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VF Corp Signs on to UN-Sanctioned Climate Change Charter

VF Corporation has furthered its commitment to battling climate change by signing the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change—joining brands like Gap, Inditex and Levi Strauss & Co. in their efforts to make fashion more sustainable.

More than 40 fashion companies have already signed on to the charter since it launched at the UN international climate change negotiations in Katowice, Poland in December.

Among the biggest commitments VF made by becoming a signatory of the agreement, is a pledge to reduce its aggregate greenhouse emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Overall, the goal for all Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change signatories is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Prioritizing environmental and social responsibility is foundational to who we are and how we operate at VF,” Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and CEO said in a statement. “As one of the largest companies in our industry, we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with our peers in the effort to pursue long-term, sustainable solutions to climate change.”

VF will also be required to analyze its carbon emissions and join efforts to set a “decarbonization pathway” for the fashion industry using methodologies borrowed from the Science-Based Targets initiative, a program that helps organizations make sustainability decisions that align with the Paris Climate Accords and the latest information provided by climate science.

Additionally, the Charter requires the support of circular business models and the establishment of a “dialogue” with the governments in high-risk areas to spur the implementation of renewable energy production and infrastructure.

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“The fashion industry is always two steps ahead when it comes to defining world culture, so I am pleased to see it now also leading the way in terms of climate action,” UN Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said. “I congratulate VF Corporation on signing this important charter, which represents a unique commitment and collaboration.”

Outside of its own obligations, VF will join its fellow apparel companies, also including Guess, H&M and Lenzing, as a member of several subgroups composed of Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change signees that will work on pushing the raw material, manufacturing and logistics sectors closer to a sustainable future.

VF had already made a 2015 commitment to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, and has supported additional charters, like the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and the We Are Still In movement—which began as a response to the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords.

Timberland, a VF Corp. brand, already receives 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources, according to the group. It is also working to include at least one recycled, organic and renewable material in every product by 2020.