Aug 17, 2020 - 3:45pm

VF is Greening Its Value Chain

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VF solar panels in Vietnam
In partnership with the IFC, VF is conducting feasibility studies on the adoption of solar PV in VF contract factories, like this 1MWp grid-connected solar system generating 1,635,170 kWh of electricity per year.

Ambitions

Goals: In 2017, VF launched the Made for Change Strategy and made commitments to halve its environmental impacts from farm to door. In 2019, VF set targets to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prevent global warming that are approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

VF’s science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets include the following:

  • An absolute reduction of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, from a 2017 baseline year.
  • An absolute reduction of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, from a 2017 baseline year focusing on farm-to-retail materials, sourcing operations, and logistics.

Investments

Green Bond: In February 2020, VF Corporation announced the closing of its €500 million green bond offering, representing the first green bond issued in the apparel and footwear industry.

VF will use the green bond net proceeds (equivalent amount) to support projects that align with key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and advance programs within the company’s Sustainability & Responsibility strategy. Specifically, VF’s green bond framework defines funding eligibility criteria in three areas:

  • Sustainable Products & Materials, such as those that support VF’s commitment to source 100% of its top nine materials from regenerative, recyclable, or renewable sources by 2030.
  • Sustainable Operations & Supply Chain, such as renewable energy installations and zero waste distribution centers.
  • Natural Carbon Sinks, including reforestation conservation projects and investments in regenerative agriculture practices.

Owned and Operated Facilities: VF is part of RE100 and set a target of 100% renewable energy for all owned and operated facilities by 2025. In 2019, VF facilities and operations sourced 16% of the total electricity used from renewable sources.

VF created Green Building standards to align with its purpose and values regarding sustainability. The new VF West Coast distribution center, set to be completed in 2022, will be LEED Gold certified. Under renovation now, the 10-story, 285,000 square-foot global VF Corporate headquarters in downtown Denver is seeking LEED Platinum Certification for Commercial Interiors (the shell is Gold) by the U.S. Green Building Council. The headquarters reflects VF’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the state-of-the-art space will house JanSport®, Eagle Creek®, Smartwool®, Altra ®, The North Face®, and Icebreaker North America®.

VF set a goal of Zero Waste at 100% of VF internal distribution center locations by 2020. As of 2019, VF is 60% of the way toward this goal.

Innovation

Supply Chain: In collaboration with VF strategic suppliers and industry partners, including Apparel Impact Institute (AII)–Clean by Design (CBD) in China and Taiwan, the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) Bangladesh, and Vietnam Improvement Program (VIP), VF has committed to increase energy efficiency and promote the adoption of renewable energy in its supply chain. As a result, VF set at least 10% energy and water efficiency targets for suppliers participating in these programs. Between 2019 and 2020, the IFC program achieved energy savings totaling 288,064,828 MJ per year and water saving of 416,930 m3 per year. Finally, this program helped avoid over 31,241 tons of GHG emissions per year.

VF set a goal of sourcing 50% recycled nylon and polyester for products by 2025, with a targeted 35% reduction in the negative impact of key materials. VF announced its prohibition of leather sourcing from Brazil. The policy says that leather will not come from cattle grazed on lands that have contributed to deforestation or forest degradation. VF is committed to using sustainable cotton across the organization. In 2018, VF used approximately 36,000 metric tons of certified BCI cotton and 600 metric tons of organic cotton.

To learn more, visit VF Corporation’s sustainability website here.

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