Update: Statement concerning Bangladesh Building Collapse

04/26/2013

We continue to express our condolences to those affected in Savar, Bangladesh and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our priorities are helping impacted employees and their families, and driving change to help prevent similar incidents like this in the future.

In Savar, we are aligning with other apparel retailers to support local efforts and provide aid and resources. We are sending senior representatives from Loblaw Companies’ sustainable supply chain team will be en-route soon to meet with local officials in Bangladesh to get a precise response on what caused this tragedy. We are committed to supporting local authorities in the rescue and care of affected families. When we have more details, we will share with you.

We are committed to finding an approach that ensures safe working conditions, drives lasting change in the industry and help prevents other tragedies. To that end, on Monday, April 29, Loblaws Inc., is joining other retailers and the Retail Council of Canada in an urgent meeting of its Responsible Trade Committee to discuss how to address this unfortunate situation and be a part of the solution.Loblaw has engaged with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their assistance in our efforts. We’ve engaged with a number of organizations including Canada’s Maquila Solidarity Network and their executive director Kevin Thomas to gain input into potential solutions, as well as international audit companies.

Loblaws Inc. vendor standards are designed to ensure that products are manufactured in a socially responsible way, for a safe and sustainable work environment. Our audits align with those of industry around the world, but we recognize that these measures do not address the issue of building construction or integrity. Loblaw is committed to finding solutions to this situation by expanding the scope of our requirements to ensure the physical safety of workers producing our products.

We don’t have all the answers today, but we are taking steps to drive change, and to finding solutions to ensure safe working conditions at the production facilities with which we do business.