Earth Day 2020

Remaining Committed to Sustainability In These Hard Times

Liz O'Neill, EVP & President, Product, Innovation & Supply Chain
Levi Strauss & Co.
April 22, 2020

Liz is responsible for our entire product lifecycle, including design, merchandising and product development. In addition, she’s accountable for all supply chain operations which consists of sourcing, end-to-end planning, distribution, logistics and sustainability. 

Happy Earth Day!

This is an extraordinary time to be celebrating a milestone like the 50th anniversary of a day that for half a century has inspired us to stand up for our planet and its people.

With so much competing for our attention right now, and the world mired in a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever this year to answer that call and take time out to acknowledge the pressing needs of our planet. In fact, with climate sitting at the nexus of so many critical challenges – including public health – we know that now is not the time to waver in our commitment to building a more sustainable future.

So I want to take the opportunity today to reaffirm that even as we confront the changing social and business landscapes, Levi Strauss & Co.’s commitment to sustainability remains at the core of who we are.

It is not enough to simply make statements or sign pledges – we have to follow that up with ambitious, concrete goals, and then push ourselves and the industry to meet those targets. And that’s exactly what we’ve done over the last year in our four key sustainability focus areas: water, climate, chemicals and people. Highlights of those efforts include:

  • We now make 70 percent of our Levi’s® bottoms with Water<Less® techniques, saving 3.5 billion liters and recycling another 5.76 billion liters of water since launch.
  • When finished later this year, the new solar power array at our distribution center in Henderson, Nevada will supply up to 20 percent of the energy needed by that facility.
  • We’ve fulfilled our Greenpeace Detox Solution Commitment toward zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. And we continue to work cross-functionally on the screen chemistry program we developed and collaborative efforts with the Joint Roadmap Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC Roadmap).
  • As part of our efforts to ensure supply chain workers’ safety, LS&Co. presented a comprehensive guide on the current best practices seen in the sourcing base for Covid-19 prevention in manufacturing. The guidelines urge suppliers to develop Emergency Response Plans (ERP) to prevent and manage any reported medical cases, offer support and advice to workers and their families while maintaining business operations.
  • And finally we’re stepping up our efforts to extend the life of our garments even further, from Tailor Shops that repair and reimagine clothing, to a Wellthread™ line designed to be fully recyclable where the necessary infrastructure exists, to our partnership with the Blue Jeans Go Green program that saved 132,899 pairs of jeans from the landfill last year and turned them into building insulation.

This year, I encourage you to find a way to celebrate Earth Day from home – whether it’s tuning into a live stream from the Earth Day organizers or the virtually participating in the youth movement behind the Climate Strikes, or see if you find something  from this list of these sustainability actions. And, as we emerge from this crisis and are faced with the challenge and opportunity of reimagining what the new normal should be, I look forward to seeing what else we can accomplish in the coming year as we continue to push ourselves and the rest of the apparel industry toward a more sustainable future.