Gap's agreement will provide approximately 374 gigawatt hours of wind-generated electricity per year. © Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Gap's agreement will provide approximately 374 gigawatt hours of wind-generated electricity per year. © Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gap to go totally renewable

Clothing giant Gap Inc has pledged to use 100% renewable energy across its facilities around the world by 2030, in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

Announcing the new commitment, last week, Art Peck, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said: “I’m proud to commit to renewable energy for 100 percent of our stores, headquarters and distribution centers globally by 2030.” 

The company also announced a 12 year agreement with US renewable energy provider Enel Green Power, which will play a part in reaching the 2030 target. 

A “virtual power purchase agreement” of 90 megawatt (MW) from the energy firm will provide approximately 374 gigawatt hours of wind-generated electricity per year.

This will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions “equivalent to the carbon reduction of removing 60,000 passenger cars from the road annually,” according to Gap Inc.

The retailer is “purchasing wind energy equivalent to the energy needs of over 1,500 retail stores in its global real estate portfolio,” in what is the largest ever offsite green energy contract by a fashion retailer, it claimed.

The clean energy will be produced by Enel Green Power’s 299MW Aurora wind farm project in North Dakota, which is expected to begin operations by the end of next year.

It will also help contribute to the retailer’s existing target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% from 2015 levels across its operations by 2020.

Peck commented: “We have a responsibility to reduce our climate impact. For Gap Inc, being a part of the climate solution means making strategic investments in clean energy generation. Today we have secured a path to achieving our 2020 goal, but we must do more.” 

Gap Inc operates more than 3,300 stores globally but many of the sites are leased which limits their ability to adopt renewable energy onsite - something which will be compensated by the new agreement with Enel Green Power.

The retailer is one of a number of companies to have signed up to the United Nations (UN) Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change, which aims to reach zero emissions by 2050.

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