Levi Strauss & Co.: Leading the Way in Chemicals Management and Sustainable Chemistry

Case Studies  

Levi Strauss & Co.: Leading the Way in Chemicals Management and Sustainable Chemistry image

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts associated with the manufacturing of our products. For years, LS&Co. has been working to advance responsible chemical management and drive innovation on sustainable chemistry within the apparel industry. We are committed to the goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020, as reflected in our commitment to and participation in the Joint Roadmap Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). To make this commitment a reality, LS&Co. began work on its Screened Chemistry Program in 2013.

Levi Strauss & Co.’s goal was to create a program for screening chemicals against humanhealth and environmental toxicity hazard endpoints to identify best in class chemicals or better alternatives. The program leverages existing credible and transparent chemical hazard assessment methodologies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Program and GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, to identify and substitute best in class or better alternatives upfront during the design phase, removing hazardous chemicals, and making decisions on alternatives before chemicals enter the supply chain.

We believe this approach enables us not only to move toward zero discharge of hazardous chemicals, but also to identify where further research and development on alternatives is needed, and to achieve greater transparency overall on chemicals within the apparel supply chain.

LS&Co.’s Screened Chemistry program allows us to engage with our suppliers to scrutinize both approved and restricted chemicals for use in garment finishing and raw materials processing. It is a continuous improvement approach that promotes innovation and increases awareness with suppliers of good chemical management. As the program matures and moves from pilot to full implementation, all LS&Co. suppliers will transition to using a preferred chemical list, which includes a list of all chemicals screened to date and their score. LS&Co. understands that systemic change across the industry is required and is working with other brands, garment manufacturers, the chemical industry, NGOs, and other stakeholders to achieve this goal. LS&Co. has shared its Screened

Chemistry program with the other apparel brands and is encouraging its wide adoption.

LS&Co. is committed to working with our suppliers and others to identify better alternatives when it comes to chemicals. We believe that innovation in this realm, both on our own and together with our garment manufacturers and chemical suppliers, presents significant business opportunities and that the time for action is now.

Bart Sights

Vice President, Technical Innovation

Levi Strauss & Company

From the 2016 CFP Report