Every link in the Levi Strauss & Co. supply chain has the opportunity to improve how we manufacture our product.
In 2018, we drafted ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions in our owned-and-operated facilities and across our global supply chain through science-based targets. By 2025, LS&Co. is committed to achieving a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our owned-and-operated facilities, 100 percent renewable energy in our owned-and-operated facilities and a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across our entire global supply chain.
Our owned-and-operated factory in Plock, Poland is key to achieving these targets which makes it recent recognition all the more important. The factory received an award from the Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE), which offers companies, public institutions, and non-governmental institutions advice, instruction and education in the area of rational energy use.
The Plock plant team has been implementing major initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the factory as part of our 2025 Climate Targets that includes reducing our carbon emissions.
To reduce the environmental impact of our production, the plant team has concentrated its efforts over the last several years on water usage in the production cycle, carbon emissions, energy consumption and chemicals.
We talked with Tomasz Bialecki, Plock Maintenance Manager, about all the improvements that led to the plant’s latest recognition and their ongoing sustainable efforts:
The Plock plant was just recognized with this energy efficiency award – what did the plant do to achieve that recognition and what kicked off this latest sustainability initiative?
Tomasz: We’ve been awarded for the actions we took following our 2017 and 2018 energy and water audits. Specifically, we were recognized for several projects we implemented, including:
- The modernization of our lighting system throughout the factory – Around 2000 new LED lamps have been installed with a modern automatic control system. The factory is now lit with energy efficient LED lights only and we estimate our energy savings to be up to 600 MWh/year.
- Reduction of water consumption
- Modernization of the factory’s compressed air system – We installed a new, very efficient compressor and additionally all the heat from the machine is now used to pre-heat water for the washing processes. The estimated energy savings: 700 MWh/year.
- Insulation of steam and hot water installations (ongoing)
- Modernization of the air-conditioning and ventilation system (ongoing)
What did you do to improve the water usage of the plant?
To reduce our water consumption, we upgraded the washing machines with an additional system which enables us to save up to 50 percent of water in the washing process. Currently there are already six machines equipped with the system and there are plans to upgrade the remaining machines in 2020.
Can you elaborate on how the plant uses renewable energy?
The plan has been purchasing renewable energy since mid-2013. It is being produced at a hydroelectric power plant and our factory receives a certificate every year as proof that 100 percent of our energy purchased comes from that renewable source.
And how have you addressed chemical use at the factory?
Members of our team are in close contact with chemical suppliers to ensure that chemicals are screened and meet Levi Strauss & Co. requirements. Our new washing machines, for example, not only reduce water usage but also curbs chemical usage. Since we implemented our chemical management system some years back, we have reduced number of chemicals in inventory by roughly 50 percent.
What’s next for the plant’s sustainability efforts?
The 2025 Climate Targets for our owned and operated facilities are very challenging, so they are always top of mind when we are discussing investments or long-term plans. Stay tuned!