Levis and PepsiCo share water sustainability strategies at GCU New York

24 March 2015

GCU New York Vice President Cara Smyth with the panel

GCU New York Vice President Cara Smyth with the panel

GCU New York welcomed Dan Bena, Senior Director of Sustainable Development for PepsiCo, and Michael Kobori, Vice President for Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co, to a Fashion Sharing Progress Town Hall event to discuss water efficiency in industry. 

The guest speakers shared the tactics their companies have implemented to achieve greater sustainability such as Pepsi’s improved water-use efficiency and the introduction of Levi’s Water<Less collection.

Levi’s recently announced that it has saved one billion litres of water since 2011 through its Water<Less process, which reduces the water used in garment finishing by up to 96 per cent, and added that the company is urging its customers to sign its Wash Less Pledge, which aims to raise awareness of water usage among consumers. 

Mr Kobori said: “Consumer habits are one of the largest contributors to water and energy impact in the lifecycle of jeans. If everyone in the US would wash their jeans after every 10 wears instead of every two, we could save more than 270 billion litres of water.”

Mr Bena told the audience that PepsiCo is committed to the communities in which it operates and urged businesses to continuously monitor and adapt their sustainability practices to the evolving business environment.

He said: “We need to understand future trends and articulate this business value to other executives and company stakeholders. A business will not be around in 50 years if it just continues to do business as it has always been done.”

Cara Smyth, Vice President of GCU New York, said: “With the University’s focus on the business case for sustainability, having Dan Bena and Michael Kobori join us was a great moment in our series. With the global reach of the very different products made and marketed by Levi’s and PepsiCo, it is motivating to learn the responsible practices implemented within their very complex supply chains. They highlighted many common challenges and shared innovative solutions to incorporating sustainability within their organisations.”

The Town Hall was moderated by Frank Zambrelli, of the design, sourcing and branding firm Banfi Zambrelli, and chairman of the Accessories Council.

GCU’s Town Hall series features presentations by thought leaders on fashion and sustainability, offering fresh perspectives on sustainable development and helping identify new solutions for the fashion and other industries.