PVH Corp. has forged a three-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund, the leading conservation organization, to support water stewardship efforts in key sourcing communities for PVH’s businesses and the broader apparel industry.
WWF will work with PVH to develop its water stewardship strategies and connection points to other key sustainability matters. PVH’s brands include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Arrow and Izod.
Across PVH’s businesses, water is used at every stage of its product life cycle from growing cotton to dyeing fabric to the way consumers launder their clothes. The company’s global water strategy focuses on reducing water use in their own facilities, across their supply chain, at the product level and within their sourcing communities.
Under the agreement, PVH and WWF have joined forces to help conserve freshwater resources in Ethiopia’s Lake Hawassa and India’s Cauvery River basins. This work advances existing collaborative efforts by the organizations in China and Vietnam. Together, PVH and WWF will identify water risks and engage in collective efforts to build water conservation activities for local communities in these strategic sourcing locations.
“PVH is excited to announce our partnership with leading environmental nonprofit organization WWF and reinforce our commitment to safeguarding and preserving water resources in our sourcing communities,” said Melanie Steiner, chief risk officer at PVH. “Access to safe water is a human right that is essential for communities to thrive. Water is used at every stage of our product life cycle. As one of the largest global apparel companies, we recognize the opportunity and our responsibility to take a lead role in addressing this pressing global issue.”
Hilfiger started working with WWF in 2015 to preserve water resources in China and Vietnam. The business will strengthen its existing work in China’s Lake Taihu and Vietnam’s Mekong River basis, important locations in its supply chain that were identified as high-risk in a global water-risk assessment conducted by PVH by WWF.
PVH’s Heritage Brands business, which includes Van Heusen, Izod and Arrow, among others, will lead the company’s water stewardship efforts in Hawassa, Ethiopia. A PVH joint venture is an anchor tenant in the newly constructed Hawassa Industrial Park and the partnership with WWF will leverage existing collaborative efforts with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s International Water Stewardship Programme, to make positive impacts on water sustainability beyond the park fences.
Calvin Klein will steer the work in Cauvery, India, a location known globally for textile production. The work there seeks to understand the local context and build impactful collaborations with key stakeholders that will reduce water-stress on the environment, people and economy of the Cauvery river basin in South India.
“As major trends like urbanization, population growth and climate change exacerbate existing water issues, water is not only an urgent environmental issue but also a risk to business,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of World Wildlife Fund. “Water stewardship partnerships like the one with PVH are a commitment to the management of shared water resources in the public interest.”
In addition, PVH has also launched an internal water campaign to reinforce the company’s commitment to water and acknowledge Earth Day internally.
PVH will launch a two-week, water-themed competition called the PVH20 Challenge. The goal of the competition is to drive awareness and understanding of the importance of water and the positive impact PVH is making in communities around the world. To take part in the competition, PVH’s 36,000 associates around the world are encouraged to show their commitment to water, both at work and at home over the Earth Day weekend, by sharing photos to the mobile news app — PVH Insider.
Examples include using a reusable water bottle, when washing clothes, run only full loads of laundry and start a meeting by highlighting the importance of water conservation. Prizes range from exclusive Speedo merchandise to a trip to India to experience PVH’s water stewardship efforts first hand. Winners will be decided based on best ideas.