Coming Together for Green Chemistry Innovation

Levi Strauss & Co.
February 3, 2017

At Levi Strauss & Co., we know that to create meaningful change and drive innovation in the apparel industry we need to collaborate.

That’s why we were excited to host an event with the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council, known as GC3, earlier this week at the LS&Co. headquarters in San Francisco. “Leveraging Partnerships to Accelerate Green & Bio-based Chemistry Innovation” brought together startups, chemical and material suppliers, brands, retailers and investors to discuss best practices for partnerships and learn about the latest innovations in green and bio-based chemistry.

Monica Becker, GC3 Co-Director, asked the crowd of more than 80 innovators to share insights into where they were headed when it came to this work and what they needed for the “greater opportunity to identify synergies.” And for an entire day of in-depth panels and high-octane discussions, they did.

Panels focused on strategic technology needs, lessons learned from real partnerships, and challenges that companies had to overcome to bring new sustainable technologies to market.

And even though the subject matter focused on metabolic engineering, plasticizers, enzyme boosters and biocatalysts (to name a few), these companies are creating the new technologies that will allow the apparel industry, household product, electronic industry, and many others to reduce their environmental footprint.

“No one else is going to do this work for us,” Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at LS&Co., told the crowd. “We have to step up, and do it ourselves. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get going.”

Rey Banatao, CEO of Connora Technologies, talked about his own company’s approach. “We bring a little bit of startup culture into the larger companies that we partner with. We use virtual planning tools and have made rapid progress due to the operational efficiencies we have achieved.”

LS&Co. has worked hard to advance responsible chemical management and drive sustainable progress through our processes. From sharing our Screened Chemistry Program publicly to partnering with startups like Evrnu, we’re ready to do our part. And from the enthusiasm we saw this week, we know we’re not alone.