Levi Strauss joins with IFC to boost sustainability

Jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co has partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to develop a global program of environmental sustainability.

It will be built on the experience of IFC’s Bangladesh Partnership for Cleaner Textile (Pact) program, which advises more than 165 textile factories on how to organise cleaner production practices. This will be the first time for the program to be implemented outside of Bangladesh.

Initially, a pilot is planned in six factories, in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

“Our goal is to scale the practices globally to achieve greater reductions in water, energy and chemical use across our supply chain,” says Levi Strauss VP of sustainability Michael Kobori.

He says the global textile sector faces critical environmental challenges associated with water, energy and chemical uses that leave a large footprint in the world’s ecosystem. Simple, low-cost measures could reduce water use by up to 20 per cent in the factories.

“The global textiles sector makes strong contributions to the economies of several countries, creates jobs, especially for women, and has pioneered climate-friendly environmental sustainable practices,” says IFC Pact program manager Mohan Seneviratne.

“In Bangladesh, IFC is providing both investment and advisory support, and working along with other stakeholders to help the garments sector become globally competitive and safe for its employees.”

PaCT aims to help Levi Strauss reach its eco goal through Cleaner Production Assessments and Pact Advantage, a web-based diagnostic process. Results can be benchmarked across sites and countries.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It works with 2000 businesses worldwide, and its long-term investments in developing countries have reached nearly $19 billion.

Levi Strauss sells its products in more than 110 countries.

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