Press releases

John Lewis signs Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

Wednesday 15 May 2013

John Lewis has today announced that it has signed the multi-stakeholder Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, coordinated by the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Stephen Cawley, head of sustainability at John Lewis, commented: 'While we have a relatively small supplier base in Bangladesh - we work with a small number of factories that produce less than 5 per cent of our own-brand fashion range - this incident has highlighted the pressing need to raise safety standards across the country's garment industry. In signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, we will work alongside the ILO and collaboratively with retailers and NGOs to develop and deliver much needed improvements to working conditions.

'At John Lewis, we strive to offer our customers the best quality products sourced from trusted suppliers and we have a long record of working collaboratively with our suppliers; we look to build long-term relationships with companies and work with people who share our values.'

John Lewis takes the subject of working conditions seriously.  It expects its suppliers to not only obey the law, but to respect the rights, interests and well-being of their employees, their communities and the environment. It expects all suppliers to comply with The John Lewis Responsible Sourcing Programme, which includes the requirements of its Responsible Sourcing Code of Practice. This code is based on the ILO's standards and the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) base code.

Our Responsible Sourcing Code of Practice is available on the John Lewis Partnership website.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and nine John Lewis at home),, 291 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 84,700 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013'* 'The Nation's Best Retailer'** and 'Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2013' *, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores. The website stocks over 200,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. ( John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

*Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
** Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
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Emma J Cooke
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