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PVH Partners with WWF to Save Water in Key Sourcing Countries

PVH Corp. and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are working together to protect global water resources and reduce the apparel industry’s carbon footprint.

PVH, the parent company of apparel brands including Calvin Klein, Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger, signed a three-year partnership with WWF, a leading conservation organization, to fortify water stewardship efforts in key sourcing communities for its businesses and the international apparel industry. The agreement, which will focus on freshwater conservation in China, India, Ethiopia and Vietnam, will enable WWF to collaborate with PVH on developing its water stewardship strategies and other core environmental efforts.

“As major trends like urbanization, population growth and climate change exacerbate existing water issues, water is not only an urgent environmental issue, but also a risk to business,” Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of WWF, said. “Water stewardship partnerships like the one with PVH are a commitment to the management of shared water resources in the public interest.”

Under the agreement, both parties will work together to help conserve freshwater resources in Ethiopia-based Lake Hawassa and India’s Cauvery River basins. The water conservation work builds on previous collaborative efforts by PVH and WWF in other key sourcing communities, including those in China and Vietnam.

In 2015, Tommy Hilfiger partnered with WWF to preserve and protect water resources in China and Vietnam. PVH and WWF will continue to expand their work in China’s Taihu River and Vietnam’s Mekong River basins, where collective water management and training initiatives have already made progress, according to PVH. These key sourcing areas were marked as high risk in a global water risk assessment conducted by WWF for PVH.

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PVH’s Heritage Brands arm, which includes Arrow, Izod and Van Heusen, will helm the company’s water stewardship initiatives in Hawassa, Ethiopia. A PVH joint venture is an anchor tenant at the Hawassa Industrial Park, an area that aims to strengthen Ethiopia’s apparel and garment manufacturing sector.

Local partners in Cauvery, India, will work with Calvin Klein to improve water conservation efforts in the area, which is known for supplying textiles to international companies. Both parties will collaborate with key stakeholders to reduce water stress on the environment, economy and people that live in the Cauvery river basin vicinity.

“Access to safe water is a human right that is essential for communities to thrive. Water is used at every stage of our product lifecycle,” Melanie Steiner, PVH’s chief risk officer, said. “As one of the largest global apparel companies, we recognize the opportunity and our responsibility to take a lead role in addressing this pressing global issue.”