment to fully implement an alternative brick manufacturing processes for builders. Though it’s been almost two decades since eco-friendly concrete hollow blocks were introduced in the country, the construction companies are just now realizing and recognizing the benefits of using eco-friendly bricks for their projects. In fact, companies have already taken loans from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and started producing “Auto” bricks made from ceramic. This form of production reduces carbon emissions by 30 percent.

One of the factors driving this effort is the Government of Bangladesh now targeting to: 1) reduce carbon emission pollution generated from brick fields and other sources, and 2) reduce the use of topsoil in the production of bricks. To achieve results, brick companies must:

  • Significantly reduce carbon emission
  • Use zero topsoil
  • Avoid using any sort of material that harms the environment

A reduction of carbon emissions cannot happen overnight. According to the Environment Ministry, a total of 6,637 traditional and modern brickfields are currently operating in Bangladesh. Slightly above 10 percent, or 735, of these fields follow new regulations, according to a report by the Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS).

In 2013, the Brick Manufacturing and Brick Kilns Establishment (Control) Act was passed to improve control over brick manufacturing and the setting up of brick kilns in consideration of the environment and biodiversity. The Act permits a two-year transition to transform traditional brick kilns, followed by relocation if required by the regulations.

With the help of the government, foreign investors, consultants and researchers, the process of converting to a more eco-friendly solution is becoming easier. Yet it still requires kiln owners and those working for them to be trained as well as educated.

The effort and commitment toward manufacturing, using and integrating eco-friendly products and solutions in Bangladesh make this market a great opportunity for global businesses who produce green products or have a green solution. And Bangladesh is very interested in identifying solutions that either meet or will help the country be eco-friendly!

Rain Hadi is a global advisor for Global Chamber® – Chittagong, Bangladesh

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