In 2010, our overall production increased by about 36%, as did usage of most materials across the board. We are disappointed to report that we did not meet our emissions reduction goal of 10% for 2010. While we implemented numerous energy conservation measures, it was not sufficient to offset the increase in production compared to the much lower production year of 2009 and the change in product mix to more dyed shirts compared to white shirts in 2008 and 2009. When we originally set this goal, we did have concerns that we might not be able to meet the goal since our production was reduced in 2009 due to the economic downturn and our own retrenchment.
In order to better understand the impact of the change in product mix, below is a table which shows an estimated difference in energy used to make a dyed t-shirt compared to a white t-shirt. From the company’s standpoint, dyed t-shirts are more profitable and therefore, this product mix change will not likely be reversed. In addition, we expect to continue to grow in the next few years and therefore, our focus has shifted to assessing the per unit consumption of energy while we develop longer-term alternatives to our current sources of energy.
When we compare a dyed shirt manufactured in 2010 compared to a dyed shirt manufactured in 2009, we see an improvement in both energy and water. The same is true for a white shirt.
Our continued use of bio-mass, dye recipe and other process changes and conservation and efficiency measures have yielded savings to offset what could have been an even larger percentage increase in energy for 2010.
Material utilization also increased consistent with 2010’s production growth with a a nearly 50% increase in the use of dye and chemicals reflecting the same shift in the ratio of our dyed versus white t-shirts.
Water usage did decline by 10% but when we calculated our Water Footprint, we realized that agriculture dominates water consumption, and that most of the water used at Anvil locations is not actually ‘consumed’ since it is returned to the same watershed. Furthermore, water consumption during textile processing has a very small effect on water deprivation because we manufacture in the water abundant areas of Honduras and Nicaragua. While we confirmed that the water use in a bleached t-shirt is lower than a dyed t-shirt, that difference is negligible compared to the agricultural impact of cotton.
Outgoing third party emissions increased from 15% of total emissions to 20%, which represents a significant increase but is directly related to increased growth. This was partially offset by reductions achieved through re-routing to more favorable ports and other measures.
From developing new eco-products that support environmentally sustainable manufacturing to educating people inside and outside of Anvil about making environmentally responsible choices to our constant efforts to make our production processes more energy efficient, we are deeply committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and to conducting business in a way that has a positive impact on the world and around us.
In the last three years, we have worked hard to reduce our organizational carbon footprint, and to continually monitor our ecologic footprint. While we failed to meet our emissions reduction goal in 2010, we continue to be committed to continual improvement and have set reset some of our goals to address overall.
Our approach to environmental responsibility was enhanced in 2007, when we formally adopted a set of environmental principles that today guides the decisions we make, and shapes how we behave as a company, as employees, as partners to our stakeholders and as global citizens. These principles guide how we create all of our products.
At about the same time, we began introducing environmentally friendly fibers into our product line, from organic and recycled cotton to polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. The success of the eco-products made from these fibers has been tremendous, and our innovation and expertise in this area, coupled with our staunch commitment to a fiber’s authenticity, has allowed us to meaningfully distinguish our brand. We are committed to continuing to add eco-fibers, and have made a commitment to introducing at least one new eco-product every year. We began working closely with American organic cotton farmers and then financially supporting conventional farmers looking to transition to organic methods. We did this in part to ensure that the supply of US grown organic cotton continues to increase, but also because the organic methods support a balanced eco-system and biodiversity. Most of our products (70 styles in all), however, are still made from conventional cotton and we strive to make sure that our manufacturing processes are mindful of the ecological impact we have on the environment.
Our strategy is to work with our supplier and treat them as long term partners, looking beyond the single Purchase Order to:
- Share relevant business information
- Build long-term relationships
- Encourage and reward sustainability, transparency and data
- Take into account how our respective business practices may impact the others business
- Collaborate to develop solutions to the ultimate customers
But it’s not only our products and materials where we know we can make a difference. It’s also in how we do what we do everyday. In this respect, we needed to begin by better understanding how we use energy, and that started with us taking a hard look at ourselves. We do this each year with our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Organizational Assessment (in layman’s terms: a soup-to-nuts accounting of all the energy and natural resources we consume during the course of our daily operations.) The study was critical to helping us identify how we could continue to improve our efforts to conserve energy. You can read more about the results of the organizational assessment in our response to EN16.
In order to achieve this, we instituted various initiatives, none more critical than the Environmental Task Forces we created at each of our facilities. The groups are tasked with finding new ways to reduce the amount of water, electricity, fuel and heat we use, and with keeping track of how we’re performing against our goal to reduce our overall use of energy. With their help, and with the help of our industrial engineers, we found ways to reduce our dependence on oil and use more recycled heat or energy from renewable sources, such as biomass, a refined fuel made from biodegradable matter.
With all that we’ve accomplished, we recognize there is so much more left. One of the most challenging areas for us continues to be finding ways to reduce our use of water. The change in our product mix to more dyed t-shirts over white bleached shirts continues and we believe this change in our product mix will be permanent, so our challenge continues to be to find more ways to continue reducing water usage and making the textile manufacturing process more efficient. That’s why we worked with PE International in 2011 to develop a product water footprint baseline for our basic Anvil(r) t-shirt in both bleached and dyed styles, which will be published in this 2011 CSR Progress Report.
