The Global Climate Action Summit – the largest single climate event in the U.S. – kicked off in San Francisco this week, bringing together leaders from around the world bent on taking bold action to prevent dangerous levels of climate change. The summit is a launchpad to inspire deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries that can help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, which LS&Co. remains a vocal supporter.
Our very own Liz O’Neill was featured Thursday on a panel at the summit to talk about LS&Co.’s long-standing efforts to combat climate change and do our part to make the apparel industry more sustainable. Liz – who was recently promoted to president of the new Product, Innovation & Supply Chain organization within LS&Co. – discussed the company’s recent commitment to extensive emissions reductions across our supply chain.
This commitment is part of our industry-leading climate strategy, which includes targeting a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at our owned-and-operated facilities, as well as a 40 percent reduction in emissions across our global supply chain by 2025.
At 63 percent, the supply chain represents the most significant part of our carbon footprint. Liz pointed out that one of the stubborn myths in the apparel industry has been that companies with complex supply chains that include many different factories and mills around the world do not have the ability to make sweeping changes to reduce carbon emissions. But we’re already proving that notion wrong, with a 20 percent reduction in emissions on average in just one year at the factories where we began piloting our initiatives. We are achieving our ambitious supply chain targets by working with key suppliers to expand the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (IFC PaCT) globally. The IFC PaCT is an innovative public-private partnership that provides suppliers with technical expertise and access to low-cost financing to support sustainable energy and water investments.
But this isn’t something that we can solve on our own. “This isn’t just an LS&Co. issue,” Liz explained to the audience of business leaders and policymakers. “Now is the time for the apparel industry to set science-based targets and collaborate on effective emissions reduction programs in our shared suppliers.”