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SAN FRANCISCO – US denim brand Levi Strauss has been praised by a leading environmental group after pledging to slash GHG emissions in its Asian supply chains by 40 per cent by 2025. The move comes after the business came under-fire earlier this year for making renewable commitments in its retail stores, while ignoring supply chains where most climate impact takes place, particularly in Chinese coal-fired manufacturing plants.

Environmental group Stand.earth says the denim giant has set a new standard on climate commitments in the apparel industry.

Said Todd Paglia, executive director, Stand.earth: “This is the kind of climate leadership the world needs to see. Denim giant Levi’s just set the apparel industry standard for reducing climate pollution in the entire supply chain. Now the rest of the fashion industry — including companies like Calvin Klein, American Eagle Outfitters, and VF Corporation (which owns Lee and Wrangler) — must follow suit.”

Levi’s says the 40 per cent reduction in GHG emissions in the supply chain will in large part be achieved by working with key suppliers to expand the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (IFC PaCT) globally. The IFC PaCT is a public-private partnership that provides suppliers with technical expertise and access to low-cost financing to support sustainable energy and water investments.

Levi’s also said it is aiming for a 90 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all owned-and-operated facilities, which will be achieved by investing in onsite renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades. This will include using 100 per cent renewable electricity in company owned facilities by 2025.

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

“Levi Strauss & Co. has set an ambitious science-based target aligned with the Paris Agreement for its operations and value chain, which will help bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to its suppliers in developing markets,” added Cynthia Cummis, director of private sector climate change mitigation at the World Resources Institute (WRI), one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners.

“The company’s targets represent the kind of forward-thinking innovation that the fashion industry needs, and are a model for business success in a low-carbon world.”

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