Levi Strauss & Co. recently signed a $2.3 million cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. This deal is expected to help the denim maker meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use in its supply chain.
By 2025, LS&Co. committed to achieving a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in their owned-and-operated facilities, 100% renewable energy in their owned-and-operated facilities, and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across their whole global supply chain.
The new agreement follows IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) approach. Both signatories say that IFC plans to work with 42 designated LS&Co. suppliers and mills on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping suppliers with specific renewable energy and water-saving interventions across the following 10 countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Lesotho, Colombia, Turkey, Egypt, and Vietnam.
In 2017, IFC and LS&Co. launched a pilot cooperation agreement to help six of the denim company’s suppliers in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam cut their carbon footprint as well as reduce energy and water consumption. Levi Strauss & Co. says that pilot reduced emissions for those suppliers by about 20% and decreased their operating costs by more than $1 million in total.
“Vendors in resource-stressed countries have shown the ability to innovate based on conditions on the ground, but in some cases, they need some assistance to make it work,” said Michael Kobori, LS&Co.’s VP of sustainability. “This program provides that assistance, which benefits not just those companies, but also people living in those communities, as well as LS&Co.”
The apparel company describes the IFC as the largest global development institution with an extensive track record of helping projects like this one work.
“We hope this program can also benefit others in the apparel industry and help reduce our collective footprint,” said Liz O’Neill, executive vice president of global product and supply chain for LS&Co.