Last week, we released our 2020 Sustainability Report, detailing our progress and programs across social, environmental, workplace and community commitments and initiatives. The following Q&A with our Chief Sustainability Officer Jeffrey Hogue is repurposed from the report and highlights its significance and other key takeaways.
What is the significance of this report?
Jeff: This is our first sustainability report, with a complete set of disclosures designed to meet stakeholder needs. We have aligned with prevailing reporting and disclosure standards and reported on all of our material Environmental, Social and Governance issues, impacts and opportunities. It furthers our commitment to transparency. It captures our programs and our priorities and articulates our overarching approach going forward.
All together, this report makes clear what we’ve achieved thus far and where we’re headed, and it sets the table for us to share new targets on our key priority areas later this year.
What do you hope people will take away from this report?
I hope readers will see that our commitment to sustainability is comprehensive and enduring. We have a long history of investing in the future of our business, the communities we engage with, and we know how this cuts across our entire business.
I also hope it’s clear that we’re not just leaning on that history. While we’re proud of the work we’ve done, we know we and our industry still have a long way to go to deliver on the promises and ambitions of this work. That applies to our climate programs, our efforts on water, our Worker Well-being programs, our diversity work, and more. On no front are we satisfied. There are improvements to be made just about everywhere. And it’s not really a choice. It’s what we have to do to create a resilient business that can last for another 168 years.
Are there any specific aspects of it that you want to highlight?
An area of strong emphasis for us is circularity. It’s something many of us in the industry are working on, both in our own operations and in collaboration with each other, but there are some real challenges to achieve circularity at scale.
This report outlines that we are laying the foundations for circularity, taking the initial steps that have to happen. To me, it shows up in the amazing work our Design Innovation team has done on our Wellthread® line; in partnerships we’ve established with Fashion for Good and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; in our focus on making garments that are made to be made again, with safe and renewable inputs; and in the Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign we launched this past spring.
These are the building blocks; we are going to keep pushing on all these levers and the system at large. And in the meantime, we’re working very hard to extend the life of our products. We’re talking to consumers about being intentional with purchasing decisions, continuing to build our Tailor Shops and SecondHand offerings, and continuing to make great products that are built to last.
I also want to highlight the fact that we will keep publishing these reports annually to be transparent, to share our progress, to engage our stakeholders, and to push the boundaries of what can be possible from all the brands under the Levi Strauss & Co. umbrella.
See the full Sustainability Report here on levistrauss.com.