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How sustainable is Levi's ?

Levi's & sustainability


Levi's
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 10 out of 32

Sustainability summary

Levi's has achieved the D-label. According to us, Levi's is on its way towards sustainability, but more improvement is needed.  Levi's score can increase mostly due to improvements in their use of sustainable materials and by improving labor conditions further. Also with regards to their climate policy, more points can be gained.

Brand owner: Levi Strauss & Co
Head office: San Francisco, CA, USA
Sector: Denim & jeans
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: Bags, Caps, Shirts, Pullover, Jackets, Jeans, Dress, Shoes, Boots

What's your sustainability news about Levi's?

Levi's sustainability score report

Last edited: 6 April 2017 by Mario
Last reviewed: 6 April 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Levi's implements several measures to reduce climate emissions, such as improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy in their operations and throughout the supply chain. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Levi's has emitted 56,931 metric tonnes of CO2e in 2015 (Scope 1 & 2). Compared to 2013 (76,000 metric tonnes of CO2e) this is a decrease of about 25,1% (see link, Carbon Disclosure Project Reports for 2013 and 2015 results). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Levi's reports on the use of renewable energy, but is not clear about the total percentage share, kind of resource and additionality of supply. Source
4. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce the carbon footprint of its 'own operations' by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Levi's target is to reduce 25% of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 2007. Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations? Levi's implements measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the production chain that is beyond own operations. However, Levi's does not publish clear results, which include emission reductions achieved. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

3 out of 12
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? More than 95% of the raw materials Levi's uses is cotton. Levi's is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), and aims to source 95% BCI cotton by 2020 (up from 6% today). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle to make the jeans and other apparel? Levi's has signed the Greenpeace 'Zero-Discharge Commitment'. Companies that signed this document promise to 'eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures that are associated with the making and using of company's products, by 2020'. Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Levi's states that per fluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been successfully eliminated from the production of all its garments, effective by January 1, 2016. Greenpeace however has doubts concerning the accuracy of the data (see link, page 3, and link at next question, page 13). Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Levi's states to be in the process of eliminating suspect chemical groups (APEOs and phthalates). But, it remains unclear whether or not at least three suspect chemical groups, such as PFCs, azo dyes or BFRs can be considered as entirely eliminated from the production of Levi's entire garment production. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Levi's does not report on the annual results of its consumer packaging policy. Source
11. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Levi's Strauss & Co has a program called 'Waste Source
12. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Levi's expanded its clothing recycling initiative in 2015, including clothing recycling in retail stores. Levi's has a goal of creating an infrastructure that supports a circular economy by 2020. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

5 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All aspects are mentioned in Levi's 'Social and Environmental Sustainability Guidebook' (see link, pages 8-11, 29-30, and Chapter 2). Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Yes, mentioned (page 22) ; 2. Yes, maximum working week is 60 hours, including 12 hours of voluntary overtime (page 20-21); 3. No, Wage payment should meet legal requirements, no mentioning of living wage (see link, page 23). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions (see link, page 25-26). Source
4. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective health and safety policy for the workers in the finishing process of jeans, at least covering the ban on sandblasting? Levi's openly communicates about Health and Safety requirements for each different finishing used in the production of jeans, including the ban on sandblasting as of December 31, 2010 (see link, page 88). Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Levi's has published a list of direct that are likely to cover 90% of its total production, effective by December 2016. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited apparel manufacturers with improved labor conditions? Levi's cooperates with several organisations and initiatives. However, none of the by us approved organisations are mentioned. Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? See remark for labor conditions policy question 6. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? Levi's does not provide concrete information on capacity building measures at its supplying production facilities for improved labour practices. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? Levi's publishes an overview of the auditing process. However, it remains unclear whether at least 90% of its production volume for clothing were monitored in 2013. Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Levi's acknowledges the importance of establishing living wages. However, concrete results are not yet reported. Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Levi's claims to extend its manufacturing guidelines further in its supply chain to the textile mills, and to be happy to find that 100% of its nominated fabric mill suppliers are already focused on sustainability. However, Levi's does not yet report comprehensively on respective results. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the brand's leather, yarn and fabric production phases approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source