Dormitory and canteen standards
Walmart is implementing new requirements that go above and beyond industry norms to enhance dormitory living conditions in the supply chain. By taking proactive measures to go beyond local laws and standards, we expect to improve worker health, safety and worker morale. In order to verify dormitory conditions are improved, we created a new mandatory standard that has gone into effect this year. In order for factories to become familiar with the new standards, they will not have an impact on the colour rating a factory receives until 2013. Examples of new standards to be put into place include requiring suppliers who provide residential and dining facilities for their workers to provide safe, healthy and sanitary facilities. Additionally, suppliers must provide appropriate and sanitary washroom facilities, including adequate toilets and showers segregated by gender.
Machine and chemical safety
Using insight from more than 100 factories, Walmart initiated an improved set of safety standards to regulate the use of high-risk chemicals and machinery. These requirements, which have been incorporated into the audit process of Walmart supplier factories, include:
- Providing extra protection for workers involved in high-risk manufacturing processes
- Preventing factories and suppliers from cutting corners on existing safety regulations
- Increasing awareness around standards and providing additional training on safety standards
- Using appropriate equipment properly
- Providing proper training for workers who use high-risk machinery
Orange School Program
In order to help our factories improve from an orange rating to a yellow or green rating, we created the Orange School Program to help supplier factories remediate high-risk violations. We provide instruction on how to implement effective management systems and address the root cause of issues. In addition to Orange School and the Supplier Development Program, we also work with suppliers through audit orientation, violation correction training and roundtable discussions. As our supply chain expands, we are working to implement these programs across our markets.
Our purchasing practices have an effect on suppliers, and we are committed to improving these practices. In 2011, we focused on increasing internal awareness about the effects of business decisions on the supply chain. We are working with our merchandising division to identify opportunities to improve our purchasing practices through increased training and awareness.
“Walmart recognizes that audits alone will not solve complex issues in the supply chain. As such, Walmart is helping its suppliers build the capability to upgrade working conditions, improve workplace practices and ultimately improve factory management’s ability to think beyond compliance and drive social performance independently.”
Ian Spaulding, managing director, INFACT Global Partners