Energy Efficiency, Industrial - August 7, 2018 - By Michael Kobori
Levi Strauss & Co. ramps up climate commitments
At Levi Strauss & Co., we remain steadfast in meeting our obligation toward a low-carbon future. It is our responsibility, both as a corporate citizen and a sustainability leader, to tackle our climate impact and set an example for others.
As a company, we have used our voice to advocate for strong climate policies, as well as taken action to reduce our climate impact. Today, we announced our new climate action strategy, which includes ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions in our owned-and-operated facilities and across our global supply chain. The targets we’ve set ensure that Levi Strauss & Co. will be doing its part to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement. These targets, which are aggressive in their timeline and aims, will help set the standard for the apparel industry for reducing carbon emissions.
Specifically, we are committed to achieving the following by 2025:
- Sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity by investing in renewable energy across our owned-and-operated facilities.
- A 90-percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all owned-and-operated facilities, which will be achieved through investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades.
- A 40-percent reduction in GHG emissions in the supply chain, which will in large part be achieved by working with key suppliers to expand the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership (IFC) for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT). The IFC PaCT is an innovative public-private partnership that provides suppliers with technical expertise and access to low-cost financing to support sustainable energy and water investments.
While we have demonstrated leadership through efforts in our own operations, we are acutely aware that the apparel industry’s most significant climate impact is in the global supply chain. Over the last several years, we have piloted innovative supply chain programs and, encouraged by the results, have begun to scale them accordingly.
We are partnering with our suppliers and the IFC to finance investments in energy-efficiency initiatives and renewables at supplier facilities. These investments will not only reduce the carbon footprint and costs for our suppliers, they also will serve to catalyze action within the apparel industry and across other industries.
Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres, lauded our innovative strategy, stating “It is exactly what is needed to get to the scale and scope that is necessary to ensure a sustainable future for the next generation.” We have been a proud member of Ceres for nearly 10 years, working together on sustainability initiatives to protect the environment.
Our science-based GHG reduction targets are an extension of our company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout our business. The approach also complements our advocacy efforts to advance climate policy as a founding member of the Ceres BICEP Network, a cross-industry network focused on making the business case to policymakers to accelerate the clean energy transition and address climate change.
If left unchecked, climate change will have devastating effects on the communities in which we operate, our business, and the world at large. Ambitious targets motivate action, and climate action is what our world needs.
Michael Kobori is vp of sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. Under his tenure, the company has been a pioneer on sustainability through its Water<Less™ production techniques; commitment to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals; establishment of a Science-based carbon emissions target; innovative Worker Well-being program; and Care for the Planet™ product labels to encourage consumer awareness of sustainable garment care. Michael is a Director of the Cotton Board. He has served as Chair of the Better Cotton Initiative, Board member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and numerous other sustainability initiatives. In addition to his responsibilities at Levi’s, Michael is a lecturer at the Haas Business School at the University of California at Berkeley