The challenge of internally reporting ROIs for everything we do has improved and has shown significant savings throughout the organization.
And lastly, what continues to be our biggest challenge is making our environmental agenda a priority for every employee, at every level, and every day. We need to continue to engage employees, from those who are managers to those who are at entry level, and let them know every choice they make during the course of their day, the small ones and the big ones, can make a huge difference to our overall performance, and a huge difference to the environment. And, we have done so under the AnvilSustainableManufacturing (ASM) initiative but this is a large and ongoing project for us.
Please read our responses to the Performance Indicator questions for more detail about what we accomplished thus far and where we believe we need to improve in the future.
Materials: EN1- EN2 and AF18-AF20
EN1: Materials used by weight or volume
In 2010, our overall production increased by about 36%, as did usage of most materials across the board. A nearly 40% increase in yarn is consistent with this production growth. A nearly 50% increase in the use of dye and chemicals, however, reflects a shift in the ratio of our product mix. In the last two years, Anvil focused on increasing sales of dyed t-shirts and products versus white or bleached ones. (In 2008, the ratio of dyed to bleached was 49-51%; in 2010, it was 59-41%.)
EN2: Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials
It is noteworthy, however, that our AnvilSustainable® t-shirt which includes recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles is very successful.
AF18: Programs to replace organic-based adhesives and primers with water-based adhesives and primers
AF19: Practices to source safer alternative substances to those on the restricted substances list, including description of associated management systems
AF20: List of environmentally preferable materials used in apparel and footwear products
Energy: EN3, EN4& AF21, and EN5-EN7
EN3: Direct energy consumption by primary energy source
Anvil’s primary sources of direct energy are depicted in the below chart. Anvil’s principal source of direct energy continues to be Bunker C oil which is used to power the onsite boilers that produce steam for dyeing and finishing fabric at our Honduras textile plant. This year’s 36% increase in production led to a 64% increase in Bunker C due to the increased energy needed for our dyed t-shirt production. As a consequence of this increase, our engineers have been focused on identifying opportunities to make this production more energy and resource efficient.
Natural gas, our next largest source of direct energy which is used to heat our 18-acre South Carolina distribution facility, and generates steam at our North Carolina garment dye factory, increased by 28% but remained below 2008 levels.
For emissions information, please read our response to EN16-EN18 under the Emissions, Effluents and Waste Aspect of this Section.
EN4: Indirect energy consumption by primary source & AF21: Amount of energy consumed and percentage of the energy that is from renewable sources
Although our primary source of indirect energy continues to be the electricity we use to power all seven of our facilities, we remain committed to increasing our use of bio-mass, a refined fuel made from biodegradable waste and an environmentally sustainable alternative to emission heavy fossil fuels. In 2010, our use of bio-mass fuel increased by 10%, which helped us avoid using 60,460 gallons of oil. In 2011, we have entered into a leasing agreement with the owner of the bio-mass provider to become the operator of the system. Our next report covering 2011 should further reflect an ever increasing of energy generated by bio-mass as we work to make the system more efficient.
EN5: Energy saved due to conservation and efficiency improvements
As we reported last year, the focus of our energy conservation initiatives remains on making our use of Bunker C oil and electricity more efficient, our two primary sources of direct and indirect energy respectively.
While we had already made significant improvements to our Waste Water Heat Recovery System in the last three years, in 2010 we focused on how we could continue to be more even more efficient. To that end, we implemented various technical changes that allowed us to better manage how water flows through the system to, for example, prevent wasteful overflows. In addition, we made certain adjustments to the dye and bleach recipes that reduced dye bath temperatures and increased reuse of cooling water. Also, we added Moisture Monitor Speed Control systems to our fabric dryers. With all these initiatives together, we saved the equivalent of over 120,000 gallons of Bunker oil or about $190,000.
Meanwhile, our fabric dryers use steam as their primary source of energy, and electricity as a secondary one. The automatic controls we installed on all dryers in 2009 to control their speed based on the moisture of the exiting fabric and the fabric temperature inside continued to yield savings for us in 2010: we saved more than $39,000 on steam, or 3,300,000 lbs. of steam, which is roughly equivalent to 25,000 gallons of bunker oil.
The energy-saving programs we instituted across the company continue to help reduce our overall use of electricity, yet we believe that there continue to be opportunities to improve efficiency.
For example, at our Honduran textile plant, we installed 10 motion detectors that automatically shut off lights several minutes after motion stops; and at out North Carolina textile facility, we saved 138,000 kwh in 2010, as a result of overall procedural improvements that reduced the number of fabric re-works needed. A more efficient manufacturing process overall means less energy needed.
And though our cut-and-sew facilities in both Honduras and Nicaragua are less energy intensive, we still invested in and installed more than 400 new, energy-efficient sewing machine units. These changes, among various others, helped us achieve a 6% reduction in electricity usage at the cut-and-sew plants. While those improvements are significant, they were not enough to offset the overall 8% increase in electricity used, which was driven mostly by energy consumed at our textile plants.
