Water Conservation
by Stephen Garner
Water Conservation
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PVH Corp., the parent company of iconic brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Arrow and Izod, has teamed up with conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to support water stewardship efforts in key sourcing communities for PVH’s businesses and the broader apparel industry. The three-year agreement will also include WWF working with PVH to develop its water stewardship strategies and connection points to other key sustainability matters.

Under the new agreement, PVH and WWF will work together to help conserve freshwater resources in Ethiopia’s Lake Hawassa and India’s Cauvery River basins. This work builds on existing collaborative efforts by the organizations in China and Vietnam. Together, PVH and WWF will identify water risks and engage in collective efforts to advance water conservation activities for local communities in these strategic sourcing locations.

Tommy Hilfiger began working with WWF in 2015 to preserve water resources in China and Vietnam. The business will continue to build on its existing work in China’s Taihu River and Vietnam’s Mekong River basins, where efforts in collective action, sustainable water management and training have already made strong progress. These key locations were identified as high-risk in a global water-risk assessment conducted for PVH by WWF.

PVH’s Heritage Brands business, which includes the Van Heusen, Izod and Arrow brands, among others, will lead the company’s water stewardship efforts in Hawassa, Ethiopia. A PVH joint venture is an anchor tenant in the newly constructed Hawassa Industrial Park and the partnership with WWF will leverage existing collaborative efforts with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s (GIZ) International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP), to make positive impacts on water sustainability beyond the park fences.

Calvin Klein, along with local partners, will lead the work in Cauvery, India, a location known globally for textile production. The work done here will aim to understand the local context and build impactful collaborations with key stakeholders that will reduce water-stress on the environment, people and economy of the Cauvery river basin in South India.

“PVH is excited to announce our partnership with leading environmental nonprofit organization WWF and reinforce our commitment to safeguarding and preserving water resources in our sourcing communities,” said Melanie Steiner, chief risk officer at PVH. “Access to safe water is a human right that is essential for communities to thrive. Water is used at every stage of our product lifecycle. As one of the largest global apparel companies, we recognize the opportunity and our responsibility to take a lead role in addressing this pressing global issue.”

“As major trends like urbanization, population growth and climate change exacerbate existing water issues, water is not only an urgent environmental issue but also a risk to business,” added Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of WWF. “Water stewardship partnerships like the one with PVH are a commitment to the management of shared water resources in the public interest.”