Gap announces sustainable manufacturing targets to save 10bn litres of water by 2020
The American clothing retailer, Gap Inc., has set a sustainable manufacturing target to save 10bn litres of water by the end of 2020.
The firm aims to improve its fabric mills and laundries to be more innovative and efficient as the main way to meet the goal.
Gap has already successfully made progress towards the target, as since 2014 projects associated wit the company have save 2.4bn litres of water.
“Water is critical to nearly all aspects of our business, and we recognize the responsibility and the opportunity we have to reduce the amount of water used to create our products,” stated Gap’s Executive Vice President of Global Sourcing, Christophe Roussel.
“Leveraging the power of product innovation and improved manufacturing practices, we can help ensure that our customers not only look great in their favorite jeans and t-shirts, but also feel good about how their purchases are helping to make a positive impact for communities and helping to tackle global water scarcity.”
In 2013, Gap created the Mill Sustainability Program, which focused on the social and environmental conditions of fabric mills.
The company also encourages suppliers that it works with to study their environmental footprints through the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index.
In 2016, the firm launched Wellwash – a smart denim wash program that cuts 20% or more usage of water, which has since saved 100mn litres of water.
“We believe that access to clean and safe drinking water is a fundamental human right, so we strive to ensure that the process of making our clothes is safe for people and communities,” remarked David Hayer, Senior Vice President of Global Sustainability and President of Gap Foundation at Gap.
“It’s not only the right thing for people and the planet, it’s also crucial for our business growth,” he added.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.