This is why this year we’re focusing on even more electricity improvements, in particular at the textile plants. For example, we have already replaced more than 300 high intensity 400-watt lamps with more energy efficient 200 watt induction lamps at the Honduras textile facility. This change is estimated to save about 378,000 kwh per year moving forward.
We also continue to do serious research around both solar power and induction fluorescent solutions that we believe may enable us to realize even more savings in the future.
Lastly, we are in the process of converting all of our manufacturing facilities to our AnvilSustainableManufacturing program, which is based on our sustainability principles and a manufacturing strategy that seeks minimum of waste in production inputs and processes. The program’s goal has been to train and empower employees at all levels to make more sustainable and efficient decisions at the point of manufacturing, and responsible choices that impact the product, how we make it and the energy we consume along the way.
ASM is designed as a comprehensive company-wide initiative that ensures responsible manufacturing and reduced use of resources to hedge against rising costs and potential future resource scarcity. We believe that these initiatives are investments which yield operational improvements and protect Anvil’s brand and private label customers. Full rollout of ASM at both cut and sew plants with anticipated completion date in 2012 and roll out throughout the Company.
Results to date have shown that ASM will improve costs through:
- Improved lead-time
- Improved quality
- Reduced Work In Process inventory
As of today we have converted about 20% of our cut and sew operational teams to ASM units and we have started training and select projects at our textile plant; while we are unable to quantify the energy savings that result from this implementation due to the comprehensive nature of the program, we know they do in fact exist because we are reducing irregulars, reducing inventory to just in time inventory, reducing production time to the final product. We will continue to monitor the program’s progression in order to determine specific savings.
EN6: Initiatives to provide energy-efficient or renewable energy-based products and services, and reductions in energy requirements as a result of these initiatives
In last year’s report, we stated that “reducing the energy we consume and improving our overall energy efficiency is a core part of our business strategy” and that “our key tactic is to aggressively pursue and introduce products made with more environmentally friendly fibers, which are also less energy and emission intensive.” In a difficult economy, however, introducing more products, in particular ones made with environmentally sensitive fibers that often carry a premium cost, became difficult. Unfortunately we found ourselves unable to bring as many products to the market as we had initially anticipated. And yet, our commitment to the environment remains strong.
Indeed in 2010, we made a commitment with the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) to double the amount of U.S organic cotton acreage. We’ve been working with TOCMC to look into ways to break down the barriers to entry for farmers converting to organic practices. Double It! is an initiative to support U.S organic farmers and restore the land back to its natural state. We are presenting an opportunity to transitional and organic farmers by providing a significant premium for all the production from the increased organic acreage. We are currently assessing alternatives for Double It! – from academic research to grassroots support and will provide updates during our next reporting period.
Four years ago, we started this by creating our first eco-product: a short sleeve t-shirt made with 100 percent certified organic cotton. It was the first product made under the AnvilOrganic® brand, and its success led us to manufacture an additional 16 eco-products and create two more brands—AnvilRecycled™ and AnvilSustainable™. Today, AnvilOrganic® produces various women, men’s and youth tees, in addition to a unisex sport shirt and a tote bag. As was the case with the first t-shirt, all are made with 100 percent organic cotton certified to the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) standards.
We are currently conducting our fifth life cycle assessment, which will include data for three styles from our new Made in US from imported fabric line of t-shirts. In 2009, we conducted a life-cycle analysis on several Anvil t-shirts and we discovered that the ones made with organic cotton have a carbon footprint 20 percent lower than those made with conventional cotton. The lower emission is due primarily to the environmentally friendly methods—no pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified seeds—used to farm the organic cotton that goes into the shirt.
AnvilRecycled® tees are made in part with pre-consumer recycled cotton. Scraps left over from when patterns are cut are sorted according to color, broken down and re-knitted into fabric. Since the fabric has already been dyed, the dying process in our cycle can be skipped altogether, saving the energy and water usually associated with this stage of production. We estimate that AnvilRecycled® tee production requires 36% less energy and 43% less water than normal production conditions. According to the life-cycle analysis, the manufacturing of the AnvilRecycled® tee is seven percent less emissions-intensive than that of the conventional tee. In addition to avoiding the emissions associated with the waste and disposal of fabric scraps that would otherwise wind up in a landfill, Anvil also calculated the tee’s final carbon footprint and reduced and offset the emissions of each shirt sold through a partnership with Carbonfund.org. (You can read more about one of the projects we support through Carbonfund.org by clicking here and by reading our response to questions EN14)
AnvilSustainable ™ is Anvil’s most innovative eco-brand, featuring tees and fleece made from a blend of polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, and either certified organic cotton or transitional organic cotton, grown by farmers switching to organic methods. For the shirts manufactured under this brand, Anvil purchases transitional cotton from U.S. farmers as a means of supporting their efforts to convert to methods that are pesticide and chemical free. In addition, each shirt contains fiber made from approximately three recycled plastic bottles. Our life cycle analysis found that the AnvilSustainable™ tee is about 15 percent less emission-intensive than a conventional t-shirt and 6 percent lower than a conventional blended t-shirt. See the below chart for more information on our life cycle analysis.
