by Stephen Garner

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has announced that it has become a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative. The company also announced its new sustainability targets through 2025.

Key goals include responsibly sourcing materials with sustainable processes or from recycled fibers by 2025, including cotton, polyester, viscose, wool, down and linen; driving 30 percent water reduction in denim (the company’s highest volume material) production by 2022; and partnering with its vendor partners on training programs, including human trafficking prevention and health & wellbeing, and capacity building to support the training of 75,000 additional workers by 2022.

These targets align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The company’s participation in the Compact and its new set of goals build on the retailer’s existing global social and environmental sustainability programs, many of which were started almost 20 years ago.

As a signatory of the Compact, A&F Co. supports and commits to the Compact’s Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. A&F Co. also will participate in two Action Platforms, which advance responsible corporate action and focus on critical issues related to the Compact’s SDGs. Through the “Water Security through Stewardship” and “Reporting on SDGs” platforms, A&F Co. will learn additional best practices to address social, economic and environmental issues related to water and sanitation, as well as methods for capturing, analyzing and reporting performance against the various SDGs, respectively. 

“Joining the UN Global Compact and setting our new sustainability targets through 2025 are major steps forward for A&F,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “This is part of a long-term journey we’re on to ensure that sustainability is truly embedded throughout our entire organization, with the focus of our new goals being on where we can have the greatest positive impact by 2025. Sustainability is an important part of who we are as a company, and to our customers, our employees and our partners. These goals demonstrate our commitment to having an enduring positive impact on the communities we touch around the world.”