Levi Strauss has signed a $2.3 million cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank Group organization, to help it reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% in its owned-and-operated facilities.
The company said it is also looking to use 100% renewable energy in its facilities — including retail centers, distribution centers, and offices — and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across its entire global supply chain by 2025.
The agreement is part of the IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles program. Levi Strauss said it would work with 42 designated suppliers and mills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping suppliers identify and implement renewable energy and water saving interventions.
The suppliers are located in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Lesotho, Colombia, Turkey, Egypt, and Vietnam.
“Vendors in resource-stressed countries have shown the ability to innovate based on conditions on the ground, but in some cases, they need some assistance to make it work,” said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at the company. “This program provides that assistance, which benefits not just those companies, but also people living in those communities, as well as [Levi Strauss].”
In 2017, Levi Strauss and the IFC participated in a pilot version of the program that the company said helped six of its suppliers in four countries cut their emissions by 20% and decrease their operating costs by more than $1 million in total.
“We started a pilot with them a couple of years ago where they identify consultants to come in, we and our vendors pay for the consultants, and those consultants advise our vendors on energy efficiency, what kind of equipment to install, and where the opportunities are,” Kobori said in an interview.
Kobori said the company wanted to achieve 100% more sustainable fiber by 2020, particularly cotton. “The bulk of that is going to be through the better cotton initiative and then smaller quantities of organic and recycled,” he said. The company has also pledged to achieve zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain by 2020.