The lower emission is due primarily to our use of recycled PET, and avoiding the use of virgin cotton or virgin polyester. In our emissions assessments, we account for the energy and associated emissions of curb-side bottle pickup, collection, sorting, flaking, conversion to fiber and yarn spinning of the PET material. Through the use of recycled PET, we avoid the emissions intensive virgin PET production phase.
As excited as we are about the progress we’ve made in sourcing fibers with a better environmental profile, we are also facing some serious challenges in the near future. In 2009 and 2010, Anvil exhausted its supply of US-grown transitional cotton. And while we have kept our commitment to purchase American-farmed organic and transitional cotton, as long as it is available, before sourcing foreign-grown alternatives, we expect demand may exceed the US cotton supply in 2010 and we will likely need to reach out to other countries as sources. We will, however, continue our close work with American farmers to support the market for transitional and organic cotton fibers and thereby continue increasing the US supply.
Read a summary of Anvil’s Comparative Product Life Cycle Assessments to learn more about our comparative “cradle to grave” Product Life Cycle Assessments and emissions by activity (e.g., raw materials, manufacturing and warehousing, etc.).
EN7: Initiatives to reduce indirect energy consumption and reductions achieved
Sources of indirect energy are described in EN4.
As discussed in EN6, our key tactic to reduce the consumption of indirect energy is to introduce more products made with energy-efficient materials, such as recycled fibers and organic cotton.
In addition to our continued commitment of environmentally friendly inputs, we work closely with our suppliers to ensure they are being responsible. One of our newest partners, Mortex Apparel, which will manufacture our Made in US from imported fabric line of t-shirts, is a great example. Mortex is a stakeholder in Cotton of the Carolinas, an initiative to make apparel with the absolute lowest footprint. This program uses cotton grown, spun, knit, dyed, cut and sewn in North Carolina with full accountability and accessible tracking of each fiber, process and worker along the way. Mortex also recycles all scrap fabrics that then gets turned back into product and all 4 Mortex facilities are electric plants. In addition, Mortex recycles all plastic wrap and cardboard from packaging.
While business-related travel, which includes air travel, employee-owned vehicle use, hotel stays and rental car use, accounts for less than .5% of our overall carbon emissions for 2010, we continue our efforts to reduce it. We continue to rely on the use of our internal video conferencing system, which connects our US operations with our European subsidiary as well as our offshore facilities in Honduras and Nicaragua, to the extent possible. Adding our European subsidiary and our Nicaraguan facility to this system was an addition implemented in 2010.
Subcontracted Production Since Anvil is a vertically integrated company, and we manufacture the majority of our goods, subcontracted production was not analyzed for the purposes of this report.
In 2010, commuting represented an estimated 9% of our total organizational footprint, down from 11% in 2009. We continue to encourage car-pooling in facilities where employees drive to work. However, we have not documented energy reductions as a result of this practice. The below chart illustrates the changes in the commuting profile for the company from 2009 to 2010.
EN8: Total water withdrawal by source
At our Honduras textile plant, Anvil’s most water-intensive facility, the principal source of water is ground water. While we draw the water directly from a well, we understand it may ultimately originate in the nearby Chamelecon River. In terms of volume, however, the withdrawal for the needs of the industrial park where our textile plant is located is estimated to be less than one percent of the river’s annual volume, and therefore does not represent a significant impact.
Anvil has various efforts in place to reduce overall water usage. For example, at Spectratex, our North Carolina dye facility, we reduced the amount of water used per pound of fabric by 2.2 gallons compared to 2009 by introducing better fabric prepping techniques and by improving pre-treatment chemicals, which reduced the need for corrections that require more water. This allowed us to save 3.35 million gallons of water in 2010.
In addition, our plant engineers are constantly finding ways to reduce the amount of water needed to manufacture fabric. In 2010, our Honduras textile plant reduced actual water consumption by 2% for Gal/Flb versus the prior year, even though the dye-to-bleach ratio increased by 39% and dyeing uses as much as four times the Gal/Flb as bleaching. Our estimates show that, when taking into consideration dye/bleach ratios, we used 10% less water than we would have without the improvements that were made. The 10% is roughly equivalent to avoiding the use of 60,000,000 gallons of water for the year. As shown in the below chart, the source distribution of water remains similar, with a 34% increase in ground water usage, and 42% increase in municipal water supply usage, both driven by higher production rates in 2010.
The below numbers include all sources of water withdrawal for all Anvil owned operations but do not reflect water usage at our New York City corporate offices, which we believe to be an insignificant amount.
For information about total water discharge by quality and destination, please see our answer to EN21 under the Emissions, Effluents and Waste Aspect of this Section.
As a large purchaser of cotton, we are also interested in the water footprint of the cotton we purchase. Read below about our first water footprint assessment.
EN9: Water sources significantly affected by withdrawal of water
According to GRI, a body of water is significantly impacted if more than 5 percent of its annual volume is withdrawn. The withdrawal of water for the industrial park where our textile plant—the most water intensive of our operations— is estimated to be less than one percent of the adjacent river’s annual volume (based upon information provided by the industrial park where our textile plant is located). Therefore, it does not represent a significant impact. We will continue to monitor the situation as our production grows.
