VF Corp, the global lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories brand, released its latest Made for Change sustainability and responsibility report titled ‘Seizing the Momentum’. It primarily covers the fiscal year 2022, spanning April 2021 through April 2022.

The report, the fifth of its kind, details VF’s actions to advance its primary areas of focus: People, Planet and Product, which include gender parity; community investments; human rights; worker and community development; traceability; climate change; renewable energy; waste and plastic reduction; use of responsibly sourced, recycled and regenerative materials; and the reduction of unwanted chemicals.

Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and CEO, said: “At VF, our performance-driven culture is grounded in purpose, which leads us to remain sharply focused on delivering consistent business results while also achieving high standards in environmental and social responsibility. He added, “Our latest Made for Change report demonstrates how we’re making meaningful progress toward our long-term sustainability commitments through the constant pursuit of responsible and profitable growth.”

Report Highlights

People:

  • Worker & Community Development (WCD): Through its WCD programs, VF provided support to over 248,000 people in FY2022 and more than 652,000 unique individuals since the program’s inception, as the company seeks to improve the lives of 1m people by FY2026 and 2m by FY2031.
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action (IDEA): VF is making meaningful progress toward its aspiration to achieve gender parity globally in director and above positions and 25% representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in director and above positions in the US by FY2030. VF reported 41.8% of global female leaders and 18.1% of U.S. BIPOC leaders at the end of FY2022.
  • Community Impact: VF associates contributed over 167,500 volunteer hours from FY2019 to FY2022 and VF’s brands provided more than USD$15.6m in monetary and product donations in FY2021.

Planet:

  • VF is making progress against its 2030 science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets:
    1. Scope 1 and 2 emissions: As of FY2022, VF has achieved 66% of its target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 55%.
    2. Scope 3 emissions: As of FY2021, VF achieved 8% of its target of reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions by 30%.
  • Renewable Energy: VF made progress toward the completion of the apparel and footwear industry’s largest tax equity investment in FY2022 and utilized 34% renewable energy across its direct operations, up from 32% in FY2021.
  • Waste Reduction: By year-end FY2022, VF achieved an average waste diversion rate of 97% in all active company-owned – and operated distribution centres.

Product:

  • Traceability: VF achieved its goal of publishing traceability maps for 100 of its brands’ most iconic products in FY2022. VF continues to expand its traceability program, making progress against its goal to trace five key materials through 100% of the supply chain by FY2028.
  • Materials: In FY2021, 36% of polyester originated from recycled materials, achieving 72% of VF’s FY2026 goal to source 50% of its polyester from recycled materials.
  • Chemistry: VF removed more than 300 metric tons of nonpreferred chemicals from its supply chain since FY2020 through the innovative CHEM-IQSM program. Since the program’s inception in 2016, VF has removed 900 metric tons of nonpreferred chemicals.

New Targets

People:

  • Aspire to achieve gender parity within our director and above population by 2030 globally.
  • Aspire to achieve 25% representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) representation within our director and above population by 2030 in the U.S.
  • Slate 50% diverse candidates (defined as women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans and individuals with disabilities) when hiring or promoting associates.
  • Double supplier diversity spend by 2025.
  • Ensure directors and above will have a portion of their financial bonus tied to successful implementation of IDEA goals, while maintaining equal opportunity for all, as evaluated through a formal performance review process.
  • Going forward, direct 10% of annual U.S. grant funding through The VF Foundation to support community initiatives that advance VF’s racial equity strategy in alignment with the Foundation’s investment priorities.
  • VF associates will contribute 1 million hours to local communities by FY2026.
  • Improve the lives of 1 million workers and their communities by FY2026 and 2 million people by FY2031.
  • In-scope supplier factories will implement gender-based violence prevention and reporting mechanisms by FY2026.
  • No worker in the VF supply chain pays for their job by FY2027
  • Amplify the voices of in-scope supply chain workers through gender-proportional workplace committees by FY2031.
  • All in-scope supplier factories elevate and expand industry leading health and safety programs by FY2026.

Planet:

  • Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 55% by 2030 (FY2017 baseline year).
  • Reduce absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and upstream transportation 30% by 2030 (FY2017 baseline year).
  • Utilise 100% renewable energy across our owned-and operated facilities by FY2026.
  • Eliminate all non essential, single-use plastics from in-scope12 VF direct operations and sponsored events globally by FY2024

Product:

  • Publish traceability maps for 100 of our brands’ most iconic products by year-end 2021.
  • Trace five of VF’s key materials through 100% of our supply chain by FY2028.
  • All cotton purchased by VF is grown in the U.S., Australia or under a third-party cotton growing scheme that promotes environmental and/or social sustainability improvements by FY2026.
  • 50% of polyester will originate from recycled materials by FY2026.
  • Key packaging materials shall be reduced and originate from sustainable sources, and systems redesigned enabling packaging reuse or recyclability, by FY2031.
  • Eliminate and/or restrict 100% of unwanted chemicals or substances, using the innovative CHEM-IQSM program from VF’s supply chain by FY2026.

“VF is acting with urgency in this important moment for social and environmental progress,” said Sean Cady, VF’s vice president of global sustainability, responsibility and trade. “In the face of global uncertainty, we are continuing to push forward the programs we’ve been building for years on climate action, product traceability, materials, human rights, and diversity, equity and inclusion.”

VF Corporation’s FY2022 sustainability and responsibility report was prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards; aligned with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and serves as VF’s annual communication on progress for the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

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By GlobalData

Last month, US retail giant VF Corp swung to a loss in its second-quarter as sales and gross margin both declined. Revenues were down 4% to US$3.1bn with its four big brands reporting declines, including Vans, which saw sales fall 13% to $1bn.

Click here to access the report in full.