Gap Inc., a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children, has unveiled a new sustainable manufacturing goal to conserve a total of 10 billion litres of water by the end of 2020. This water saving would be the equivalent volume of the daily drinking water needed for 5 billion people.
“Water is critical to nearly all aspects of our business, and we recognize the responsibility and the opportunity we have to reduce the amount of water used to create our products. Leveraging the power of product innovation and improved manufacturing practices, we can help ensure that our customers not only look great in their favorite jeans and t-shirts, but also feel good about how their purchases are helping to make a positive impact for communities and helping to tackle global water scarcity,” said Christophe Roussel, executive vice president of global sourcing at Gap Inc.
The new manufacturing goal is part of the Gap Inc.’s water stewardship strategy, which includes a focus on lessening the impact at the raw materials and product design level as well as helping communities touched by its business improve access to clean water and sanitation. Product innovation and efficiency improvements at fabric mills and laundries will be keys to achieving water saving goal.
Gap Inc. is taking action globally to reduce its environmental footprint in its retail operations and across its supply chain. By the end of 2020, Gap Inc. has committed to a 50 per cent absolute reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its owned and operated facilities globally from a 2015 baseline, and to divert 80 percent of its waste in the U.S. from landfill.
“We believe that access to clean and safe drinking water is a fundamental human right, so we strive to ensure that the process of making our clothes is safe for people and communities. It’s not only the right thing for people and the planet, it’s also crucial for our business growth,” said David Hayer, senior vice president of global sustainability and president of Gap Foundation at Gap Inc.
Through the Gap Inc. Women and Water programme, the company is working to help communities touched by its business improve access to clean water and sanitation. The company has integrated water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) curriculum into the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program, and has partnered with organisations such as WaterAid on a variety of initiatives to support community WASH awareness, education and water access in India. Last year, Gap Inc. and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Women + Water Alliance in India, a collaboration to improve and sustain the health and well-being of women and communities touched by the apparel industry.
To ensure a broader impact, Gap Inc. is also working with other leading brands to advocate for the implementation of more environmentally responsible manufacturing practices. This includes working to help scale the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s Clean by Design program, which is focused on helping mills improve their operational efficiencies to reduce water, energy and chemical use, and serving as a founding member of the SAC’s Apparel Impact Institute. Gap Inc. is also a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme.