Gap takes action for inclusion, sustainability

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Gap has released its latest annual sustainability report.

Efforts to advance the careers of women and create a more sustainable supply chain are among the highlights of the Gap Inc. 2020 Global Sustainability Report.

The report documents the efforts that the company and each of its brands have made in 2020 toward sustainability and creating a more inclusive and fairer workplace. The company has aligned its environmental, social, governance (ESG) strategy to the following pillars, with each brand embracing work that connects to at least one pillar of the strategy.

Empowering women and human rights
Through the company’s personal advancement & career enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program, Gap Inc. provides women with foundational life skills, technical training and support to advance at work and in their lives. In 2020, P.A.C.E. reached more than 804,000 women and girls, and is on track to meeting the goal of reaching 1 million women and girls by 2022.

Enabling opportunity
Old Navy’s outreach program, This Way ONward, has been tasked since 2007 with providing 20,000 job opportunities to underserved youth by 2025, Old Navy is already halfway to meeting its commitment, with nearly 10,000 graduates of the program.

Enriching communities
Gap Inc. has committed to becoming carbon neutral and water positive by 2050, eliminating single-use plastics from its value chain, and supporting a circular economy to protect natural resources. Additionally, the company is on track to meet its goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2030 for globally owned and operated facilities.

As of the end of fiscal year 2020, Gap Inc. says it has helped improve access to water and sanitation for 650,000 people.

Other report highlights include:

  • Gap has committed to source 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025. In 2020, the company joined Textile Exchange’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge and became the first company to sign up to the new U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. Each of Gap’s brands have expanded to more sustainable products and practices. Old Navy is on track toward its goal of having 100 percent of its cotton sustainably sourced by 2022 and is committed to increasing its use of recycled cotton in the denim assortment.

[Read more: Gap moves toward cotton sustainability]

  • In April, Old Navy additional sustainability goals, including a goal to reduce plastic waste across the supply chain and eliminate plastic shopping bags by 2023 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, the brand is committed to converting 60% of its traditional polyester into recycled polyester by 2025.
  • Ninety-one percent of Gap denim in 2020 was part of the water-saving Washwell program that has enabled Gap to save over 402 million liters of water since 2016 – enough to fill 804 million water bottles compared to conventional wash methods.
  • At Banana Republic, over 60% of the materials used in its 2020 spring collection are from sustainable sources.
  • Athleta’s solar farm in North Carolina came online earlier this year, which is intended to offset 100% of its operational footprint each year.
  • Gap is currently partnering with other retailers as a signatory member of the Fashion Pact, to identify and pilot viable innovative alternatives to single-use plastic. The company has committed to eliminating single-use plastics by 2030.

“At Gap Inc., we are committed to growing our business by enabling safe, fair working conditions for the people who make our products, enabling access and opportunity across our business and addressing environmental impact across our value chain,” said Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer, Gap Inc.

The report covers Gap Inc.’s global operations for fiscal 2020, which ended on Jan. 30, 2021. To view the full report, click here.