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The J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is increasing its commitment to improve supply chain sustainability performance related to energy, water, and chemicals in 2021 and beyond.
The department store chain is extending its participation in the Clean by Design program of the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii). Aii is a strategic partner of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry non-profit which includes J.C. Penney as well as retailers including Target, Gap, and Levi Strauss. This move comes on the heels of three other major supply chain sustainability initiatives the retailer launched in September 2020.
Aii helps SAC members like J.C. Penney provide strategic suppliers with subsidized environmental engineering support to improve energy efficiency and transition to more sustainable fuel sources, such as biomass and solar energy. Program costs are shared between Aii, the company, and the supplier.
J.C. Penney began participating in the Clean by Design program in 2015 with select Chinese suppliers and is now collaborating with suppliers Daysun, Masood, Nishat, and Soorty to enroll four additional facilities in the program in Pakistan and Vietnam. The selected mill and laundry facilities are strategic production partners for J.C. Penney Private Brands located in high-water stress communities, and have demonstrated a commitment to improving their sustainability performance.
“Enrollment in Aii’s Clean by Design programming will continue on a yearly basis and we are proud to continue making meaningful progress on our sustainability journey,” J.C. Penney said in a corporate blog post.
“We are pleased to see J.C. Penney take this leadership position by recognizing the serious environmental impacts of wet processing activities in Tier 2 production by joining our Clean by Design program,” said Lewis Perkins, president, Apparel Impact Institute. “As the world seeks to build back with better solutions, J.C. Penney is ‘leaning in’ to this opportunity to improve existing facilities in the ways that will have the most positive impact for both sustainability and production cost.”