Levi Strauss & Co. said Tuesday it is partnering with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and the Project WET Foundation to provide water impact education to an estimated 1.5 million elementary school children across the U.S.
Scholastic adapted an educational program created by the Project WET Foundation in partnership with Levi Strauss to teach students in grades three through five how to become water ambassadors at school, at home and in their communities.
Consisting of three in-classroom lessons, the “Our Watery World” program will introduce students to the concept of a water footprint and provide them with a deeper understanding of how their daily actions affect the planet’s scarce resources. Students will learn where usable water on Earth is located, who the biggest users of Earth’s water resources are and how important water is to people, plants and animals across the globe. They’ll also learn how much water everyday items use throughout their lifecycle.
Ann Amstutz-Hayes, senior vice president of Scholastic National Partnerships, said, “Our collective goal is for this program to educate and inspire millions of young people around the country to help conserve water.”
In addition to the instructional program, students have an opportunity to submit their water-saving solutions in the Conserve Water at Your School Sweepstakes for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant from Levi Strauss to bring their water-saving idea to life at their school. Students can answer the question, “What would you do to conserve water at your school?” and submit their responses by Feb. 1.
“Water is one of the planet’s most precious resources and it is going to take more than just one company or individual to ensure its future,” said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability, Levis Strauss. “The ‘Our Watery World’ program will help shape the future generation to not only be aware of water’s scarcity, but their role in changing it.”
Levis Strauss has long been committed to understanding and reducing the company’s water impact across all aspects of its business. In 2015, the company partnered with the Project WET Foundation — a nonprofit that develops action-oriented education to enable every child to understand and value water — to create a water program for its employees. Employees are trained in the program and encouraged to go into their local community to teach students how to save water.
Water usage has long been an issue in the manufacture of jeans and Levi’s has committed to reducing its usage on several fronts. This past March on World Water Day, the company committed to the White House to train 100 percent of its corporate employees in its Project WET Foundation program.
The company also said it was making its innovative Water<Less finishing techniques publicly available to spur water conservation across the apparel industry. Levi’s noted that the techniques, introduced in 2011, have reduced the water used in garment finishing by up to 96 percent and have helped the company save more than 1 billion liters of water since their introduction.