Addressing the Impacts of Our Supply Chain
Addressing the Impacts of Our Supply Chain Helping to reduce suppliers' environmental footprint
We have focused most of our efforts to mitigate our environmental footprint on the parts of our business over which we have the most direct control. But we know that ultimately we can create greater impact by moving further into our supply chain, where a significant portion of the emissions related to our business originate. We are developing a strategy to address these emissions, with a critical first step being to work with our global strategic suppliers to assess their environment impacts. We are also collaborating with the broader apparel industry to come up with wide-scale solutions.
We are a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and took a leadership role in helping suppliers report on their environmental performance.
In 2011, we were a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which brought together retailers, clothing manufacturers, environmental groups and academics to develop a shared vision of sustainability. A primary goal of the Coalition has been to create an industry-wide index to assess the social and environmental impacts of apparel and footwear. We have taken a leadership role in turning the Coalition’s vision into reality. In 2013, a full 80 percent of supplier data in its system came from Gap Inc. suppliers. And in 2014, we became the first retailer to execute a large-scale rollout of the Higg Index, the Coalition’s indexing tool, with 73 percent of the factories that make our products reporting on their environmental performance.
In addition to our work with the Coalition, we began working with a targeted group of seven suppliers (representing approximately 50 facilities) in India to benchmark their water use in 2014. The results quickly highlighted facilities with the best water management practices, and we anonymously shared these insights with other facilities. We also created an online data dashboard that all of our suppliers can access to see how their environmental performance compares to competitors and peers. The dashboard breaks down their GHG emissions, energy use and water consumption by country and factory, identifying opportunities for improvements.
We aim to help ensure that all of the suppliers and factories that make our branded clothing regularly assess and continuously improve their environmental performance. Our long-term strategy centers on training suppliers on more sustainable manufacturing practices, engaging them on the Higg Index and our goals, and working with them to establish environmental impact reduction goals.