Gap Inc. sets sustainability goal to save 10B liters of water by 2020

On the heels of its Athleta brand achieving Benefit Corp certification, Gap, Inc. has announced a sustainability goal of saving 10 billion liters of water, the daily drinking need for 5 billion people, by 2020.

Gap Inc.

Gap Inc. will focus on product innovation and efficiencies in its fabric mills and laundries to save more 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," said Christophe Roussel, Executive Vice President of Global Sourcing at Gap Inc.

Gap has already implemented several water saving initiatives in its supply chain and has led water conservation projects that have saved 2.4 billion liters since 2014. It encourages its suppliers to use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's (SAC) Higg Index to help monitor their water use. It has a wastewater program, and also launched its own Mill Sustainability Program to improve social and environmental practices of mills.

On the product side, Gap has a denim wash program called Washwell, which has helped save 100 million liters of water since it started in 2016 and helps save 20% water in denim manufacturing, the brand said.

Roussel explained that by "leveraging the power of product innovation and improved manufacturing practices, we can help ensure that our customers... feel good about how their purchases are tackle global water scarcity."

Gap SVP of Global Sustainability and President of Gap Foundation at Gap Inc., David Hayer, said the company believes access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right. He said, "It’s not only the right thing for people and the planet, it’s also crucial for our business growth."

Gap works closely with the Natural Resources Defense Council and is a founding member of SAC’s Apparel Impact Institute. In addition to Gap's water conservation policies, the company has sustainability goals of diverting US landfill use by 80% and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2020.

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