Sustainable Development Goal on Water
suppliers trained on water risk
UN CEO Water Mandate Commitments
Our Commitment: Safeguard and preserve water resources to ensure the continuity and quality of water supply for our business and the community
Water is used at every stage of our product lifecycles – from growing raw materials (such as cotton) to dyeing, tanning, printing and finishing garments, to the way consumers launder clothes. It is vital that we take steps to safeguard water resources in our sourcing countries, especially as the global population expands, increasing pressure on the world’s available fresh water supplies.
Access to safe water is a human right, and water and sanitation are essential for communities to thrive. Currently, an estimated 663 million people – one in ten – lack access to safe water.(1) The United Nation’s SDG 6 sets a target for achieving safe, sustainably managed water for all by 2030. In support of this, we are developing a global water strategy to safeguard and preserve water resources in the communities where we manufacture. We aim to ensure continuity and quality of water supply for community members and our business.
We are using a number of different resources, insights and tools to develop a comprehensive global water strategy. Our strategy will be informed by our UN CEO Water Mandate commitment, a global water risk analysis conducted by WWF International (formerly the World Wildlife Fund International) and insights into the lifecycle impacts of our products. Additionally, we are leveraging the ZDHC Programme’s work, notably its new MRSL and Wastewater Guidelines. We are also taking steps to gain greater insight into our Level 1 and 2 suppliers’ water use, particularly through the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index FEM.
Our water strategy focuses on reducing water use in our own facilities, across supply chain, at the product level (by introducing technologies such as waterless dyeing) and within our sourcing communities. It builds on our Tommy Hilfiger business’s water stewardship efforts and the steps we have already taken to improve water impact, such as participating in multi-stakeholder and industry groups. It also includes further exploration of ways best to conserve water at the newly constructed HIP in Ethiopia.
Our Chairman & CEO, Emanuel Chirico, signed the CEO Water Mandate, as did Daniel Grieder, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global & PVH Europe. The CEO Water Mandate is a corporate water stewardship initiative of the UN Global Compact, in which member companies voluntarily commit to respecting and reporting progress against the Mandate’s six core principles.
WWF assessed the extent to which our Level 1 and 2 suppliers are exposed to water risks using its Water Risk Filter tool. It discovered that water is a serious risk in some of our sourcing communities and has provided recommendations on how we can take action.
We also developed a strategy to use the SAC’s Higg Index Facilities Environmental Module with Level 1 and key Level 2 suppliers, which will provide insight into water impacts in our supply chain.
We prepared to implement ZDHC’s MRSL and wastewater guidelines to help our suppliers adopt preserve water resources and prevent environmental pollution.
In Ethiopia, we commissioned an independent hydrology report, along with the other local tenants at HIP. This report informs our water conservation efforts at HIP, including the installation of closed-loop, zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technology, which we expect will recycle approximately 90% of water and protect local water supplies.
As part of its water stewardship program, Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with H&M, to provide training for 120 suppliers operating in the Taihu river basin and to deliver a workshop for Industrial Park managers in the region to discuss challenges and opportunities related to water.
In the Mekong river basin, Tommy Hilfiger continues to build on its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of the Mekong river to the people, wildlife and economy of Vietnam and will continue to partner with WWF to conduct in-depth research on textile industry water risks and opportunities in Vietnam.
PVH will seek to further engage with local communities on water, both in Ethiopia and other sourcing regions, such as Bangladesh and southern India, through collaborative projects with development partners, including through a roundtable with Germany’s leading sustainable development organization, GIZ(2), beginning in Spring 2017.