Bangladesh is an important sourcing market for Walmart and the retail industry generally, and the country relies on the retail industry to support its economy. We believe we can do good in Bangladesh by continuing to source and by working to improve building, fire and electrical safety in factories. We believe that transparency about these efforts will help all stakeholders understand opportunities and improve factory conditions.
Walmart is a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance), comprising 29 North American retailers and brands (as of October 2016) who joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking created with the intent of improving safety in ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh. We believe the Alliance will help lead to significant fire and building safety improvements for factory workers in Bangladesh.
In addition to supporting the Alliance, Walmart contributes to efforts to improve worker safety in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. For example, we worked with Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in assessment and certification services, to complete four phases of inspections for factories in Bangladesh that produce ready-made garments directly for Walmart. The results of these inspections have been harmonized with Alliance activity, and these factories are now part of the Alliance process. We also are supporting capacity building, remediation and training designed to improve safety and working conditions at ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh.