NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC., the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, today announced its membership in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a trade association comprised of brands, retailers, manufacturers, government and non-governmental organizations and academic experts who are committed to supply chain sustainability. The SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance that will spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. ANN INC. is the first women's specialty retailer to join the SAC and shared the announcement at its Global Vendor Conference in Hong Kong, the Company's annual summit for global supply chain vendors.
ANN INC.'s decision to join the SAC further underscores the Company's commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. The Company shared its supply chain environmental program with its global vendors, including the use of the SAC's Sustainability Index, known as the Higg Index, to drive environmental responsibility throughout its supply chain with a priority focus on energy and water management.
"At ANN INC. we have a strong commitment to improving the future of the communities where we work and positively impacting future generations. We are pleased that our suppliers share our values and are also focused on driving environmental sustainability throughout their businesses. We are happy to take a leadership position in joining the SAC and believe this demonstrates our commitment to sustainability on a global scale within the women's apparel sector," said Paula Zusi, Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at ANN INC.
"ANN INC.'s addition to the SAC clearly demonstrates the Company's strong leadership position and commitment to sustainability," said Sustainable Apparel Coalition Executive Director Jason Kibbey. "Having ANN INC. join us truly widens the scope of the SAC within the apparel industry."
ANN INC. will leverage its existing supplier capacity building platform known as AT Connect, to provide its suppliers with sustainability best practices. ANN INC.'s collaboration with its suppliers has already shown that energy efficiency provides cost savings potential across suppliers' facilities while driving improved carbon emissions. Additionally, focusing on water will reduce compliance risk and drive water management best practices as well as prepare the supply chain for future constraints in water availability.
"Our focus on energy and water using the SAC's Higg Index will allow us to set benchmarks and improvement goals while working collaboratively with our suppliers to demonstrate real improvements in performance on the ground," said Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. "As a Company, we are committed to sustainability—it is reflected in our values and our client's expectations of us."
To learn more about ANN INC.'s corporate social responsibility efforts, visit ResponsiblyANN.com.
About ANN INC.
ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women's specialty retail fashion brands in North America. The Company operates 981 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada as of October 27, 2012, as well as online at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com. Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).
About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, representing more than one-third of the global apparel and footwear industries, was formed by sustainability leaders and leading environmental and social organizations to address current social and environmental challenges. Recognizing that improved supply chain practices are both a business imperative and an opportunity, the Coalition seeks to lead a shared vision of industry supply chain sustainability through the creation and use of the Higg Index. In measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance through the Higg Index, the Coalition aims to spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.
SOURCE ANN INC.