Brand CasesLevi Strauss & Co. Steps up Sustainability Commitment in 2022

Publication Date:2022-09-09

As one of the world's leading apparel brands and a leading force for sustainable development, Levi Strauss & Co. is actively advocating and committed to enabling sustainability in its supply chain. 

Since the launch of our 2025 Climate and Water Action Strategy in 2018 and 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. has continued to work on achieving the following targets in our global supply chain:

40% absolute reduction in GHG emissions across our global supply chain against a 2016 baseline (Scope 3 Category 1 -purchased goods and services). 

50% reduction in manufacturing water use in areas of high-water stress against a 2018 baseline.

Levi Strauss & Co.  fully understands that the achievement of strategic objectives requires continuous resource investment and corresponding project adjustments in response to changes in the supply chain. Building on the work of the past few years, we are further investing resources in the following aspects in 2022:

1. We optimize the Climate and Water Action project team, form a dedicated team, and add manpower to follow up on the implementation of suppliers' action plans on greenhouse gas and water reduction projects on a full-time basis.

2. We ask our global garments and fabric suppliers (covering about 140 factories globally, representing more than 80% of global volume) to use the independently developed optimization Roadmap Tool, that help set and track progress towards each supplier's carbon and water targets to ensure that each supplier has a clear and actionable action plan for carbon and water reduction. Eleven of these factories are in the China and have got and worked on their roadmaps and action plans.

Examples of the Roadmap Tool:

3. We are continuously financing or co-financing programs to assist our Chinese suppliers with carbon and water reduction projects. We have partnered with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) to complete the Carbon Leadership Project (CLP) in six factories in 2021 and five more in 2022.

#CLP project results, some suppliers have made information public at IPE: Cone Denim (Jiaxing) LimitedXingtai H&J Textiles Co., Ltd and Yixing Lucky G&L Dyeing And Finishing Co. Ltd

4. Based on data analysis, we have realized that the effective development and uptake of renewable energy will be an indispensable way to effectively reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, in 2022 we are financing program to promote the participation of five Chinese suppliers in Aii's Renewable Energy Transformation Initiative (RETI) initiative which will further assist suppliers in identifying and optimizing viable renewable energy implementation options. By end of 2023 the program aims to reach all LS&Co.’s Chinese fabric and garment suppliers. 

Notably, our actions on green supply chain management are not limited to the reduction of carbon emission and water consumption. As we are aware green supply chain management is a multi-dimensional, multi stakeholder participation, and a gradual and extended process. Therefore, we are also making efforts in the following aspects:

1. Through the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) platform, the annual validation of environmentally relevant data by factories has been driven since 2016 to monitor and steer ongoing carbon and water reduction projects in factories based on Higg's validated data.Higg data helps us to review other aspects, like solid waste and work on further analysis and targets in supply chain.

2. Continuous and active participation in the ZDHC ( program ultimately lowers and eliminates the discharge of pollutants in wastewater by reducing the use of hazardous chemicals.  On top of asking our suppliers to comply with ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), we also launched the Screened Chemistry program back in 2014. At present, there are more than 1400 chemicals that have been certified by the Screened Chemistry and used in apparel supply chain. Levi Strauss & Co.’s effective chemicals management efforts have been recognized by the ZDHC with an Aspirational Level of ZDHC Brand to Zero evaluation rating in 2021 and 2022. 

#Chemical project results, some suppliers have made information public at IPE: Zhongshan Yida Apparel Co., Ltd

3. Further deepen cooperation with Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and make full use of IPE platform to strengthen environmental management in China’s supply chain.

A. In 2022, more than 105 suppliers in China (including licensee suppliers) have been asked to track and analyze the carbon emission trend of suppliers by filling in the pollutant emission and transfer registration (PRTR) data, in that way covering 100% of suppliers in China. The involved suppliers are and will be required to set their corresponding absolute or intensity targets. Carbon and PRTR data might become an effective tool to promote carbon and water reduction of all suppliers in China, which corresponds with Levi Strauss & Co. strategic 2025 objectives on climate and water. 

B. Through the IPE platform, we not only focus on direct suppliers, but also extend to downstream suppliers such as logistics, chemical suppliers, wastewater treatment sites, etc. Currently more than 400 suppliers are in our IPE monitoring scope, and that helps us to timely manage the environmental compliance status of the entire supply chain in China. In 2022, total 23 environmental violation records of the upstream suppliers have been pointed, and successfully followed up and delisted from the IPE platform.

C. We will further promote to larger suppliers to carry out environmental and carbon management of their own supply chains through IPE platform. Larger fabric suppliers have been included into the scope in 2022, and it is planned that gradually all fabric suppliers will manage their own supply chains through IPE platform in 2023.

Levi Strauss & Co. firmly believes that as long as we stick to the right direction, scientific approach, continuous investment, cooperation and joint efforts, the prospects of green supply chain management will be brighter and allowing us to continue to take impactful steps forward on the road of practicing our commitment to sustainable development.

(The above content was provided to IPE by the brand, who is responsible for the accuracy of the data.)