IFC, Levi Strauss & Co. Deepen Partnership to Boost Supplier Sustainability

In a move to encourage textile and apparel suppliers to improve energy and water efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, IFC and Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) are expanding their joint efforts to make lower interest rates available to LS&Co. suppliers that demonstrate progress in meeting the global apparel brand’s climate commitments.  

This initiative builds on IFC and LS&Co.’s existing work together through the global Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) and IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF) program, which can offer working capital, such as trade financing, at lower rates to suppliers in compliance with environmental and social standards. Now, suppliers that meet LS&Co.’s Terms of Engagement requirements and have made sufficient progress implementing low-carbon investment plans will be eligible for further discounted rates. The overarching goal is to provide an additional positive incentive for suppliers to make investments that can protect against climate change, reduce water use, and keep harmful chemicals out of the supply chain.

“We’re excited to expand our partnership with IFC and bring added incentives to forward-looking suppliers,” said Jeffrey Hogue, LS&Co. Chief Sustainability Officer. “Working with a highly respected organization to make sustainability-linked supply chain financing solutions available will help us meet our own sustainability goals and, ideally, help drive a more sustainable apparel industry.”

IFC and LS&Co. launched their global PACT partnerhip in 2019, supporting participating suppliers and mills in identifying and implementing actions to improve water and energy efficiency and increase their use of renewable energy – steps that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and overall operational costs. This program provides in-depth assistance to around 40 LS&Co. suppliers across countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt, and Vietnam, while also providing “lighter touch” support to other strategic suppliers that are developing action plans for reducing their carbon footprints.

“Such partnerships are essential when it comes to tackling some of the most difficult business challenges of our time,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Senior Director for Global Industry Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services. “This includes addressing climate change risks impacting a company’s business operations and meeting ambitious sustainability targets.  We are excited about this next phase of our work with Levi Strauss.”

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