Kohl’s reveals new sustainability goals for 2025
Sep 5, 2019
American department store chain Kohl’s announced on Wednesday that it has established a series of new sustainability goals to be achieved by 2025, focusing on three key areas: climate action, waste and recycling, and sustainable sourcing.
Part of the retailer’s wider social responsibility platform, the new targets are based around the principle of leveraging business practices that complement the objectives set out by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Chief among the department store operator’s climate change goals is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its owned operations by 50% compared to a 2014 baseline, as well as the reduction of energy consumption in the company’s facilities by 10%, on top of a 20% reduction already achieved since 2008.
Kohl’s will also be seeking to expand its renewable energy platforms, building on its existing base of 161 solar and wind-powered locations, while also transitioning towards a low-carbon transportation system.
Among its goals focused on waste and recycling, Kohl’s highlighted its aim to divert 85% of its operational waste in the US from landfill by the end of 2025, as well as its intention to label 100% of its owned branded packaging with the How2Recycle label.
The company has also pledged to reduce the amount of plastic and cardboard in the packaging used by its owned brands.
As for objectives related to sustainable sourcing, Kohl’s has set a target of using 100% sustainably sourced cotton in its proprietary brands by 2025, as well as 50% recycled material in products containing polyester.
Furthermore, the company stated that it will require all of the production facilities approved for its private and exclusive brands to complete the Higg Index Environmental Module over the next five years.
Kohl’s will also be using the Higg Index to work towards significantly reducing water use in the manufacturing of products for its owned brands, while building off its existing chemical sustainability program to achieve a zero-discharge supply chain for hazardous chemicals.
“At Kohl's we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, making our communities stronger by supporting initiatives and organizations that focus on health and wellness, sustainability, and environmental efforts that benefit all families,” said Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass in a release. “We are proud to share our sustainability goals that support Kohl’s efforts to enhance our standing as a retailer of purpose.”
As the importance of questions about social and environmental responsibility continues to grow in the fashion industry, Kohl’s is the latest company in the sector to update its policies, with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Gap all having established new sustainability goals since the beginning of July.
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