Levi Strauss & Co.
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How we make our products is just as important as what we make. With this report, we’re challenging ourselves to be more ambitious, impactful and transparent.

Message from the CEO

Levi Strauss & Co. has been in business for more than 168 years because we make durable products that are built to last and because we proudly adhere to a guiding philosophy of profits through principles across our operations. These ongoing commitments serve as the foundation of this document, our first Sustainability Report, covering our programs and progress through 2020 and our goals for the coming years.

Though this is our first stand-alone report like this, it is far from the first time we’ve talked about the topic. Sustainability has been central to our operations and decision making for many years — and is critical to our future. With this report, we are challenging ourselves to be more ambitious, more impactful and more transparent with our efforts and our public reporting.

When we speak of sustainability, we are talking about operating and using resources in a way that can be continued in perpetuity without harming people, the planet or future generations. Our imperative is therefore clear: we must continue to find ways to use less water, to reduce emissions, to better support workers, to drive safer chemistry, to further reduce waste, and to become more circular. We must make sure we become more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive. And we must use our voice and resources to support our people and communities, providing the support they need and taking stands on issues from gun violence to voter participation to racial justice to gender equity.

Our sustainability strategy centers on three main pillars — climate, consumption, and community — that encompass where we are putting our energy and how we see our obligations in and beyond this moment. To achieve our ambitions, we will continue fortifying each pillar, working with humility and transparency to deliver meaningful progress while evolving our efforts to ensure our business keeps getting more sustainable, day by day.

Climate is the existential crisis of our time — a threat to commerce and communities around the globe — and we all have a responsibility to act. Reducing our carbon footprint and advocating for comprehensive climate action are priorities that touch many aspects of our business. We’ll also continue tackling one of fashion’s biggest issues: consumption. We’ll keep talking to consumers, carrying forward the Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign we launched in April, while expanding our efforts to get more efficient with the resources we consume and embedding circular principles into our products and practices. And we will remain steadfast in our commitments to our broader community — our employees around the world, the women and men working in our supply chain, and the people living in the communities where we operate.

Working this way is how we contribute to a safer, more just and, yes, more sustainable future for all. It demonstrates our commitment to our values and shows we understand how sustainability creates value for all stakeholders. It aligns us with the concerns and demands of today’s consumers and investors, and helps future proof our operations.

Across the board, we are doubling down on our sustainability investments, because our people and our planet can’t afford anything less, and because we know that we only truly succeed if we leave the planet better than we found it. This is how we meet the moment and prepare for the long-term. It’s how we build a stronger company and a stronger society. And it’s how we demonstrate that we not only intend to be around for another 168 years, but that we want to be worthy of doing so.

Chip Bergh, President and CEO

Jeffrey Hogue

Chief Sustainability Officer

Jeffrey joined Levi Strauss & Co. in 2020 to lead our sustainability journey, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading innovation and sustainability strategies across multiple industries from retail food to apparel.

Q. What is the significance of this report?

This is our first holistic Sustainability Report, with a complete set of disclosures designed to meet stakeholder needs. It has been informed by prevailing reporting and disclosure standards and shares our material ESG issues, impacts and opportunities. It furthers our commitment to transparency. It captures our programs and priorities and articulates our overarching approach going forward.

This report makes clear what we’ve achieved thus far and where we’re headed. We plan to share new targets on our key priority areas later this year.

Q. What do you hope people will take away from this report?

I hope readers will see that our commitment to sustainability is comprehensive and enduring. We have a long history of investing in the future of our business and the communities where we operate.

I also hope it’s clear that we’re not just leaning on that history. While we’re proud of the work we’ve done, we know this is a journey and as such, we and our industry still have a long way to go to deliver on the promises and ambitions of this work. That applies to our climate programs, our efforts on water, our Worker Well-being programs, our diversity work and more. On no front are we satisfied. There are improvements to be made just about everywhere. And it’s not really a choice. It’s what we have to do to create a resilient business that can last for another 168 years.

Q. What specific aspects do you want to highlight?

An area of strong emphasis for us is circularity. It’s something many of us in the industry are working on, both in our own operations and in collaboration with each other, but there are real challenges to achieve circularity at scale.

The report outlines how we are laying the foundations for circularity, taking the initial steps that have to happen. To me, it shows up in the amazing work our design innovation team has done on our WellThread® line; in partnerships we’ve established with Fashion for Good and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; in our focus on making garments that are made to be made again, with safe and renewable inputs; and in the Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign we launched earlier this year.

These are the building blocks, and we are going to keep pushing on these and the system at large. In the meantime, we’re working hard to extend the life of our products. We’re talking to consumers about being intentional with purchasing decisions, building on our Tailor Shops and SecondHand offerings, and continuing to make great products that are built to last.

We will publish these reports annually to be transparent, to share our progress and engage our stakeholders, and to push the boundaries of what is possible from our brands.

Download the full report