Ralph Lauren defines new global citizenship and sustainability goals
Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced the launch of “Design the Change”, its new global citizenship and sustainability strategy, outlining 16 goals aiming to drive progress in the classic American brand’s commitment to ecological and social causes.
The strategy will be led by the company’s senior management and is structured around three main areas of focus, defined by the brand as “Creating Timeless Style, Protecting the Environment, and Championing Better Lives.”
The brand’s new goals include using 100% sustainably sourced key materials – including cotton – by 2025 and setting science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020 and 100% renewable energy targets by the end of this year.
The company is also aiming to train its product development and merchant teams on sustainable, circular, inclusive and culturally aware design by 2020.
In terms of gender equality, Ralph Lauren Corporation intends to achieve equal representation in its leadership positions above VP-level by 2023, while female representation in factory management is expected to rise 25% by 2025.
As part of the strategy, the nominating and governance committee’s responsibilities have also been expanded to include oversight of social and environmental risks and opportunities.
“When Ralph founded our Company more than 50 years ago, he did so with the conviction that whatever we create is meant to be worn, loved and passed on for generations,” said Ralph Lauren CEO and president Patrice Louvet in a release. “This philosophy is deeply embedded in our culture, our brands and our purpose – to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. It also inspires Design the Change, a strategy that will accelerate our efforts to create a positive impact in society and a more sustainable future.”
The new strategy is just the latest step in the company’s ongoing efforts in social and environmental responsibility. Last year, for example, Ralph Lauren launched its Earth Polo, which is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and uses a waterless dyeing process.
Other initiatives of this kind undertaken in the past 12 months include donating 14,000 hours to non-profit organizations through its Ralph Lauren Gives Back program and the launch of the “Lead Like a Woman Campaign”, which promotes the presence of women in leadership roles through media, events, products and support for the NGO Women in Film.
The company was also able to achieve a rate of 64% female employees across its global workforce last year, with 53% of roles above the senior director level being held by women.
Among these female employees is Halide Alagöz, who was recently appointed as Ralph Lauren’s first ever chief sustainability officer – yet another expression of the company’s efforts in sustainability.
On Wednesday, Ralph Lauren also announced that it has signed the United Nations Global Compact, joining fashion peers such as Tapestry, PVH Corp and Gap, as well as more than 13,000 other companies across a range of industries, in committing to implement universal sustainability principles.
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