We challenge our factories to invest in cleaner and more efficient operations that create less waste and reduce our environmental footprint. We see this challenge as an industry-wide opportunity to drive scalable change. We invite collaboration among our competitors, with whom we share some of our third-party suppliers, on accelerating the industry’s convergence around a common assessment methodology. This effort streamlines and reduces the assessment burden on our manufacturing partners: less time spent reporting, more time and resources devoted to setting and implementing their sustainability strategy. We’re building closer partnerships with manufacturers who share our vision, and we’ll continue to engage actively with suppliers as we set our goals and targets.
We recognize that solving global challenges requires us to commit to, and participate in, cross-industry collaboration. Since joining the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in 2016, Under Armour has asked key factory partners to annually assess their operations with the SAC’s Facilities Environmental Module (FEM). This tool outlines best practices and gives our manufacturers clear guidance for improvement. In 2018, Under Armour continued expanding the use of the SAC’s FEM to transform our industry as one of the SAC’s top adopters of the tool—and we provide opportunities for manufacturing partners to share their challenges and best practices.
Our long-standing work with manufacturing partners embraces the Toyota Production System for continuous improvement, which also helps to advance sustainability in areas such as worker safety, electricity and water consumption, and material wastage. As part of our focus on collaboration and scaling change across the industry, in 2018 we launched a partnership with the Apparel Impact Institute’s Clean by Design program for mills. This part of the manufacturing value chain typically has the most significant sustainability impacts, so we’re actively focusing on reducing energy, water, and chemicals use while improving our partners’ operating performance.