OUR COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT IS AN ONGOING PRIORITY FOR LANDS' END
One of the reasons why I joined Lands' End in February of 2015 is that this Company is known for its high quality apparel and customer service but has also been committed to the environment for over 50 years! The company's founder, Gary Comer, was an active environmentalist who started Lands' End as a sailing outfitter. As the company grew, he wanted his employees to be, of course, leaders in catalog retailing but he also wanted them to do more. He wanted them to become good stewards of the earth.
As CEO of Lands' End with the vision to become a meaningful global lifestyle brand, I am keenly aware that how we do business every day greatly impacts our planet. So at Lands’ End, we take sustainability very seriously. I named our sustainability initiatives “Lands' Friendly.” We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our paper, water, and power usage – while at the same time researching how we can make our products in a more sustainable manner.
We are not perfect, but we are always making steps to be better – this is a constant journey. As a business leader, I’ve always embraced change. I believe that with change comes the opportunity for growth. My hope is that Lands’ End can continue to be Lands’ Friendly in order to leave the Earth a better place for future generations
When Gary Comer founded Lands’ End in 1963‚ his interest in sustainability was evident from the beginning. He insisted on selling only quality items that were durable‚ built to last. “Make it as good as you can‚” he said‚ knowing that if it’s made well in the first place‚ it will serve for seasons to come. And later‚ to certify his belief‚ he added‚ “Guarantee it. Period.”
He moved his company from Chicago to Dodgeville for a reason. He liked the rural work ethic‚ and the promise of a bigger corporate campus would give him the chance to pursue a new goal: helping employees and their families lead healthier lives. “Take care of the customer‚ take care of the employee‚ the rest will take care of itself‚” was the way he always put it.
In his personal life he was a sailor. He sailed around the globe‚ always curious to know what was beyond the horizon‚ fascinated by the sea. In 2001 he sailed the Northwest Passage on his yacht Turmoil; he returned with a deep and abiding interest in abrupt climate change as a result of what he saw. He donated money to study the issue and according to the Comer Family Foundation‚ at one point he was providing more money for climate change research than the U.S. government.
Gary’s interest in the future of our planet and his directive that we do business in a sustainable manner has guided us to this day.
Earth Day is observed nationwide on April 22, but Lands' End raises environmental awareness all week long through a number of activities. Activities throughout the week include an Environmental Wellness Fair featuring green vendors and a company-wide Earth Trek walk/run.
Extending green efforts beyond our headquarters, Lands' End created community gardens at each of its Wisconsin campuses. Plots of various sizes are available for employees and their families to grow vegetables and flowers for personal use or to donate. This gives Lands' End employees the opportunity to live more sustainable lives through professional networking.
In April of 2012, Lands' End planted an orchard on the northeast side of the corporate headquarters campus in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The orchard was an idea that came out of the Lands' Friendly Committee as a way to add a sustainable asset to the corporate campus. The orchard sits near the company's community garden, which has been an employee-run project since the spring of 2009. The orchard consists of roughly 50 apple, pear, and cherry trees. When trees in the orchard produce fruit suitable for picking, Lands' End will make sure no food goes to waste. Whether it will be offering fruit as a healthy snack to our employees and guests or donating apples, pears, and cherries to our local food bank, the harvest from the Lands' End Orchard will be used every season.
In May of 2012, Lands' End began to gather compostable materials for a campus compost pile. Fruit that is unsuitable for eating from the Lands' End orchard will join food scraps collected from campus cafeterias. Mixed with leaves, grass, and other compostable materials, the compost pile will create rich soil that will be used in Lands' End flowerbeds, the community garden, and other Lands' End campus projects. Excess compost is made available for Lands' End employees to use at their homes.
As more employees purchase vehicles based on fuel economy, Lands' End will reward them with priority parking on its Dodgeville campus. If the vehicle is rated at or above 40 miles per gallon on the highway, the employee can park it in a designated spot that is closer to the entrance to the building.
After multiple Lands' End employees inquired about charging electric vehicles, the company installed four stations on its Dodgeville campus. Each of the four stations is equipped with a 120v circuit, which provides a low level charge that can take up to 10 hours to fully recharge a vehicle. Lands' End is investigating higher voltage stations, which can fully recharge a vehicle in two to four hours.
Lands' End is proud to offer its employees bikes to travel between buildings on the Dodgeville campus. The bike program encourages Lands' End employees not to use cars, thereby reducing gasoline consumption and related pollution.
The Wisconsin Adopt-A-Highway program was initiated to allow groups to volunteer and support the state's anti-litter program. Each group supports a two mile stretch of state highway and is responsible for litter control at least three times a year. Lands' End is one of the volunteer groups involved in highway clean-up. Every year, employees in the Dispatch Center, Lands' End Outfitters and Call Center rotate cleanup efforts to do their part to keep Wisconsin's highways clean.
Lands' End is committed to proactive power, facility and carbon management to help conserve energy resources. Since 2009, Lands' End has participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project to encourage carbon measurement and reporting. Lands' End is among a number of leading businesses who are dedicated to making the case for better internal carbon management, ultimately leading to a more sustainable society. Since 2008, Lands' End has reduced its carbon use by 17%.
An energy team meets regularly to review and identify energy savings opportunities throughout the year.
As of 2012, Lands' End has reused or recycled 90% of generated waste from the corporate headquarters. The goal is to reduce waste completely and make Lands' End a "zero landfill" company, ethically and efficiently redesigning used resources to completely eliminate waste. The company is dedicated to reaching this goal and will continue to look for ways to compost food scraps, further reduce paper use and refurbish or reuse items used in all aspects of company operations.
Lands' End has a broad range of recycling and waste management initiatives at the corporate office to address paper products, aluminum cans, glass and plastic, as well as printing operations, maintenance operations, disposal of non-recyclables and water management. Efforts are consistently monitored in each of these areas, and the company is constantly looking for areas for improvement.
Lands' End continues to maintain an assertive program to buy non-catalog paper products made from recycled materials. Other materials purchased with recycled content include re-charged laser printer cartridges, file folders, paper towels, toilet paper, trash cans, pencils, letter holder trays and brown manila envelopes.
Lands' End's waste reduction efforts extend beyond the traditional forms of recycling and management. From refurbishing furniture to reconditioning carpet, Lands' End offices make a conscious effort to salvage in-house resources. For example, 136 laptops were donated in 2010 to local schools.
In 2012, Lands' End finished a complete remodel of the company call center in Dodgeville, WI. The center is responsible for handling customer orders, comments and questions. The call center's Customer Care Specialists were sitting at desks that hadn't been updated in years. During the remodel of this area, reducing waste was the number one goal. To achieve this, Lands’ End: