Using resources efficiently is both a responsible business practice and a means of reducing our environmental impact. We have made important strides in promoting renewable technologies and in reducing the energy, water and waste associated with our facilities. While our greatest impacts come from the manufacturing of our products in suppliers’ mills, our control over the facilities we own and operate allows us to change those operations more rapidly. In 2012 and 2013, we opened new headquarters offices in the United States and Europe that combine renewable energy with green building innovations.
While continuing to seize opportunities to decrease resource consumption in our operations, our primary focus must be on our most important hotspots - during material processing and product manufacturing (see Product Leadership). Some of our Chinese mills are participating in an innovative program designed to provide them with energy efficiency audits, tools and energy service company (ESCO) financing. This program leverages the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Partnership’s (REEEP) project work that found that, with proper training and tools, Chinese factories are willing to self-finance energy efficiency improvements. However, wider-scale efficiencies require outside financing.
To develop a broader model for increased improvement, VF and the Chinese National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) are implementing a comprehensive supplier energy efficiency program in 2013 and 2014 for select suppliers to VF and The North Face. The goal is to replicate the program successes broadly across our Chinese supply chains and elsewhere.