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Puma to sign agreement on Bangla fire & building safety
Jun '13
The Sportlifestyle company PUMA announced at its stakeholder meeting "Talks at Banz" that it will sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement set up by global trade union IndustryAll this week to ensure that the company's six supplier factories in Bangladesh adhere to high standards of social and working conditions, ensuring the safety and health of its workers.

PUMA's Chief Commercial Officer Stefano Caroti pointed out that through signing the agreement PUMA's supplier factories will have to undergo independent safety inspections and audit reports will be made public. Carrying out repairs and renovations that result from the independent inspections are mandatory for the supplier.

"The agreement requires PUMA to underwrite the costs and to cut off business with any factory that refuses to make necessary safety upgrades. It gives workers and their unions a role in the process according to the non-profit Worker Rights Consortium," said Caroti at PUMA's stakeholder meeting at the Banz monastery in Bad Staffelstein in front of 67 participants from non-governmental organizations, academia, suppliers and corporations.

PUMA sources 11% of its apparel products from six supplier factories in Bangladesh. All PUMA suppliers in Bangladesh were A to B+-rated after having been audited by PUMA's audit team.

PUMA has defined clear mandatory standards for all suppliers in the "PUMA.Safe Handbook of Occupational Health and Safety," which includes specifications on working safety as well as the architecture and structural engineering aspects of their buildings.

Following the building collapse in Bangladesh in April, we immediately contacted all PUMA suppliers to receive confirmation from the suppliers that they are following these regulations and to request the structural engineering certificates for all buildings. Future audits of supplier factories will be carried out with a renewed focus on these aspects.

A special guest at PUMA's 10th annual stakeholder meeting - that focussed on the question "How to let Consumers live and support Sustainability" - was Nazma Akter, President of the Bangladesh Combined Garment Workers Federation and a former child worker in an apparel factory, who elaborated on the working conditions in Bangladesh supplier factories and called upon PUMA to increase the sourcing volumes from Bangladesh in order to support the important apparel industry of the country.


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