Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Nordstrom sets ambitious new sustainability and human rights goals for 2025

Seattle-based department store operator Nordstrom, Inc. published its 2019 “Sharing Our Progress” report on corporate responsibility on Monday, announcing a range of new goals for 2025, focused on sustainability, human rights, and philanthropy.

In terms of environmental sustainability, over the next five years, Nordstrom has committed to reducing single-use plastic in its value chain by 50%, ensuring 15% of its product assortment qualifies for its Sustainable Style initiative and using sustainably sourced raw materials in 50% of its Nordstrom Made products.

The company has also said that it plans to establish a science-based target for the reduction of its direct and indirect emissions, as well as an internal working group that will support the development of circular Nordstrom Made products.

On top of this, the retailer intends to help customers with their recycling efforts, revealing plans to collect 250 tons of clothing through donation and 100 tons of beauty packaging for recycling by 2025. Further planned pro-recycling measures include the contribution of $1 million in corporate grants supporting industry innovation focused on textile recycling, which will join $250,000 in grants destined to support the slowing and prevention of climate change.

As for human rights objectives, Nordstrom has committed to disclosing traceability to the factory of 90% of Nordstrom Made products, as well as to ensuring 90% of these products are made in factories that support women’s empowerment. According to the company, it will also make sure that 100% of Nordstrom Made strategic suppliers pay a living wage and that all suppliers and business partners adhere to the Nordstrom Partnership Guidelines.

The retailer also intends to make $250,000 in corporate grants to organizations that support women’s empowerment.

Nordstrom further unveiled a range of philanthropic targets, including increasing volunteer hours to 250,000 hours annually, investing more than $50 million in the communities where the company operates, and raising $5 million for its charitable partners, which work to support families.

The latest “Sharing Our Progress” report also outlines a number of targets already hit by Nordstrom in 2019. These include the achievement of 100% pay equity for employees of all genders and races, the reduction of the company’s energy used per square foot by 20.3% over the last five years, and the increase of clothing donations by 42%, compared to 2018.

The company, where women currently make up 45% of the board of directors, also signed the G7 Fashion Pact last year, appeared on the Human Right’s Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the 15th year in a row, and offered HERproject, a collaborative initiative working to empower low-income women in global supply chains, at four new factories.

In light of the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased visibility of social movements such as Black Lives Matter over the past few months, companies are now more aware than ever of the importance of boosting their ecological and social efforts. Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent company PVH also recently published its own corporate responsibility report emphasizing its increased transparency initiatives.

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