Gap Inc. has exceeded its five-year U.S. EPA Climate Leaders goal, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2003 to 2008, according to the retailer’s fourth social responsibility report.
Other key environmental highlights include:
- Recycled more than 45 tons of paper, cardboard and containers from its North American corporate offices, distribution centers and stores.
- Installed a one-megawatt solar power system at a California distribution center, which the company expects to generate approximately 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
- Switched to energy-efficient light bulbs at its distribution centers, which saves 26 million kilowatt-hours and more than $2 million annually.
- Reduced energy use from 34.32 KWH/sq. ft. in 2003 to 27.48 KWH/sq. ft. in 2008 at U.S. stores.
- Implemented clean water programs with its denim laundry partners to help them treat wastewater so it’s safe and clean when it leaves the facility.
Gap has recently launched an investigation into reports that one of its supplier firms in Lesotho is pumping chemical waste into a river, reports the Telegraph. The retailer has commissioned an independent monitoring organization to conduct its own investigation, and placed one of the factories involved on immediate notice until the investigation is complete, according to the article.
Gap is also transitioning to new containers at its distribution centers that use less corrugate and are made of a recyclable material. The retailer expects that this program will reduce cardboard waste by 57,000 tons and save approximately $20 million each year. By changing its shipping practices, the company also expects to eliminate 63 million yards of plastic strapping.
The complete report is available in an online-only format.