Sustainability is more than a buzzword at Macy's, says Keelin Evans, vice president of sustainability at the retail giant.
Macy’s is on a mission, not just to sell apparel, housewares, jewelry and cosmetics, but to do everything in a sustainable way, says Evans. Accordingly, last year the company launched what it calls Mission Every One, a “social purpose” program to promote sustainability throughout its supply chain and operations.
“It's really what Macy's is doing to help build a more sustainable and equitable future,” she says. “Within that, one of the pillars is what we call Planets. That's where I and my team fit in for sustainability. We have two main priorities we're actively working on: caring for people and our total supply chain, as well as seeing where we can reduce or minimize our environmental impact.”
The Mission Every One initiative includes sourcing and selling products independently certified as responsibly made. The company also pledges to incorporate sustainably sourced raw materials and fibers into the design of its own products. Additionally, Macy’s is investing in waste elimination by reducing, reusing and repurposing materials.
Organizing a group like the one Evans heads up is shouldn’t be done in isolation. “It’s a team sport,” she says. “And I think that applies directly to sustainability. You can't do it alone.”
The team may operate as a center of excellence and craft a strategic direction for the company initiative, but it only works if all departments — including the C-suite — are involved. Working with supply chain partners is critical to the success of any sustainability project, of course. “It's about collaboration and information, so we can make great decisions together that are good for the business, the customer, [and] ultimately our environmental impact.”
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