The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh made public a list of nearly 1,600 factories covered by the pact, employing more than 2 million workers.
The list includes information, pertinent to assessing building safety, some of which has never previously been disclosed in the apparel industry.
Key data points include: factory name and address, the number of stories of each structure, whether a building includes multiple apparel factories and whether it houses other types of businesses, the number of workers at each factory, and the number of Accord signatories using each factory.
Accord leaders note that additional data points will be disclosed as more information is gathered from signatories and that, with some companies that have joined recently still to disclose their lists, the total number of factories will grow.
Sean Ansett, the Accord's Interim Executive Director, said "This is not merely a list of factory names; it includes crucial information on the physical structure of factories. These data points provide an unprecedented map of the Bangladesh apparel industry covered by the Accord and are playing a key role in prioritizing factories for safety inspections."
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a legally binding agreement between apparel brands and retailers and trade unions. It has been signed by over 90 apparel corporations from 19 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia; two global labor federations, IndustriALL and UNI; and numerous Bangladeshi unions.
Clean Clothes Campaign, Workers' Rights Consortium, and International Labor Rights Forum are NGO witnesses to the Accord. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) acts as the independent chair.
The Accord also indicated that it will announce in the coming days the hiring of the Chief Safety Inspector who will oversee the initiative's factory inspection and renovation program.
The Accord will launch a new website on Monday 7th October, on which the factory data -- sent to journalists and key stakeholders -- will be posted for easy public access. The website will also include additional information on the ongoing progress and operational work of the Accord, including a detailed Q&A section.