Levi Strauss commits to 100% renewables and science-based targets

After receiving the stamp of approval from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) for its carbon reduction aims, fashion brand Levi Strauss has unveiled a revamped sustainability strategy that will see the company commit to sourcing 100% renewable power for its operations by 2025.

The jeans giant’s updated Climate Action Strategy 2025, published on Tuesday (July 31), includes a headline target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the facilities which Levi Strauss owns and operates by 90%, against a 2016 baseline.

In a bid to bolster sustainability outside its internal operations, the strategy also includes a 40% target for emission reductions across the company’s global supply chains, also by 2025.

“We believe that business has the opportunity and the responsibility to be a force for positive change in the world,” Levi Strauss’ chief executive officer, Chip Bergh, said.

“We are proud to be one of the first companies to set science-based targets for our global supply chain, and we hope to be an inspiration for others to follow.”

To achieve its supply chain ambition, Levi Strauss has joined the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles, which sees organisations from the public and private sectors collaborate to share best practice.

The partnership, which counts C&AH&M and VF Corporation among its members, also provides textile suppliers with technical expertise and access to low-cost financing to support sustainable energy and water investments.

Approval for the targets comes after Levi Strauss joined the  We Are Still In declaration, led by former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, last year. The initiative is an act of defiance against Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, with companies and states vowing to achieve and exceed the US’s original commitment.

The new normal

As global megatrends such as population growth and climate change continue to add pressures to society and the world we operate in, Levi Strauss is among the ever-growing number of corporations to set goals through the SBTi.

Climate challenges have so far spurred more than 100 companies, including L’OrealIkea, and Molson Coors, to set SBTI-verified goals aligning to 2C, while TescoBT and Carlsberg remain the only three corporations to have received verification for more ambitious goals in line with a 1.5C trajectory. 

Meanwhile, more than 400 other large businesses have committed to set an approved science-based target on one of the trajectories.

UN Global Compact, which runs the initiative alongside CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF, has stated that science-based targets are rapidly becoming the “new normal” for businesses looking to gain a competitive advantage.

Sarah George

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie