Hanesbrands announced new, wide-ranging 2030 global sustainability goals that include a commitment to setting science-based environmental targets, addressing the use of plastics and sustainable raw materials in products and packaging, and a goal of improving the lives of at least 10 million people.
The goals were launched via a new sustainability website, HBISustains.com, designed to increase company transparency and reporting on key metrics, including diversity, human rights benchmarks and risk assessments for investors. The company said its efforts build on its long-term success in ethical workplace practices, community building, energy and carbon emissions reduction, and environmental sustainability.
The goals are being developed in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that the 17 UN SDGs address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, good health and decent work.
In product, the company said it has picked up the sustainability pace and will now eliminate all single-use plastics and reduce packaging weight by 25 percent, while also moving to 100 percent recycled polyester and sustainably sourced cotton.
For planet, Hanesbrands said by 2030 it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent to align with science-based targets, reduce water use 25 percent, use 100 percent renewable electricity in company-owned operations and bring landfill waste to zero.
In addition, the commitment to people has the company committing by 2030 to improve the lives of at least 10 million people through health and wellness programs, diversity and inclusion initiatives, improved workplace quality and philanthropic efforts that improve local communities.
“Our 2030 global sustainability goals across all three people, planet and product platforms expand our efforts to address key challenges that will make the world a more comfortable, livable and inclusive place,” Hanesbrands CEO Stephen B. Bratspies said. “As a global industry leader, Hanesbrands has an opportunity to make a greater impact through our workplace practices, environmental stewardship and community building initiatives. We’re ramping up our efforts to pursue ambitious goals that will connect our strategies with the global priorities of the U.N. SDGs to improve the lives of people, protect the planet and ensure world-class sustainable products.”
As part of the company’s 2030 goals, Hanesbrands has signed the Science Based Targets Call-to-Action Commitment Letter, pledging to develop science-based targets by 2022.
Hanesbrands has already significantly reduced energy use and carbon emissions since implementing an energy management program in 2007. Other recent achievements include being named one of the 100 most sustainable companies in the nation by Barron’s, becoming the only apparel company to earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award, and earning a leadership level A- score for the second year in the CDP 2019 Climate Change Report.
“As a global industry leader, it is critical for us to have a strong plan in place to become better stewards of our planet, advocate for our people, and to continue to develop products that are made from the best possible combination of sustainable materials and innovative technology,” Chris Fox, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Hanesbrands, said.
Hanesbrands noted that it primarily manufactures its garments in company-owned plants around the world and operates a balanced supply chain across hemispheres, including fabric production and sewing. Owning the majority of its supply chain not only impacts cost, scale and flexibility, but also the ability to adhere to best-in-class management and environmental practices, the company said.
As part of the improved transparency the new website offers, Hanesbrands will be providing insights on a number of key metrics. These include greater transparency around the depth of its human rights programs, including corporate human rights benchmark disclosures; global gender, and U.S. gender and ethnicity data; Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures information on the financial impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities, including those related to the global transition to a lower-carbon economy, and sustainability accounting standards board disclosures that will enable better comparisons of the company’s sustainability performance against those of others, including environmental impacts and labor conditions in the supply chain and raw materials sourcing.
“The world needs all of us to do better and we will,” Bratspies said. “We’ve done a lot, but we must do more. Whether you call it sustainability or just being as good as we can be, it’s a big deal to me. And it’s a big deal to Hanesbrands.”
Hanesbrands sells its products under the Hanes, Champion, Bonds, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bras NThings, Nur Die/Nur Der, Alternative, L’eggs, JMS/Just My Size, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei and Gear for Sports brands. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain.