W.L. Gore & Associates’ “2020 Responsibility Update” shares how its Fabrics Division plans to leverage a newly introduced sustainability framework by using sound science, transparency and cooperation with others to provide innovative solutions to its customers and the industry.
The key milestones of the Gore Fabrics Division include setting new absolute carbon-reduction goals established to support achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and help contribute to the global effort toward mitigating climate change. Gore Fabrics also aims to achieve goals set three years ago to have 85 percent of consumer garment laminates approved by Bluesign and 100 percent of these apparel laminates certified under Oeko-Tex Standard 100. On top of that, the division is in the midst of a three-year effort to triple the number of Gore-Tex laminates to more than 150 that use textiles with recycled content and that use solution-dyed yarn.
The division is committed to sharing its environmental footprint data of the consumer garments laminates through the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), helping its customers to make informed decisions. Use of the Higg Facility Tools helps to increase transparency around environmental and social impacts at Gore Fabrics manufacturing sites.
In 2020, the Gore Fabrics Division made substantial progress in developing and delivering innovative product solutions with a lower environmental footprint, ensuring the most effective use of resources. The reported noted that solution-dyed textiles provide many environmental benefits, such as lower water usage, less chemical use and lower carbon emissions.
A milestone is also the signing of the manifesto of the international initiative “S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil” by the Solid Waste Treatment Team, with a goal to encourage climate-proof soil management practices. The update also involves progress toward the elimination of PFCs of Environmental Concern (PFCEC) from the Gore Fabrics Division consumer products.
To achieve the absolute carbon reduction goals, as set in 2020, the Gore Fabrics Division defined three initial key action areas. These are reducing energy consumption and continuing to introduce renewable energy at Gore’s manufacturing sites; optimizing product design, balancing durable performance with lower footprint materials while maintaining fitness-for-use, and working with suppliers to reduce their plants’ emissions, switching from fossil fuel to renewable energy use while increasing efficiency.
In 2020, Gore announced a collaboration with Bionic Yarn, a mission-driven company focused on the upcycling of ocean and ocean-bound plastic. Together, they are working to develop high-performance textiles made from recycled coastal and marine plastic.
“I am pleased to see that in 2020, despite all of the challenges, we kept making substantial progress in many areas of our sustainability journey,” Ross MacLaine, the new sustainability leader of Gore’s Fabrics Division, said. “I am particularly proud of our carbon goals and our new sustainability framework. And I promise that we will continue to work hard on all the commitments we made within our evolved sustainability strategy, protecting people and planet while prolonging product lifetime and the well-being of users.”
Gore Fabrics is a division of W. L. Gore & Associates, a global materials science company. Since 1958, Gore has solved complex technical challenges in demanding environments, from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body. With more than 11,000 associates, Gore generates annual revenue of $3.8 billion.