Alongside the strong commitment to fire safety measures, the promised support for people impacted by the fire is also in progress. With the committed financial backing of the C&A Foundation, more than 1 million Euros has been budgeted for programmes to support the longer term needs of various groups of victims of the Tazreen fire.
In-depth fire safety audits in Bangladesh, conducted by Bureau Veritas and funded by the C&A Foundation, are already underway at production units owned by local suppliers to C&A. The first results have been shared with the newly created C&A sustainable supply chain team.
These inspections include an assessment of the electrical systems, building layouts and building construction, as well as in-depth fire safety training for both workers and management. If any factory is unwilling or unable to carry out necessary improvements which are identified by Bureau Veritas, the C&A production will be placed elsewhere until compliance is achieved.
Sustainable Supplier Programme
An on-going Sustainable Supplier Programme which began with projects in Bangladesh, implemented together with GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zuzammenarbeit) is being expanded in 2013 and will include additional Bangladeshi suppliers as a result. The programme focuses on increasing efficiency especially through an improved dialogue between management and workers.
Vocational Training Centre
Together with local Bangladeshi NGO Grameen Shikha, a new Vocational Training Centre has recently been opened which is financed by the C&A Foundation. A significant new course has been added to the existing curriculum which focuses on industrial electrical wiring.
120 students will be enrolled in this course in July 2013. The plan is that the graduates will be placed in the industry, in order to offer their skills, to help prevent future factory fires in Bangladesh.
C&A is committed to adopting comprehensive change, and also recognises that joint efforts, involving a wide spectrum of engaged parties are still necessary to lay the foundations for an effective prevention of similar incidents in the future.
To enable the various measures promised in support of the victims of Tazreen, as well as a range of necessary fire safety improvements, plus other benefits for workers in C&A supply chains, an amount of 5 million Euros in total has been made available from the C&A Foundation.
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