Ralph Lauren Corp. has been making progress in its Design the Change strategy, which it established last year to create a positive impact on society and a more sustainable future.
In its recently published annual Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report for fiscal year 2020, the company provided insight into how the various initiatives were progressing and revealed new, time-bound goals and partnerships, including the establishment of science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets and a collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to propel its water stewardship goals.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic and the acceleration of the movement to end racial injustice in America and around the world have powerfully reminded all of us of our responsibility to listen, to learn and to act,” said Patrice Louvet, president and chief executive officer of Ralph Lauren Corp. “We are proud of the progress we have made since the launch of our Design the Change strategy last year and will continue to deepen our work, building on our strategies with clear targets and credible partnerships to effect meaningful change in our business and the wider world.”
Ralph Lauren has joined forces with WWF to drive progress toward the company’s goal of reducing water use across its operations and value chain by 20 percent by 2025. Within the first year, this will include an analysis of the company’s water use, identification of areas of water risk and strategies to decrease consumption and address water quality and other water outcomes across its value chain.
“Public commitments to sustainability drive progress and change,” said Bridgette McAdoo, vice president, freshwater corporate strategy at WWF. “WWF welcomes the ambitious and collaborative sustainability approaches emerging within the fashion and textiles sector, and we are excited to begin this collaborative journey with Ralph Lauren. As we begin our work together to help address water impacts, we are confident that the company’s commitment to shared stewardship of water resources will help drive positive change,” she said.
Ralph Lauren’s fiscal year 2020 report details milestones and progress from the past year across three key areas: Create Timeless Style, Protect the Environment and Champion Better Lives. Highlights include.
- Setting a science-based target to reduce emissions across the company and value chain by 30 percent by 2030.
- Committing to power owned and operated offices, distribution centers and stores with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025
- Achieving gender parity in its leadership ranks, with women holding 50 percent of vice president level and above positions at the company.
- Scoring 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, in recognition of the company’s work toward ensuring an equitable, inclusive workplace for LGBTQ employees.
- Disclosing again the racial and ethnic makeup of its global employee base, with additional recent commitments made to reflect the communities the company serves in its leadership across the entire organization.
- Donating, through the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation and its business, more than $7 million toward causes including cancer care and prevention, LGBTQ equity and inclusion and clean water access for undeserved communities,, and pledging an additional $10 million through the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation toward COVID-19 relief.
According to the report, in fiscal year 2020, Lauren’s global workforce was 64 percent female, consistent with fiscal year 2019 levels. Sixty percent of its fiscal year 2020 workforce identified with one of more diverse groups, an increase of 2 percent compared to fiscal year 2019. Its fiscal year 2020 pay equity assessment confirmed that its male and female employees based in the U.S. receive equal pay for equal work.
Among some of the company’s goals are achieving 100 percent of its packaging material recyclable, reusable or sustainably sourced by 2025, and achieving 100 percent sustainably sourced key materials by 2025. The company looks to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in its supply chains by 2025, and is working to achieve zero waste to landfill across its distribution centers by 2023. These are all goals that are on track.
Further, the report noted that by 2025, 100 percent of the company’s cotton will be sustainably sourced, from the Better Cotton Initiative, Fair Trade certified, organic, recycled, traditional or aligned to the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.
The company’s FY2020 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report and the 2020 Standards Supplement are available on its web site.