VF said its achievement prevented more than 38,000 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of the electricity needed to power 5,710 homes for one year. VF achieved the 12 percent carbon reduction during a period when the company added roughly 500 sites to its global operations, a 40 percent increase driven primarily by retail expansion.
“Surpassing our carbon reduction goal by such a large margin is further proof that VF is serious about sustainability and addressing the issue of climate change,” said Eric Wiseman, VF’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I’m extremely proud of the many individuals across VF whose actions – big and small – contributed to these exceptional results.”
VF’s carbon-reduction efforts focus on four areas of its global business operations that use the most energy — manufacturing, with 24 owned and operated production facilities; distribution, with 35 distribution centers; retail, with more than 1,460 stores operated by VF and its brands, and offices and facilities, with about 250 used by VF and its brands.
Based in Greensboro, N.C., VF’s offices and facilities, and distribution centers achieved the highest percentages in carbon reduction during the period with a 30 percent and 25 percent drop, respectively.
Of the 12 percent total carbon reduction achieved by VF, half resulted from increased use of clean energy, renewable energy credits and carbon offsets. The other half came from employee behavior changes regarding energy use; energy-efficiency projects such as LED lighting in stores and technology upgrades in distribution centers, and the construction of energy-efficient facilities, some of which achieved LEED certification.
VF said it has taken steps to be an industry leader in sustainability with its global carbon reduction efforts. The company recently received a “B” letter grade (on an A to F scale) in the 2016 assessment of environmental performance and disclosure reporting by CDP, a global disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts and for investors or purchasers to access environmental information for use in financial decisions.
VF is now working toward its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy to power all owned and operated facilities globally by 2025. VF made the commitment in December 2015 when it joined the White House‘s American Business Act on Climate Pledge.
VF Corp.’s portfolio of brands includes The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Wrangler, Lee and Nautica. The company had revenues of $12.4 billion in its last fiscal year.