J.C. Penney promotes supply chain sustainability

The J.C. Penney Co. is pursuing three major initiatives to minimize the environmental impact of its supply chain activities. 

In honor of the Climate Week 2020 environmental summit held in tandem with the U.N. General Assembly, J.C. Penney is sharing some of its efforts to create a sustainable supply chain. These include actively participating in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program, which helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. The EPA recently named J.C. Penney a 2020 SmartWay High Performer, a distinction reserved for the 5% of all SmartWay shippers that meet the most stringent emissions criteria.

In addition, J.C. Penney is a finalist for the 2020 SmartWay Excellence Award acknowledging outstanding environmental performance. This is the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain energy and environmental performance. 

Recently, J.C. Penney has focused on increasing its assortment of Oeko-Tex-certified products, meaning they have been tested and verified to be free from more than 300 harmful substances. The retailer’s new Linden Street home brand was designed with sustainable fabrics and new packaging made of biodegradable labels and recycled polyester. Across all of its private labels, J.C. Penney is also choosing packaging materials that are less resource intensive and include recycled materials.

Furthermore, J.C. Penney partners with organizations such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an apparel, footwear, and textile industry alliance to reduce the environmental and social impacts of production. SAC’s Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) helps suppliers improve their energy management by standardizing how they track consumption, establishing targets, and reporting progress.

The company encourages suppliers to participate in the Higg FEM and has tracked reporting since 2017. During that time, J.C. Penney’s participating suppliers’ average energy scores have improved 21% and are approximately 10 points higher than the current industry average.

“J.C. Penney is committed to providing a sustainable future for our associates, customers, and communities,” the company said in a corporate blog post. “While we are immensely proud of the work we have accomplished, we recognize that sustainability is an ongoing journey we’ll continue to take as we make strides toward our overall efforts and align eco-friendly goals.”

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