Anvil Water Footprint Results
We recently worked with PE International to conduct an in-house water footprint of our basic Anvil(r) Style 979 t-shirt (dyed vs. bleached), manufactured at our textile plant and two cut and sew plant locations in 2009 and 2010. Based on the results, we learned that agriculture dominates water consumption and that most of the water used at Anvil locations is not actually ‘consumed’ since it is returned to the same watershed.
Furthermore, water consumption during textile processing has a very small effect on water deprivation because we manufacture in the water abundant areas of Honduras and Nicaragua. While we confirmed that the water use in a bleached t-shirt is lower than a dyed t-shirt, that difference is negligible compared to the agricultural impact of cotton.
While the Water Footprint reveals that water use per shirt declined in 2010 as compared to 2009, if we take into account water consumption (i.e. the upstream water use in energy production), the net result is that water consumption rose in 2010 compared to 2009. Overall, however, applying a water deprivation factor which is low due to the fact that our textile and cut and sew operations are in water rich regions, the water consumption rate rose in 2010 compared to 2009.
We also evaluated the effects of changing the region of US Cotton cultivation. The region where we source our cotton has the greatest impact on our product life cycle water footprint.
We are now in the process of developing a fiber sourcing strategy using the information we learned from this report and integrating it into our overall product life cycle metrics.
EN10: Percentage and total volume of water recycled and reused
In 2010, we continued to focus on finding more ways to use recycled and reused water as shown in the below chart.
For example, at Spectratex, our North Carolina dye facility, we reduced the amount of water used per pound of fabric by 2.2 gallons compared to 2009 by introducing better fabric prepping techniques and by improving pre-treatment chemicals, which reduced the need for corrections that require more water. This allowed us to save 3.35 million gallons of water in 2010.
At our Honduras textile plant, we eliminated certain water-intensive steps in the dye process and implemented a process by which the water used to cool fabric after it was dyed is recycled and used in another step in the manufacturing process. This allowed us to save 60 million gallons of water, and drove down our per pound of fabric water use by 10%.
EN11: Location and size of land owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas;
EN12: Description of significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity in protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas;
EN13: Habitats protected or restored;
EN15: Number of IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species with habitats in areas affected by operations, by level of extinction risk
We spent 2010 conducting due diligence of issues in the countries in which we operate, Honduras and Nicaragua being our main focus. What we learned is that many of the issues faced by endangered species in those countries also impact the United States because these are nesting habitats for species which then migrate up to the southern coast of the US. With the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill in 2010, this became even more critical of an issue.
The number of wildlife species threatened by the spill was estimated at 400. Threatened species include sea life such as whales, tuna and shrimp; dozens of species of birds; land animals such as the gray fox and white-tailed deer; and amphibians such as the alligator and the snapping turtle according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
At the same time we were introduced to the work of the Wildlife Conservation Society which is active in a number of conservation programs in Central America.
In our due diligence, we visited a program run by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Nicaragua to support conservation efforts around the endangered Hawkbill turtle and Green Sea turtle species.
In 2011, we provided product donations in support of WCS’s Run for the Wild events in NYC benefiting both turtle and penguin conservation but we hope to expand that support in 2012 to cover both turtles in Nicaragua and sharks in the region. More to come on this in our next report.
EN14: Strategies, current actions, and future plans for managing impacts on biodiversity
In 2010, we continued to take on the role of environmental leader, supporting efforts to restore areas near our facilities as well as encouraging others in our industry to make better investments and choices. We did so primarily by expanding our partnership initiatives. This year, we:
…became the official t-shirt of the Earth Day Network Through this we supported the Billion Acts of Green initiative, a challenge for individuals to make a commitment to become an environmental leader. In addition, we supported The Green Generation(TM) campaign, which mobilized people worldwide to find solutions to urgent national and international environmental issues. We also sponsored Earth Day New York’s I am E campaign to promote actions and choices that people can make to contribute to a more sustainable world.
…partnered with Farm Aid for the third year in a row Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Anvil was present at the Farm Aid concert, which allowed us to promote domestic farming and draw awareness to organic fiber options through informational exhibits and interactions. We believe that working with Farm Aid helps create consumer awareness about the social and environmental benefits of organic farming methods, as well as brings in proceeds for Farm Aid through the sales of our apparel.
…continued education programs In both Honduras and Nicaragua, one of the biggest threats to biodiversity is the poverty in which many of its citizens live, as well as a general lack of resources and education about the importance of protecting the environment. Because of this, we have focused some initial efforts on spreading our message of conservation and environmental responsibility, and by working with local schools and teachers to develop educational materials on the importance of protecting natural resources.
For example, in 2010, our educational outreach grew considerably. In Nicaragua, Anvil worked closely with a group of teachers to develop environmental lesson plans. In partnership with the Nicaraguan Foro Nacional de Reciclaje (National Forum of Recycling), we sponsored an event where the lesson plans were presented to 300 teachers, who work in schools throughout Managua, the nation’s capital. We are currently working with the Honduras Ministry of Education to bring the same lesson plans to Honduran school teachers. Later that year, we sponsored a visit from the head of the NFNR program to the National Association of Environmental Educators for their annual conference in Buffalo, NY to present our program.
