Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has set new sustainability targets and has become a participant in the United Nations Global Compact.

Among the goals targeted by the specialty retailer:

• “Responsibly” sourcing materials with sustainable processes or from recycled fibers by 2025, including cotton, polyester, viscose, wool, down and linen.
• Driving 30 percent water reduction in denim, the company’s highest volume material, by 2022.
• Partnering with vendors on training programs that fight human trafficking and promote health and well-being.

A&F said it will be able to support the training of 75,000 additional workers by 2022.

A&F said it’s aligned with the U.N.’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) which address poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, peace and justice around the world.

Being a better corporate citizen and more environmentally responsible will help A&F build stronger shopper loyalty among the young populations it targets in its merchandising and marketing.

The specialty retailer, which operates the Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and abercrombie kids brands, said its participation in Compact and its new sustainability goals build on previous social and environmental sustainability programs, many of which started almost 20 years ago.

A&F said it will also support Compact’s 10 principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption; participate in “action platforms” advancing “responsible corporate action,” and focus on critical issues related to the Compact’s SDGs.

A&F said plans to learn about best practices to address social, economic and environmental issues related to water and sanitation, as well as methods for capturing, analyzing and reporting performance against the SDGs, respectively.

“Joining the U.N. Global Compact and setting our new sustainability targets through 2025 are major steps forward for A&F,” said Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “This is part of a long-term journey we’re on to ensure that sustainability is truly embedded throughout our entire organization, with the focus of our new goals being on where we can have the greatest positive impact by 2025.”

In 2020, A&F Co. will submit an annual “communication on progress” report providing transparency into A&F’s progress toward the U.N. Global Compact’s 10 principles.

The U.N. Global Compact works with companies to align their operations and strategies with 10 universal principles for human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing U.N. goals and values through responsible corporate practices. It’s considered the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

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