Clean denim: How Levi Strauss plans to reduce its carbon emissions

Levi Strauss denims. Photo: Twitter
Denim maker Levi Strauss & Co recently announced a new climate action strategy to reduce carbon emissions across its owned-and-operated factories and the global supply chain by 2025. The new sustainability push includes using 100 per cent renewable electricity at company-owned factories.

The denim maker says its science-based targets are part of its efforts to make the global apparel industry more sustainable. The targets include a 90 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at all owned-and-operated facilities which it seeks to achieve by investing in onsite renewable energy and energy-efficiency upgrades.

The company also aims for a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in supply factories, by following programmes developed by the International Finance Corporation’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (IFC PaCT).

The apparel industry accounts for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emission. Levi’s emission target was approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative, a consortium of business and environmental groups aimed at setting standards for environmental plans for companies.

SBT provides companies with a defined way to help prevent climate change by specifying how much, and how quickly, they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The targets are considered "science-based" if they are in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

"We believe that business has the opportunity and the responsibility to be a force for positive change in the world," Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co, said in a statement.

"Levi Strauss & Co has set an ambitious science-based target aligned with the Paris Agreement for its operations and value chain which will help bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to its suppliers in developing markets," said Cynthia Cummis, director of private sector climate mitigation at the World Resources Institute (WRI), one of the SBT initiative partners.