Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock (8343763d)Hold for Swayne Hall Business Photo-This is the sign on a GAP store in the Shadyside shopping district of PittsburghConsumer Spending, Pittsburgh, USA - 10 Feb 2017

Gap Inc., which includes such brands as Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix, released today its Wood-Derived Materials Policy as a key initiative in their efforts to combat global climate change and forest degradation.

Gap Inc. is instituting the new policy to ensure its suppliers do not use ancient and endangered high-carbon value forest areas to make cellulose-based textiles, which include (but are not limited to) rayon, viscose, lyocell and modal. Gap has committed to work with Canopy, the CanopyStyle brands and global rayon and viscose producers to free the supply chain of ancient and endangered forest fiber from controversial sources.

By 2020, Gap looks to eliminate the use of any wood-derived fabrics made of dissolving pulp from ancient and endangered forest areas. To help achieve its policy, Gap’s global sustainability and global supply chain will partner with its mills to identify all man-made cellulosic raw material suppliers within its supply chain, strongly encourage compliance of CanopyStyle’s audit and remediation plan and develop trials using innovative fabrics.

Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director, said, “With global forests storing more than 700 billion tons of carbon it’s great news that Gap Inc. is bringing their five instantly recognizable brands and considerable market share to Canopy’s work to protect the world’s endangered and high carbon value forests.

“We’ve seen a strong surge in U.S. brands taking action to stop their rayon fabrics from contributing to deforestation or forest degradation in 2017 and welcome the Gap Inc. to this broader movement of U.S. brands taking climate leadership,” she added.

According to the United Nations, global forests are the second-largest storehouse of greenhouse gases and 25 percent of the global population — 1.6 billion people — depend on forests for their survival and livelihood.

CanopyStyle has over 100 global brands and designers worth $130 billion in global market share that have pledged to end the use of ancient and endangered forests in their rayon and viscose supply chain. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Zara and VF Corp.

Gap’s policy is part of the company’s broader efforts to address the raw material impacts on its supply chain, such as cotton, water and recycled fabrics.

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