Also in 2010, in addition to other environmentally themed events, we sponsored a day-long college forum—“El Foro para la definicion de la agenda ambiental de la juventud” or “The forum to define an environmental agenda for youth” — in the Honduran capital city of Tegucigalpa, which featured expert discussions on the state of the nation’s waste, water and energy conservation and climate change initiatives. More than 400 college students attended. In the fall of 2010, the second such event will take place at a local university in San Pedro Sula, the municipality in which one of our Hondurans facilities is located.
…In 2011 We partnered with renown fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Green Up campaign to help Europe to ‘GreenUp’ as the world looks towards the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. Vivienne Westwood’s Tree-shirts, printed on the AnvilOrganic(TM) and AnvilRecycled(R) line, will raise funds for reforestation efforts in Europe. “Buy a Tree-shirt, Plant a Tree” is the first of 10 actions of GreenUp, giving all net sale proceeds for the reforestation program.
Also, our cut & sew facility joined forces with the National Reforestation Crusade in Masaya, Nicaragua to partake in activities that contribute to reforesting 15,000 hectares in forest areas affected by drought. The National Reforestation Crusade’s goal is to plant 100,000 trees of different species, with support of over 430,000 students, environmental groups and about 60,000 people in the surrounding communities. To achieve this goal, each municipality will promote a local reforestation activity. We will be part of the activities conducted in the municipality of Masatepe to achieve the goal for this Millions of Green Actions initiative.
Emissions, Effluents, and Waste: EN16-EN25
EN 16: Total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight & EN17: Other relevant indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight
Since 2008, Anvil has worked with Camco International to conduct the company’s yearly Organizational Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Assessment, or a full accounting of how and where energy is used in Anvil operations. We measured the greenhouse gas emissions from our facilities and, in accordance with internationally recognized voluntary accounting guidelines developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resource Institute.
Anvil’s emissions footprint consists of eight main emissions source categories; purchased electricity and steam used on premises, energy consumption on premises, outgoing third-party deliveries, employee commuting, vehicle fuel use on premises, business travel, waste disposal, and fugitive emissions on premises such as refrigerant and fire extinguisher gas loss.
Scope 1 emissions from fuel used to generate power at our plants, power our company–owned vehicles and maintain our air conditioning equipment, are considered “direct” emissions by GRI guidelines. Scope 2 emissions from electricity we purchase from others in order to power our plants are considered “indirect” emissions by GRI. Scope 3 emissions from fuel used during employee travel and commuting, product delivery to customers and generated from waste disposed of in landfills. GRI’s guidelines require the reporting of Scope 1 and 2 (direct and indirect), while the gathering and reporting of Scope 3 is optional. In addition, because we use significant amounts of water, Anvil elected to measure water usage in the assessment; we analyzed the electricity required to treat and transport water. These calculations are referred to as “non-scope,” and we elected to disclose them as well. (The chart below indicates amounts for each scope.)
Regarding Anvil’s emissions assessment, the CO2 emissions resulting from biomass combustion are excluded, while the CH4 and N2O are included according to the WBCSD/WRI GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. Wood waste-sourced CO2 is considered biogenic in origin and a portion of the “closed” carbon cycle, which refers to the release of carbon that was previously sequestered within a relatively recent time-frame. Emissions reporting methodology requires the reporting of emissions sourced from the “open” carbon cycle, which refers to the combustion of historically sequestered carbon that was originally in the form of fossil fuels. Accordingly, CO2 biomass related emissions are reported separately.
In the end, our GHG impact assessment for fiscal year 2010 showed an annualized emission equivalent of 59,357 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. In fiscal 2009, Anvil reported 42,523 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents and 45,748 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents for fiscal 2008.
Company emissions went up 32% in 2010 compared to 2009 due to higher production, a change in product mix to a higher percentage of dyed t-shirts (which utilize approximately twice the energy and three times the water than bleached shirts) and an 80% increase in outgoing deliveries, as the result of more accurate reporting in 2010 for delivery emissions.
To read an even more detailed break down of the sources of our emissions see the 2008 Executive Summary and 2009 Executive Summary. For information about the emissions of our products, please read our answer to EN6 Energy Aspect.
EN18: Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reductions achieved
Last year we set a goal of reducing emissions by 10% by the end of fiscal 2010.
Unfortunately, we were not able to meet that goal. That’s the bad news. The good news is we understand why. We see that as good news because understanding the cause is the first step in addressing the problem. For one, our emissions and the baseline for our emissions goals moving forward were calculated relative to our performance in 2008 and 2009, two years in which our production levels were hit hard by the economic downturn. To more accurately determine our emissions goals we should have based them on years that saw more normalized production levels, like 2010. In addition, this past year also brought us a new product mix—more dyed and colored t-shirts, and less basic white t-shirts than ever before. While the increase in colored t-shirts is more profitable for our business, these shirts also require more energy to produce. We are currently in the process of resetting energy goals so that they are more in line with the company we are today.
Still, most of our emissions continue to be associated with the direct and indirect energy we consume, and our strategy to reduce emissions remains the overall reduction of energy consumption. Specifically, we remain focused on the two principal energy sources—bunker oil and purchased electricity—because we believe this is where we can have the biggest impact. We also continue to seek out ways to reduce water usage, and to make the transporting of goods and materials generally more efficient, even though this represents a small percentage of our overall carbon footprint.
