by Stephen Garner

Kontoor Brands, which owns the Wrangler and Lee brands, has reached zero-waste designation for all of its owned distribution centers in North America, meaning at least 95 percent of the waste from these facilities will be diverted from landfills through recycling, composting, and reuse.

“Waste reduction and the responsible use of natural resources are key components to Kontoor’s sustainability efforts,” said Randy Fortenberry, vice president of supply chain at Kontoor Brands. “Reaching and maintaining a zero-waste designation at our North American distribution centers is an important milestone in our commitment to having a positive impact on the communities and environments in which we operate.”

The latest distribution center to earn the zero-waste honor is in Mexico City. The North American facilities that have previously received and maintained their zero-waste designation include El Paso, Texas; Hackleburg, Alabama; Luray, Virginia; Mocksville, North Carolina; and Seminole, Oklahoma.

The zero-waste designation at Kontoor’s owned distribution centers in North America was achieved by prioritizing the efficient use of materials and conservation of natural resources. Through standardized waste reporting across all facilities, the company has identified, shared and implemented opportunities for waste diversion improvement, while also developing advanced waste reduction initiatives across facilities.

The company’s waste reduction and recycling efforts have been supported by Cascadia Consulting Group, a Seattle-based consulting firm that works with organizations on zero-waste strategies and planning. As part of the zero-waste designation process, Cascadia collected data to help Kontoor distribution centers track and meet their waste reduction, reuse and recycling targets.

While the zero-waste designation at all owned distribution centers in North America marks a major milestone in Kontoor’s commitment to sustainable business practices, the company is dedicated to reaching a zero-waste designation for all distribution centers globally. Kontoor is also committed to further reducing waste in product design, operations at company-owned manufacturing facilities, retail stores, and corporate offices.