PrimaDollar, supported by its liaison office in Bangladesh and its team in Dhaka, has signed agreements with four factory groups in Bangladesh to pilot the new "Factory Social Score" system.
These factory groups employ over 2,000 workers, reads a press release.
The Factory Social Score system is a global solution to monitor the social and governance performance of workplaces, part of the worldwide initiative to improve "ESG" ("Environmental, Social and Governance" matters). It has been designed in Bangladesh and London.
The Bangladeshi factories are joining an international pilot project that includes suppliers in India, Pakistan and Turkey. The pilot is being driven by PrimaDollar with the support of a number of major international brands and major importers.
The factory groups are Zoom Sweaters Ltd, Alib Composite Ltd, Bengal Knittex Ltd, and Climax Garb Ltd, reads the statement.
The Factory Social Score presents the social and governance credentials of a workplace based upon information provided directly by its workers, from the machinists through to the secretaries.
Tim Nicolle, Group CEO of PrimaDollar, commented from London that "We have carefully designed the worker app and factory social score system so that it is acceptable and useful for factory owners, whilst delivering important transparency to international buyers. Bangladesh is leading the way already with its legislation and regulation of the garment industry – and now our worker app can showcase the results to the world."
Munawar Uddin, country manager of the PrimaDollar Liaison office in Banani, Dhaka, commented, "We have worked hard with our London office and our large technology team in order to design, refine and deliver this app. Perhaps this will become one of the biggest contributions to maintaining and even improving worker conditions around the world – and I am really proud that Bangladesh is leading the way."
Mahfuz Ikbal, director of Zoom Sweaters Ltd said, "Our international buyers are very interested to understand how we look after the workers in our factories which are the life blood of our business. We will be sharing our scores with them directly – confident that this will lead to a significant boost to our reputation and standing with our existing clients and new clients that are in discussion."
MA Matin, chief operating Officer of Alib Composite Ltd. commented that "Whilst the first time we heard of this app, we felt that it be something of concern. After spending time with the PrimaDollar Bangladesh team, we appreciated that the design and implementation of the app had been very well thought through. This should be a great initiative in Bangladesh and will help us to win more business and satisfy our international customers on our standards here."
Abdulla Hill Amin, chief operating officer of Bengal Knittex Ltd commented that "The worker app will allow us (and others) to showcase the significant investments that we have all made in worker conditions and infrastructure over the last 8 years since Rana Plaza. This will be a good thing for Bangladesh."
HO Rashid, managing director of Climax Garb Ltd commented that "We were delighted that PrimaDollar selected us as a pilot candidate for the launch of the worker app, and we are confident that our workplace will score highly".
The Factory Social Score is a new class of data that is called "Real-time ESG" data – powering a new wave of initiatives to deliver environmental, social, and governance change across world markets, added the statement.
Information is collected via an app that workers, with the support of the factory management, install on their mobile phones. It is a continuous monitoring system that surveys workers' views across seven important social categories, including on pay, conditions, safety and treatment. Worker responses are anonymous.
Their responses are used in real-time, together with other information, to create the Factory Social Score which then forms part of the automated flow of data supporting every shipment that the factory makes.
Factory Social Scores are increasingly being required by large buyers and their financiers in order to manage their legal, regulatory and brand responsibilities in home markets, especially with respect to the way that workers are being treated in their supply chains.
This is a major part of the global initiatives to address issues with ESG. This is especially timely given world leaders are gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, to climate and wider issues around how the world moves forward towards a healthier future – a forum in which Bangladesh is playing a substantial role.