Reducing usage of bunker oil The wastewater heat recovery system that we installed four years ago continues to help us realize reductions in bunker oil by increasing the amount of heat we recycle thereby reducing the amount we need to produce. Our estimates indicate this system allowed us to save nearly 70,000 gallons of bunker oil. Last year, we stated it was our goal to have a proprietary bio-mass generation system in place at our Honduras textile plant by the end of 2012. In fact, this year we rented an existing bio-mass system that was already on the premises and are operating it daily. It is our hope that over the course of the next year we better understand the operation of such a machine, so that we can better understand it as we seek to purchase one outright next year.
Reducing electricity The energy-saving programs we instituted across the company continue to help reduce our overall use of electricity, yet we continue to look for new ways improve efficiency. For example, at our Honduras textile plant, we installed 10 motion detectors that automatically shut off lights several minutes after motion stops. And at out North Carolina textile facility, we saved 138,000 kwhs in 2010, as a result of overall procedural improvements that reduced the number of reworks needed. A more efficient manufacturing process overall means less energy needed. And though our cut-and-sew facilities in both Honduras and Nicaragua are less energy intensive, we still invested in and installed more than 400 new, energy-efficient sewing machine units. These changes, among various others, helped us achieve a 6% reduction in electricity usage at the cut-and-sew plants. While those improvements are significant, they were not enough to offset the overall 8% increase in electricity used, which was driven mostly by energy consumed at our textile plants. Which is why this year we’re focusing on even more electricity improvements, in particular at the textile plants. For example, we have already replaced more than 300 high intensity 400-watt lamps with more energy efficient 200 watt induction lamps at the Honduras textile facility. This change is estimated to save about 378,000 kwh per year moving forward. We also continue do serious research around both solar power and induction fluorescent solutions that we believe may enable us to realize even more savings in the future.
EN19: Emissions of ozone-depleting substances by weight
In 2010, Anvil reduced its use of ozone-depleting substances—specifically R-22 and R-12 refrigerants—by nearly 64% percent, from 470 lbs in 2009 to 170 lbs in 2010. The reduction was driven by improvements in preventive maintenance on the air conditioning units, where we primarily use such refrigerants.
EN20: NOx, SOx, and other significant air emissions by type and weight
EN21: Total water discharge by quality and destination
In 2011, many of our private label customers made commitments following a Greenpeace campaign to eliminate all discharges of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chain and across the entire lifecycle of their products by 2020. We make the same commitment and have started to work with a consultant to conduct an assessment of our chemical management system to support this goal.
Our Honduras textile facility is located in an industrial park with a highly efficient, advanced on- site water treatment plant. The wastewater is cleaned using bacteria and other natural agents, such as ozone, to remove or degrade chemical, biological and physical effluents. Once cleaned, the water is released into the nearby Chamelecon River.
Our garment dye plant in North Carolina discharges water into the local POTW, which treats a combination of domestic and industrial wastewaters. The plant is regulated by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, and achieved a compliance level of 100% with NPDES Permit requirements.
As we have done for years, Anvil not only complies with local and private label water effluent requirements, we seek to go beyond them. The below charts indicate the amount of water discharged by destination.
For information regarding total water withdrawal, water sources significantly affected, and amount of water recycled or reused, please read our response to EN8-EN10 under the Water Aspect of this Section. You will also find a summary of our recent Water Footprint Results following EN9.
EN22: Total weight of waste by type and disposal method
Reducing the amount of waste we create, and recycling as much as possible, are important focuses for Anvil. We have implemented extensive recycling programs at all three of our manufacturing plants, and these have been in place for a number of years. From cardboard boxes to yarn cones to plastic palettes on which yarn arrives, everything that can be recycled…is. At our cut and sew facilities, we recycle sewing needles, cutting knives, plastic thread cones, bags, cartons and more. And at our corporate and distribution offices we also recycled printer cartridges, plastic bottles, cans, cardboard and pallets.
We’re pleased to report that in 2010, we reduced the total amount of landfill waste by nearly 25% due to greater recycling efforts in all facilities, even in a year that saw more than a 35% increase in production. Surpassing last year’s target of a 5% reduction in waste!
In addition, we began collecting electronic waste, primarily fluorescent light tubes and obsolete computer equipment, and sending them to a local Honduran recycling company that either reuses, donates or safely and properly disposes of such equipment.
EN23: Total number and volume of significant spills
To the best of our knowledge, Anvil has had no material spills at any facility during 2008 and 2009.
EN24: Weight of transported, imported, exported, or treated waste deemed hazardous under the terms of the Basel Convention Annex I, II, III, and VIII, and percentage of transported waste shipped internationally
Anvil does not generate hazardous waste, as defined by GRI, at any of its facilities.
EN25: Identity, size, protected status, and biodiversity value of water bodies and related habitats significantly affected by the reporting organization’s discharges of water and runoff
According to GRI, a body of water is significantly impacted if discharges account for more than 5 percent of its annual volume, or if the discharge itself could significantly impact the body of water, neither of which is the case for any Anvil facility.
