Press Releases and Statements
Press Note – Benetton Group starts global social commitment program for 2015 and launches second phase of support activities for victims of Rana Plaza
We are pleased to announce step two of United Colors of Benetton’s engagement for the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy of April 2013.
In step one, in the immediate aftermath of the tragic collapse, as there was no multi-stakeholder initiative in place at the time, starting already only one month after the tragic events, in May 2013, we immediately launched our own support program in partnership with the Bangladesh-based global NGO BRAC to support 280 victims and family members, with immediate-term medical needs and to ensure that they had the means, including financial, to rebuild a sustainable future.
Step two will be a further contribution, this time through the RANA PLAZA TRUST FUND, which has in the meantime been established. Regarding this, an independent, globally-recognized third party is working to define the principles of our fair and equitable share of compensation, since thus far it has not been possible for the RANA PLAZA TRUST FUND, to set forth such principle for any brand. The amount of this additional contribution will be made official as soon as the independent third party will communicate its conclusions, in the next few weeks and in any case no later than April 24, 2015.
This second, further initiative is part of a broader program of further social engagement by the Group for 2015, the details of which will be announced in the coming days.
Benetton Group was amongst the founding company signatories of the BANGLADESH ACCORD ON FIRE AND BUILDING SAFETY (http://bangladeshaccord.org/). This is allowing us to contribute to the long-term, permanent improvement of overall safety conditions for workers in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry. As of today, over 1100 factories have been inspected by the Accord on behalf of company signatories and many more will undergo the level of ongoing safety screening thanks to the concrete contribution of company signatories like ours together with other global brands.
Thanks to our program with BRAC, the Bangladesh-based global NGO that reaches an estimated 135 million people worldwide, to-date we were able to support 280 victims and family members, from their immediate-term medical needs – including limb replacement – to ensuring that they had the means – including financial – to rebuild for themselves and their families a sustainable future. Please find additional information on this program at http://www.benettongroup.com/sustainability/our-engagement-for-bangladesh/
To be clear, our initiative through BRAC was no donation, but a program that saw our people involved hands-on. And BRAC is not a charity, but rather a global NGO with an over 40-year history and that today, through its over 100,000 employees, reaches over 135 million people in developing countries. In addition, thanks to its local roots in Bangladesh BRAC is the only organization that has the on-the-ground network to reach across its rural areas, which is where most survivors from the Rana Plaza collapse returned to rejoin their families – which is quite possibly the same reason why other companies, including global brands such as GAP and Walmart, also worked through BRAC (USA) to channel funds to the victims and their families. BRAC is also the very entity that, on behalf of the local government, conducted the one and only official assessment of the victims that is the basis for all Rana Plaza-related initiatives – including our own.
Ponzano, 20 February 2015
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