With 19 of the 20 record-hottest years occurring in the last two decades, action on climate change is necessary and brands are starting to respond in a bigger way.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and its effects threaten the health of our planet and global economy,” Letitia Webster, VF’s senior director of global corporate sustainability and responsibility, said in a statement. “VF is proud to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and further demonstrate our commitment to addressing climate change by implementing sustainable low-carbon, energy efficient solutions within our business.”
In addition to its renewable energy commitment, VF said it will develop science-based goals for reducing emissions, and so far the company is on track to meet its previous promise of reducing absolute carbon emissions 5 percent by the end of this year.
The company will also continue investing in energy efficiency, adding to the 85 percent of its retail stores that use LED lighting and continuing construction and use of LEED-certified locations, which have been built with green design.
VF is building on this announcement with a conversation on climate change at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, which started Monday. World leaders in attendance are expected to negotiate a binding agreement to help slow climate change.
In October, The White House voiced its support for a strong outcome in Paris and announced a slew of new companies that had signed on to the Climate Pledge, which initially launched in July.
Levi’s, one among the undersigned, said it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 in its office, retail and distribution locations, and by 5 percent annually per product shipped at its owned and operated manufacturing plants.
Nike said it plans to reach 100 percent renewable energy in its facilities by 2025 and advance innovation to uncover low-impact materials for use in its products.
“We know that climate-related issues like pollution may impact an athlete’s ability to perform,” Nike said in its pledge. “We will continue to harness the power of sustainable innovation to reduce our impacts and help protect the future of sport.”
Danish biotechnology company Novozymes, Target and Walmart, are also among the companies that made the climate pledge.
At last year’s U.N. Climate Summit, President Obama said, “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”