Friday, December 14, 2012

Levi's Bows to Greenpeace Pressure

After a mere 8 days of pressure from Greenpeace, Levi's has agreed to become more environmentally responsible. Greenpeace alleged that Levi’s suppliers are some of the worst water polluters in the Mexican textile industry. The denim behemoth has said it will stop polluting Mexico's rivers and the company further agreed to eliminate the release of all hazardous chemicals in its manufacturing process by 2020.

There have been a number of Greenpeace actions that have encouraged Levi's change of heart. Hundreds protested outside Levi’s shop fronts in 80 cities around the world and in one demonstration at Levi's headquarters in Mexico, Protesters covered the area in foam to symbolize the toxic effluents that Levi's released into the country's rivers.

In a December 12, 2012 document Levi's agreed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain by 2020. The company has further agree to replace all hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous alternatives.

The company announced that it will begin requiring 15 of its largest suppliers in China, Mexico and elsewhere to disclose pollution data by June 2013, followed by disclosure from 25 more suppliers by the end of 2013. By 2020, it vows to have zero discharge of toxic chemicals from any Levi’s manufacturing facilities.

Although there will be a price to these commitments, there will also be benefits to the company's brand.  The  rapid capitulation of the world’s largest denim brand demonstrates just how fast a company can journey from environmental pariah to eco-leader.

To see Levi's Greenpeace Solution Document (pdf) click here.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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