In an effort to meet our corporate sustainability objectives to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and water use in our supply chain, Levi Strauss & Co. signed a $2.3 million cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, last June.
Under this agreement, which follows IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) approach, IFC is working with 42 designated LS&Co. suppliers and mills to reduce GHG emissions by helping suppliers identify and implement appropriate renewable energy and water saving interventions across 10 countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Lesotho, Colombia, Turkey, Egypt, and Vietnam. The project follows the success of a 2017 pilot between the two organizations that helped six LS&Co. suppliers in four countries reduce their emissions by 19 percent and decreased their operating costs by more than $1 million, collectively.
This month, IFC officially released its LS&Co. manufacturing case study, highlighting the partnership and how the organization will help us achieve our science-based targets, which includes our commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions across our entire global supply chain by 40 percent by 2025. We have also committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent and procure 100 percent renewable electricity in our owned and operated facilities by 2025. These science-based commitments are aligned with the need to curtail global average temperature rises to less than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. By driving water efficiency, the IFC partnership is also helping us to execute our Water Action Strategy and goal to reduce manufacturing water use in water stressed areas by 50 percent by 2025.
“Levi Strauss & Co. has always been a pioneer in these areas and IFC is happy to work with such a partner to help them directly improve sustainability metrics for their key suppliers, and to provide an example for other industry players,” Jeremy Levin, senior energy specialist with IFC, stated in the case study.
A storied partnership
LS&Co. began working with IFC in 2013 through the Better Work program, an IFC partnership with the International Labour Organization that seeks to improve working conditions in the garment industry. The next year, LS&Co. became the first to join IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance program, which encourages suppliers to improve their environmental and social practices by offering lower interest rates on short-term financing.
LS&Co. also participated in IFC’s PaCT program, which helps factories to reduce their water and energy consumption. This engagement formed the basis of the 2017 IFC pilot program involving the six LS&Co. suppliers. IFC experts advised the participating suppliers on strategies that save water and energy and reduce operational costs. Six more suppliers were included the following year, and in 2019, we announced a cooperation agreement with IFC to bring the PaCT program partnership to 42 additional LS&Co. suppliers in 10 countries.
By doing what’s right for the planet, we create a business that’s as durable as the products we make, and so we remain steadfast in meeting our obligation toward a low-carbon future. It’s a commitment we take very seriously.