Case study: High working and safety standards pay off
News from 2016-02-19 / DEG, Sustainability
How can fair working conditions contribute to a company’s sustained success? This question is examined by a new DEG case study focusing on the DBL Group, a family-run textile clothing manufacturer in Bangladesh.
With a total of 21,000 employees and 16 production facilities for weaving, machine-sewing, dyeing, washing, printing and packaging, DBL is able to manufacture and export 5.6 million items of clothing every month. Nonetheless, DBL is faced with great competitive pressure – above all from other textile producers.
This study shows that small measures can have a significant impact and that forward-looking environmental and social management can also be worthwhile from a financial point of view. Through a series of changes, DBL was able to improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, thereby boosting productivity: in order to improve working and safety conditions, the company invested in areas such as building, fire and electrical safety and set up a healthcare centre providing basic medical care for its workforce. In addition, the company opened a “fair price shop” in which employees can purchase food, household products and hygiene products at wholesale prices.
Through the increased productivity and attendant competitive advantages, the group is in a position to pay its employees above-average wages and to further improve their living conditions.
The DBL Group has been a customer of DEG since 2010. Together with the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB), DEG provided the company with a loan for a textile dye works complete with water treatment facility. DEG also advised the company extensively on international environmental and social standards throughout the entire value chain.
The current case study came about as part of the international “Let’s Work” partnership, which aims to find solutions for more and better employment opportunities worldwide.