Wal-Mart today said it will donate $1.6 million toward improving fire safety standards in Bangladesh following the deadly fire at the Tazreen Factory in Dhaka. The donation, to the Institute of Sustainable Communities, a U.S. based nongovernmental organization, will help establish the Environment, Health and Safety Academy in Bangladesh. Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency, is also a partner in providing support for the new academy.
Wal-Mart has said it didn’t know its garments were being produced in the Tazreen factory, where the November blaze killed 112 people. The retailer said it had not authorized any of its suppliers to use the factory, which was considered unsafe by Bangladeshi authorities.
“At Walmart, as we work to raise standards in the global supply chain we continue to actively seek out partnerships with government stakeholders, nonprofits and NGOs,” said Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s vice president of ethical sourcing. “That’s why we are partnering with ISC, which is known for combining expertise in leadership, institutional development and community capacity building to improve people’s lives and the earth’s ecosystem. The EHS Academy is an important part of our ongoing commitment to improve fire safety standards in Bangladesh and we are proud to partner with ISC to address the critical need for training around fire safety, health and workplace safety.”