Products and Services: EN26-EN27
EN26: Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation
As a way to educate consumers on caring for our products responsibly, we launched TrackMyT.com, an interactive website that brings to life the complete journey and environmental impact of a t-shirt, from cotton seed to consumer. The site allows users to input a unique tracking number printed on their shirt, then explore cotton farms, a gin and spinners, as well as Anvil’s textile mill, cut and sew plants, and distribution facility, where it was constructed and shipped. It features surprise pop-up messages and graphics, alongside lesson plans for teachers that focus on the environmental, historical and social aspects of manufacturing, buying and owning a t-shirt. At the end of the journey, users come to what’s called the “You” module, where they can gather information on how to care for and dispose of t-shirts in an earth-friendly way.
As part of our campaign to educate the current generation of students on the benefits of organics, Anvil is now taking the lesson plans from TrackMyT® into the classroom by donating indoor organic gardens to classrooms. The indoor organic school gardens will provide a classroom with a unique learning experience, developed to educate youth about growing food, the nutritional and health benefits of eating healthy, and the environmental benefits of organics.
Our donations will include all amenities that accompany the indoor garden, such as organic soil, organic seeds, AnvilOrganic t-shirt donations, and TrackMyT® aides.
We are partnering with Earth Day New York and New York City’s Department of Education’s Solar-1 Network of environmental schools to launch the pilot of the indoor organic learning experience. Solar-1 is the City’s first “Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center”, which serves more than 25,000 students within the five boroughs. Twenty schools have been signed up, with donations beginning in October 2011.
Earth Day New York selected “Earth Box Education” as the organic garden model for the classrooms. The Earth Box container gardening system engages students with a hands-on organic experience, as the students plant the seeds, monitor growth, and watch a species of plant grown throughout the school year.
For our national donations, we are using an organic garden model by Friends of Burlington Gardens, based in Burlington, Vermont. This is a 2-tier model with individual pots containing a variety of herbs and plants. We have officially signed on three schools throughout the country to partake in the pilot program. Both Stewart Heights Elementary School and Latta Elementary School, located in South Carolina, are neighbor schools to our Distribution Center in Dillon. We are pleased to work with these classes as an on-going effort to support initiatives in the local level. Stewart Heights’ 3rd grade class, with 22 students, and Latta Elementary’s 3rd grade class with 26 students, will receive their indoor gardens in October 2011.
In addition, the YMCA of Kansas City is in the process of selecting an elementary school for us to work with. Why Kansas City? Anvil was the official t-shirt of Farm Aid 2011, which took place in August at the Livstrong Sporting Park in Kansas City. As the official Farm Aid t-shirt for three years, we continue to support the organization by drawing awareness to the importance of domestic organic farming. We’re donating an organic garden to an elementary school in the Kansas City area as a continuation of local efforts for Farm Aid.
EN27: Percentage of products sold and their packaging and materials that are reclaimed by category
Anvil uses a minimum of packaging materials when delivering goods. However, we have established sound recycling and reusing practices for the packing mediums in which our raw materials either arrive or are transported within our facilities. While we do not currently employ a formal system by which we quantify the recycling and reusing of these materials, here are a few examples:
• The large plastic palettes, one which yarn cones arrive, are all returned to the yarn spinner for reuse
• Cones themselves are sent to a biomass boiler, which burns them to create steam
• Plastic used to wrap large reams of finished fabric in order to transport them from the textile plant to one of our cut and sew facilities is either sold to a local recycling company, or given away for reuse
• All cardboard is recycled
See our response to EN22 under the Emissions, Effluents and Waste Aspect of the Environment Section to learn about waste by type and disposal method and estimated avoided emissions from certain recycling programs.
EN28: Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
Anvil has not been fined or sanctioned for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations at any location.
EN29: Significant environmental impacts of transporting products and other goods and materials used for the organization’s operations, transporting members of the workforce
Transport of Goods Toward the end of 2009 we had begun to use a new port in Wilmington, NC, which was 600 miles closer to our distribution facility than our prior port. It was in 2010 when that change lived up the to estimated savings we had projected: by changing ports to one that reduced the trucking distance for our products, we reduced our diesel fuel usage by 46,063 gallons, or 4,761 tonnes of CO2e.
In addition, in 2010 we began direct-to-customer shipping program as well as a direct drop-off shipment system for a number of our customers. This allowed us to forego transporting goods to to our South Carolina distribution center, thereby eliminating an entire step in the delivery process.
Business-related travel We are employing better use of our internal video conferencing system, which connects our US operations with our off-shore manufacturing facilities in Honduras. In 2010, we added our European subsidiary and our Nicaraguan facility to the system.
Employee Commuting Only an estimated 5 percent of our employees worldwide commute by car, primarily at our North and South Carolina facilities. Our executive offices are based in New York City, where most employees rely on public transportation; our manufacturing plants are in Central America, where the majority of employees also rely heavily on public transportation. Though employee commuting represents a small portion of our overall footprint, we have encouraged car-pooling in those facilities where employees drive to work. We have not, however, documented energy reductions as a result of this practice.
EN30: Total environmental protection expenditures and investments by type
While we are still evaluating solutions for better tracking of the information below, we are able to estimate expenditures in certain categories as well as estimated allocations of related personnel costs.