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American Eagle outlines bid to be carbon neutral by 2030

AEO has outlined its commitment to reduce energy and water within its production supply chain and to source more sustainable raw materials.

Global specialty retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) has unveiled a series of new sustainability goals, including a plan to be carbon neutral by 2030 and a 30% reduction of water usage in its jeans production by 2023.

In a statement, the company shared its pledge to reduce energy and water within its production supply chain and to source more sustainable raw materials through 2023 and beyond.

It revealed three primary targets among which is a bid to achieve carbon neutrality in all of AEO's owned and operated facilities, including its offices, stores, distribution centres, and employee business travel by 2030.

The retailer is also targetting a 40% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030 and a 60% reduction by 2040 in its manufacturing from a 2018 base year.

In addition, AEO said it aims to implement the following throughout the supply chain by 2023:

  • Ensure that 50% of water used in its laundries is recycled.

  • Reduce water usage in jeans production by 30%.

  • Ensure that wastewater from water-intensive facilities is free from hazardous chemicals.

  • All cotton used in products will be 100% sustainably sourced.

  • Use 50% sustainable polyester.

  • Ensure that 100% of viscose is from non-endangered forests and increase sourcing of sustainably produced viscose fibres.

"At AEO we focus on youth and their optimism toward the future, so building a better world for generations to come is fundamental to our brands, values and purpose," said CEO Jay Schottenstein. "We pledge to accelerate sustainability improvements across our entire organisation, and throughout the supply chain, holding ourselves accountable through the adoption of science-based targets. As a leading retailer, we are dedicated to working across the industry to create systemic changes in garment manufacturing."

Meanwhile, the retailer says it will continue to build industry partnerships as part of its efforts to contribute to "broad changes" within garment manufacturing; reduce the use of plastic in stores, offices and throughout the supply chain, and shift to recycled plastic content where possible; strategically partner with industry initiatives and multi-stakeholder organisations to influence policy change; and encourage customers to reduce apparel waste through jeans recycling in American Eagle stores and bra recycling in Aerie stores.

It also promised to uphold a commitment to recycling and paper reduction in its owned facilities.

AEO Inc is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and pledged to the CanopyStyle Initiative. It is also engaging with the Science Based Targets Initiative to validate targets to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Earlier this month, the retailer reported an 8% rise in second-quarter net revenue to a record $1.04bn, compared with $965m the year before. Net income, meanwhile, totalled $65m, up from $60.3m last year.