Five women are working in a field

Collaborating with stakeholders for positive change

Meaningful collaboration with key stakeholders is essential to driving positive and sustainable change in the supply chain. This is why we continue to work with leading NGOs and take an active role in industry coalitions. We work to improve the effectiveness of our own responsible sourcing program and, ultimately, improve the lives of workers in our supply chain.

Over the past several years Walmart has implemented a number of programs to support local suppliers and workers including:

  • Improving the jobs for more than 17,000 workers in 34 factories in Bangladesh through our Lean Manufacturing program. Through this program workers are able to become more empowered through job skills and factory efficiency training. Learn more from Asda in the UK:
  • Launched a program aimed at empowering the women who work in Walmart’s supply chain factories through the company’s Women in Factories Training program.  This program is teaching 60,000 women critical life skills including conflict resolution, communications, skills, personal health and wellness.
  • Working with our supplier partners and their factories to help them develop the capability to improve working conditions by investing in education, training and operational efficiencies through our Supply Chain Capacity building programs including the Supplier Development Program, Violation Correction Training, Orange School Program and Supplier Round Tables.
  • Participating in the Bangladesh Buyers Forum, to collaborate with 18 other brands to provide a training program to increase fire safety awareness among our suppliers and their employees in garment factories, which is expected reach to over 3,000 exporting garment factories in Bangladesh.

Some of our partners include: 

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

In 2013, Walmart joined other brands and retailers to form the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The Alliance, which now has 27 member companies, set out to improve worker safety in Bangladeshi garment factories via five key areas: 

  1. Training, education and empowerment of workers, supervisors and management in factories
  2. Developing common standards for assessing factory fire and building safety in tandem with the Bangladeshi government and other stakeholders
  3. Expanding fire and safety programs for inspections and remediation
  4. Transparency: sharing best practices, affecting trainings and results from inspections
  5. Sustainable financial commitments

During its first 12 months, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has completed inspections of all 587 factories from which its Members source, provided basic fire safety training to more than one million workers and managers and begun offering financial compensation—recently extended from two to up to four months—to workers displaced as factories undergo necessary repairs. To read more about these accomplishments read the Alliance annual report here.

One of the key accomplishments over the last year is the Alliance partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) to adopt common fire and building safety standards. These standards align with the Bangladesh National Building Code and also support the National Tripartite Plan of Action. They are above the national building and safety standards in Bangladesh, raising standards across the country.

For more information on the Alliance and this important work, visit the website here.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

In December 2013, Walmart came to an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to support and implement their Fair Food Program for our Florida field tomatoes. By joining the Fair Food Program and working closely with our Florida tomato suppliers, Walmart will work with the CIW to: 
  • Expand the Fair Food Program beyond Florida to the tomatoes we purchase from participating Florida-based growers with operations outside the state
  • Provide long-term purchasing commitments to suppliers who best reflect the principles of the Fair Food Program
  • Work over time to expand the Fair Food Program to other crops beyond tomatoes in our produce supply chain

Better Work

Together, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched the Better Work Program with the objective of improving factory working conditions in the garment sector. Program components include monitoring factories, conducting training modules and engaging with key stakeholders, including workers, factories, communities and governments. We’ve worked with the ILO/IFC in the Better Work Program, which currently operates in Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nicaragua and Vietnam, with plans to expand into Bangladesh and other sectors of production, including footwear.

Ethical Trading Initiative

ASDA/George is a founding member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and works within a multi-stakeholder environment on industry issues such as home workers, Sumangali workers, working-hours projects, fire safety, living wages and purchasing practices. ETI touches a wide spectrum of issues to help drive positive change through the supply base from which we source and to improve conditions for the workers who make our clothes.

Global Social Compliance Program 

The Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) is a business-driven program created to promote the continuous improvement of working and environmental conditions in global supply chains. The GSCP was created by five leading companies, including Walmart, and is now made up of 39 brands and retailers. Members are working to enable mutual recognition between existing social and environmental compliance systems globally, in order to reduce duplication in auditing and build trust for further collaboration.