BANGLADESH: Wal-Mart to fund academy to improve fire safety
Wal-Mart is set to donate US$1.6m to set up a training academy to help improve fire safety in Bangladesh.
The world's largest retailer will donate the money to US-based NGO the Institute of Sustainable Communities (ISC), which will establish the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academy in Bangladesh. Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency, is also a partner in providing support for the new academy.
The moves follow a fire that killed more than 110 people at the Tazreen garment factory last year, which was producing garments for Wal-Mart as an unauthorised subcontractor.
Wal-Mart said that through the EHS Academy, apparel manufacturers in Bangladesh will have access to high quality, affordable and comprehensive training on fire safety and environment, health and workplace safety.
In addition to funding, Walmart will also provide technical support and advice to ISC. The goal of the partnership is to provide a local, long-term platform for addressing challenges in the supply chain related to fire safety through technical training and engagement, Wal-Mart said.
The initial focus of EHS Academy in Bangladesh will be the ready-made garment sector, and there will be a strong emphasis on fire safety, water management, enhancing gender equity in the workplace and creating professional opportunities for Bangladeshi women.
"We urgently need to create long-term change in Bangladesh," said ISC president, George Hamilton.
"Today, the immediate need may be fire safety - but we can't tackle these challenges one at a time. From fire safety, to toxic chemicals, to greenhouse gas emissions- we need to stress comprehensive, systemic change in how factories understand and address interrelated environment, health and safety issues over the long term."
The academy aims to train 2,000 Bangladeshi factory managers annually in the skills to help drive better safety and sustainability.
Wal-Mart is also set to conduct electrical, building and fire safety assessments of factories in Bangladesh to help prevent fires in the ready made garment industry.
It is also working with the Bangladesh Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BMEA) and the government of Bangladesh to reinforce the critical need for improved fire safety in Bangladesh and the to highlight effective steps that can be taken to meet current fire safety challenges.
In the wake of the fire, Wal-Mart beefed up its supplier guidelines, including zero tolerance for unauthorised subcontracting, and higher standards for factories.
In 2008, the US-based multinational company Wal-Mart Stores acquired the Chilean hypermarket, supermarket and retail company D&S, which already owned more than 250 stores across the country. Every yea...
Wal-Mart de México SAB de CV is the leading and most influential chained grocery retailer in Mexico. The company’s strategy is based on offering a wide range of products at affordable prices. Conseque...
Global Online Retail industry profile provides top-line qualitative and quantitative summary information including: market size (value 2008-12, and forecast to 2017). The profile also contains descrip...
Concerns that three separate initiatives underway to boost the safety of factory workers in Bangladesh would lead to multiple audits and unnecessary bureaucracy for factories are beginning to be assua...
- Why should brands care about China cotton?
- New Gap CEO set to tackle “aesthetic issue”
- Falling euro adds to Bangladesh production woes
- Low labour cost countries linked to highest risks
- Myanmar Code of Conduct a first step in compliance
- M&S Asia head quits as China stores to close
- Abercrombie & Fitch reports “dismal” FY
- Gap names new design head amid mixed Q4
- Pay rise mulled for Sri Lanka garment workers
- US labour concerns at Honduras apparel makers
- Myanmar's Garment Sector - Opportunities & Challenges in 2015
- Apparel Retail: Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide
- Outdoor performance apparel: peaks, valleys, and green fields
- Management briefing: Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead
- Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019