This week, world leaders are gathered at the United National Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris to strike a global deal to slow climate change, recognizing that keeping global warming at bay requires all nations to act together.
At LS&Co. we’re acutely aware that climate change, if left unchecked, will have dire effects on the communities in which we operate, our business, and the apparel industry at large. That’s why we’re coming together with other top global apparel companies to call for a strong climate deal in Paris. As part of these efforts, we helped lead an effort organized by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy group Ceres that culminated in a statement signed by our CEO Chip Bergh and other top executives from Gap Inc., VF Corporation, and five other apparel companies.
In uniting with our apparel industry counterparts, we stand on the shoulders of leaders from the food and beverage industry, who recently joined forces on their own statement ahead of the Paris talks.
“By coming together and speaking with one voice about the impacts of climate change on our sector and the importance of leaders reaching a strong global agreement in Paris, we hope to have a meaningful impact with government leaders and help illustrate that curtailing climate change is not only an environmental imperative but also an economic imperative,” said Stephanie Kotin, Senior Manager, Stakeholder Engagement and Public Policy, who helped spearhead the development of the statement.
The statement, which appeared in Politico, advocates for a strong global climate agreement to slow the growth of greenhouse gas pollution that is a major contributor to global climate change. It also makes the case for why apparel companies care about the outcome in Paris, explains the top three components the apparel industry would like to see included in a global deal, and states the commitments of participating companies to make progress on climate change.
Earlier this week, LS&Co. also joined more than 100 U.S. businesses in signing on to a “Business Backs a Low Carbon USA” ad appearing in the Wall Street Journal that calls for strong action in Paris.
At LS&Co., we are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. As of 2014, we had reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. We also are progressing on a similar goal for renewable energy. A few of our activities to help achieve this goal include:
- Two of our largest distribution centers installed new energy efficient lighting and switched their roof membrane from a dark color to a white one, decreasing the need for air conditioning inside the building.
- Our factory in Poland continued to purchase its electricity from 100% renewable sources, which significantly reduced its GHG emissions.
- We’ve continued to reduce emissions from our retail, despite a growing retail footprint. We’ve done this through lighting efficiency and growing investment in renewables, particularly in Europe.
LS&Co. is committed to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But as the company evolves how it operates and reduces its emissions, we recognize that government leadership is essential for widespread action to address climate change and create the enabling environment for the efforts by our company and others.