Last night Levi Strauss & Co. was honored to be recognized by the Commonwealth Club of California — the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum — as a recipient of the 27th annual Distinguished Citizen Award. The award spotlights companies and business leaders who give back to the global community. The theme of last evening’s event was Forever Innovative and LS&Co. was saluted for the innovative spirit we’ve brought to our commitment to sustainability, social justice and community engagement.
Co-recipients of this year’s award included venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz, Chevron CEO John Watson, and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and wife of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
We’re especially proud to be recognized for our efforts related to innovation because it’s always been at the heart of what we do here — from inventing the blue jean to making the first jeans for women to developing industry-leading products in our Eureka Innovation Lab. The Commonwealth Club award further underscores our commitment to innovation, especially as it relates to giving back to the global community in areas such as:
- Operating Responsibly: In 1991, we were the first multi-national apparel company to establish a comprehensive workplace code of conduct —Terms of Engagement (TOE) — for our manufacturing suppliers. And this year, we began working with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation on an innovative new initiative offering financial incentives to garment manufacturers who perform well on sustainability metrics.
- Driving Sustainability: Environmentally, we’ve saved more than one billion liters of water since 2011 through our Water<Less process, which reduces the water used in garment finishing by up to 96 percent. (Also, you can do you part to help save water by taking our quiz and pledging to wash less.)
- Giving Back: This year marks the 15th anniversary of Community Day, our global day of service. To date employees have logged more than 400,000 volunteer hours around the world just on that day alone. We also support our communities through the Levi Strauss Foundation (LSF), which prides itself on taking a forward-thinking approach to grant-making, through initiatives such as the Pioneers in Justice
- Supporting Social Justice: We’ve never shied away from speaking out about controversial topics and being on the forefront of social change. We have a long history of supporting racial equality, including integrating our factories before it was required by law. We were vocal advocates for HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment at a time when people were still afraid to talk about the disease. And we’ve advocated for LGBT rights for decades, just this week speaking out against anti-LGBT legislation.