For the second year in a row, Levi Strauss & Co. has been named to Fortune Magazine’s “Change the World” list – this time for our Screened Chemistry program and continued efforts to remove chemicals from our processes through breakthrough innovations like Project F.L.X.
The honor comes a year after Fortune recognized our Worker Well-being program, which has set a new industry standard for improving the lives of the millions of people who work in the factories that make the clothes we wear, giving them the tools to thrive at work and beyond.
A greener approach to chemistry
In 2000, LS&Co. was one of the first companies to establish a Restricted Substances List (RSL), identifying chemicals that are prohibited in the manufacturing of our products due to their potential impact on consumers, workers and the environment.
LS&Co.’s pioneering Screened Chemistry program examines chemicals used to manufacture our products against specific health and environmental impacts, allowing us to identify better alternatives and areas for innovation. The goal of the program is that all Levi Strauss & Co. suppliers will transition to using a preferred chemical list – using safer alternatives for manufacturing – which is a much more proactive approach to sustainable chemicals management in the industry. To date, we have screened and cleared 500 of our highest-use chemicals while phasing out 50 chemicals as a result of the program.
Through our game-changing new operating model known as Project F.L.X., we are replacing manual techniques and automating the jeans-finishing process, allowing us to reduce the number of chemical formulations used in finishing from thousands to a few dozen. This is a major step forward in our commitment to achieving zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020 and furthers LS&Co.’s goal of pioneering more sustainable apparel.
We’ve since shared our Screened Chemistry program with others in the industry. As a result, H&M and C&A are now piloting the program and one industry association is considering adopting it.
Changing business for the better
Fortune’s annual “Change the World” list identifies 50 companies that have made an important social or environmental impact through their profit-making strategy and operations. Companies are judged on four criteria: measurable contribution to societal impact; scale of business results; degree of innovation relative to the industry; level of executive commitment to purpose-driven growth.
While Fortune rarely considers companies for their list twice in a row, we’re used to bucking trends and proud of this honor.
See the full list now.