Reducing our environmental impact
We rely on nature to provide us with the raw materials that make our products possible — whether that’s cotton for fabric or rubber for basketballs. We rely on water in our manufacturing processes to dye fabrics into vibrant colors that brighten your day. And we rely on energy to turn yarn into fabric that becomes the essential goods that enrich the lives of our customers.
With dependence comes responsibility to use these resources wisely. We take steps every day to achieve our goals: to do more with less, increase our energy and water efficiency, zero out our waste and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Deliberate climate action is needed to ensure a fruitful future for all of us, which is why we are part of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global collaboration committed to limiting temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
In 2019, we set targets in line with climate science in order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In 2021, SBTi approved our targets, which include:
- Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.
- Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions covering purchased goods and services, and fuel and energy related activities 30% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.
- Increase annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 40% in 2018 to 100% by 2030.
Thanks to an increase in both our use of renewable electricity and a conversion to biomass in the power plant that supports our textile facility, we have seen a 40% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions since our base year. As our business is growing post-pandemic, so too have our investments in energy efficiency and renewable electricity procurement. These strategies will enable us to exceed our science-based target of a 50% reduction by 2030.
Emissions from our value chain, or scope 3 emissions, have grown since 2018, but we anticipate reductions in the coming years as we integrate more sustainable raw materials with lower emission factors. We will also encourage additional suppliers in our supply chain to improve their energy efficiency and use renewable electricity.
Our energy management strategies focus on renewable electricity — an area of emphasis that positively impacts the environment and lowers our emissions on a global scale. It also brings a variety of benefits: better air quality, lower emissions and energy resiliency, which means fewer disruptions in our supply chain.
In 2021, 64% of our global electricity was renewable through a mix of on-site renewables and the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs). We utilize on-site solar farms at eight facilities across Honduras and El Salvador; each farm generates more than 60% of the electricity required to power those facilities. Generating our own on-site power has ensured business continuity when extreme weather such as hurricanes or storms impacts the local power grid.
Additionally, we operate a biomass power plant in Honduras that supplies 23 GWh of electricity and generates 82,000 MT of steam to our operations. We purchase international RECs from renewable energy projects in Central America to cover Honduras and El Salvador production. This means 100% of our electricity is sourced from renewables in these countries.
Across our total energy consumption — which includes fuels, natural gas and electricity — 39% of the energy consumption in 2021 came from renewable sources. We continue to work on our process improvement program to reduce energy and meet efficiency targets by facility. This work is led by our Corporate Environmental Health and Safety Steering team, which tracks all utility and consumption data. In 2021, the team implemented 17 major efficiency projects that reduced our overall electricity consumption by approximately 4.1 GWh. At the same time, our overall total energy increased as 2021 production levels returned to full capacity post-pandemic. Had we not implemented these projects, the increase would have been greater.
Moving forward, we will continue to work on reducing our energy consumption and increase the purchases of RECs as we work toward 100% renewable electricity procurement globally.
In 2022, we will also explore solar and wind options for our facilities in Morocco.
Water makes our business possible, from the farmers who rely on it in cotton production to the processes we use to produce and dye cotton textiles.
Along the supply chain, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of this precious resource. For us, that means prioritizing efficiency in our textile facilities where we have the most control.
Since 2018, we have achieved a 9.6% reduction in water intensity, or the amount of water used per pound of fabric — well on our way to achieving our goal of a 10% reduction by 2030. We achieved this through multi-year investments in innovative technologies that allowed us to reach greater efficiency in the shortest possible time. We also integrated a higher standard to lessen the impact of textile dyes on people and the planet. And we have on-site wastewater treatment capabilities that filter water back into a system at a higher quality than we withdrew. These process improvements enabled our textile facilities to recycle a portion of the water we use.
Moving forward, we will allow time to realize the full impact of our most recent process improvements and will continue assessing additional opportunities to reach 100% of our goal.
Our sustained commitment to waste reduction means all our facilities are zero waste. This vital achievement is made possible through a system of process optimization at every location that looks to better utilize all fabric — from cutting patterns that minimize scraps to implementing new design software to reduce samples.
We also establish collaborative partnerships across our supply chains to divert waste from landfills. For example, our textile waste goes to a partner who recycles textiles or repurposes them into insulation for mattresses or car seats. Since 2018, we have recycled over 100,000 MT of cotton and polyester fiber.
In support of Fruitful Futures, our sustainability plan, we assembled a team of planet-conscious employees to help drive our global sustainability initiatives at a local level: the Green Team. This group helps to educate and engage employees around Fruitful Futures, and to implement planet-conscious changes at our offices through strategic projects.
reduction in GHG emissions since 2018 in own operations.
water intensity reduction since 2018.
Fruit of the Loom, Inc., has made a commitment to set a science-based target through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Since 2018, we have achieved a 9.6% reduction in water intensity, or the amount of water used per pound of fabric — well on our way to achieving our goal of a 10% reduction by 2030.
Our sustained commitment to waste reduction means all our owned operations are zero waste to landfill for the 4th year in a row.