Kohl’s Is Progressing on Its Sustainability Goals — Here’s What It’s Achieved So Far

Just in time for Earth Day, Kohl’s has offered a snapshot into the progress of its broader commitment to sustainability.

The department store, which released today its annual environmental, social and governance report, announced that it has achieved its waste and recycling goal to divert 85% of waste from landfills. It also shared that 80% of facilities producing its private- and exclusive-label products have completed the Higg Index Environmental Module — a tool used by apparel, footwear and textile companies to measure the impact of their products and services on the environment.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, we continue to operate our company as a retailer of purpose,” CEO Michelle Gass said in a statement. “We continued to illustrate our commitment to the greater good through all of our ESG efforts, including our widely recognized environmental initiatives and our philanthropic support in communities nationwide.”

Kohl’s unveiled its slate of sustainability goals two years ago, when it outlined three key areas of focus: climate action, waste and recycling, as well as sustainable sourcing. These initiatives — guided by the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals — have led the retailer to rank in the S&P Global’s Sustainability Yearbook for the first time in 2021, as well as join the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America listing for the third consecutive year and obtain a leadership level of A- on the nonprofit CDP’s 2020 Climate Change disclosure for the second straight year.

Beyond its eco-commitments, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based chain has been working to amplify diversity and inclusion within its own workforce. Last year, Kohl’s launched an in-house Diversity Design Council made up of associates from its product development and merchandising teams. It also created a Supplier Diversity team, along with the pledge to double spending among diverse suppliers by 2025, as well as contributed an additional $1 million to five nonprofits that serve diverse communities.

What’s more, amid the COVID-19 health crisis, the company shared that it has raised upwards of $11 million for communities through its Kohl’s Cares program. It has also reached 3.4 million American families through its Health at Home initiatives in partnership with Alliance for a Healthier Generation, plus 4.6 million individuals through its $3 million grant to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

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