Sustainability

Celebrating Women Who Champion Sustainability

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Reducing the environmental footprint of a global business is no easy task. From providing communities worldwide with access to clean water to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste, Gap Inc. has outlined ambitious goals to make it happen.

Melissa Fifield, the company's Senior Director of Sustainable Innovation, has been recognized for leadership in those efforts. Ceres, a sustainability-focused nonprofit, named Melissa one of several "women warriors" driving change and awareness in the climate and sustainability space.

"These women are pioneers, and their extraordinary contributions are working to inspire and encourage the talents of countless others in the hope of creating a better — and more sustainable — future for all," according to the Ceres blog.

Access to fresh water is more than a human right. It gives women worldwide, who spend hours daily gathering the family supply of water, another precious resource: the time to spend pursuing education opportunities, paid work and personal growth.

Melissa and her team's contributions touch many other areas of sustainability, as well. The team helped steer Gap Inc. toward a 38 percent total reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, the company announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in its owned and operated facilities globally, by 50 percent by 2020. Furthermore, it pledged to divert 80 percent of waste from landfills from its U.S. facilities.

As a California-headquartered company, Gap Inc. also helped Ceres launch its Connect the Drops campaign, raising awareness about sustainable water practices and its impact on the drought-stricken state. The campaign, which was featured in store windows of California Banana Republic stores, asked customers to “connect the drops" by learning and implementing new ways to conserve water.