VF Teams Up with International Finance Corporation to Provide $10 Million for Bangladesh Factory Safety Improvements
Program offers financing for fire and building safety improvements
GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) today announced a collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to provide up to $10 million in financing for building upgrades and fire and safety improvements in vendor factories in Bangladesh. These funds are part of VF’s overall $17 million commitment to the health and safety of Bangladeshi garment workers.
“This financing model, which we think could work well for other buyers and suppliers, will help Bangladesh’s suppliers improve work conditions and strengthen the country’s ability to attract garment manufacturers.”
With this financial commitment, VF is providing a corporate guarantee for IFC remediation loans to VF suppliers. The program will enable the IFC to award loans at a reasonable cost to qualified suppliers who own factories in Bangladesh that produce VF products, helping to accelerate the implementation of needed fire and building safety improvements.
“The safety of the people making our products around the world is an imperative,” said Eric Wiseman, chairman, president and CEO of VF. “Our program with IFC helps to ensure that our suppliers have access to the necessary capital to complete safety improvement plans.”
Qualifying suppliers will have undergone structural, electrical and fire safety assessments under the protocol outlined by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, of which VF is a member. The funding will be used to implement corrective action plans derived from these assessments.
Individual loans granted to suppliers are expected to range from $100,000 to $1 million and must address one of three applicable performance standards: assessment and management of environmental and social risks and impacts; labor and working conditions; or, resource efficiency and pollution prevention.
“Employment in the apparel industry has reduced poverty for millions of women in Bangladesh,” said Serge Devieux, IFC Director for South Asia. “This financing model, which we think could work well for other buyers and suppliers, will help Bangladesh’s suppliers improve work conditions and strengthen the country’s ability to attract garment manufacturers.”
With the support of IFC, this program provides an innovative solution to facilitate indirect financing support from VF to help improve supplier factory safety. IFC will utilize its in-house expertise on environmental and social standards to support the effort.
Additional information on VF’s other activities to protect the health and safety of Bangladeshi garment factory workers, independently and as a member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, can be found at wecare.vfc.com.
About VF Corp
VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) is a global leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories. The company’s highly diversified portfolio of 30 powerful brands spans numerous geographies, product categories, consumer demographics and sales channels, giving VF a unique industry position and the ability to create sustainable, long-term growth for customers and shareholders. The company’s largest brands are The North Face®, Vans®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee® and Nautica®. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.