Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) today released its fifth Social and Environmental Responsibility report, a comprehensive update on its supply chain operations, environmental programs and community investment efforts from 2009 to 2010.
“Gap Inc. takes seriously the importance of being a responsible company,” Gap Inc. Chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said today. “For nearly 20 years, we’ve worked to address some of the major challenges facing our industry and to operate our business in line with our value to do what’s right. While we’re not perfect, we’re proud of the progress made.”
“To achieve lasting change, we need all apparel brands to commit to making ongoing improvements in the lives of garment workers and to the environment,” Murphy added.
Reducing the environmental impact of the company’s operations remains a top priority in the years ahead. Gap Inc. reported that 100 percent of its branded denim is made in compliance with the company’s Water Quality System, ensuring the wastewater from the laundries is properly treated before being discharged. In this report, the company also committed to reducing the absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its operations in the United States by 20 percent by 2015, when compared to 2008 levels. This follows an earlier 20 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from 2003 to 2008.
Another program highlighted in the report – Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program (Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement) – has helped more than 5,000 female factory workers gain life and work skills education, that benefit them both at home and at work. This award-winning, proprietary program is now in place in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The program will be expanded to Bangladesh later this year.
Accomplishments detailed in the 160-page, bi-annual report:
— Introduction of a Human Rights Policy that strengthens our existing global Codes of Vendor and Business Conduct to help ensure that the more than one million workers in over 1,200 factories that manufacture our branded products are treated fairly and with respect.
— Employees at the company’s Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores doubled their volunteer efforts in 2010 over the previous year, contributing to the company’s more than 428,000 hours of volunteer time, bringing total donations of time and money to more than $16 million.
— More space efficient containers and redesigned packaging eliminated 57,000 tons of cardboard and 63 million yards of plastic bands per year from our U.S. operations, for a cost savings of approximately $20 million a year.
— Reduced electricity consumption in our Distribution Centers by 40 percent by replacing more than 16,000 light bulbs with more energy efficient lights.
“From our factory auditing approach to environmental efforts, we hope that this online report is an informative and transparent view into our evolving work,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, vice president, Social and Environmental Responsibility, Gap Inc. “We continually challenge ourselves to define what being a responsible company means, and to translate our definition into action.”
The full online report can be viewed here: www.gapinc.com/socialresponsibility
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2010 net sales were $14.7 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.