May 17, 2020

Levi's sets aggressive targets to cut emissions across global supply chain

Levi's supply chain
emissions
Sustainability
James Henderson
3 min
Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) has announced a new climate action strategy, which sets aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions across its...

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) has announced a new climate action strategy, which sets aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions across its owned-and-operated facilities and global supply chain by 2025.

This includes using 100% renewable electricity in company-owned facilities.

While LS&Co. has a strong track record of reducing carbon emissions in its own operations, the most significant climate impact—and the most difficult to tackle—lies within the apparel industry’s global supply chain. LS&Co.’s new climate action strategy addresses this part of the company’s carbon footprint.

Read our exclusive interview with Levi's Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Liz O’Neill, here

LS&Co.’s science-based targets, which are ambitious in their timeline and aims, are part of the company’s efforts to make the global apparel industry more sustainable. Approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, these 2025 targets include:

  • A 90% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all owned-and-operated facilities, which will be achieved by investing in onsite renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades
  • A 40% reduction in GHG emissions in the supply chain, which will in large part be achieved 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.

“We believe that business has the opportunity and the responsibility to be a force for positive change in the world,” said Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. “We are proud to be one of the first companies to set science-based targets for our global supply chain, and we hope to be an inspiration for others to follow.”

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Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly defined way to help prevent climate change by specifying how much, and how quickly, they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Targets are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

“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 Science Based Targets initiative partners.

“The company’s targets represent the kind of forward-thinking innovation that the fashion industry needs and are a model for business success in a low-carbon world.”

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Jun 10, 2021

Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?

supplychain
Procurement
budgets
strategies
3 min
Often overlooked, government procurement professionals will play a critical role in helping communities, and local businesses recover from the pandemic

Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less. 

According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”. 

Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge

Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals. 

These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects. 

Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity. 

Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets 

And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns. 

Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.

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