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Energy & Emissions
Contributing to a Better Future for Children & Our Communities
We pursue a multi-pronged approach to our climate and environmental strategy in order to contribute to a better future for current and future generations and to meet stakeholder expectations. We have set ambitious, quantitative goals as we continue our journey to protect the planet and be a more environmentally sustainable brand.
We set an emissions reduction goal, verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Carter’s also commits that 77% of our purchased goods and services vendors by spend will have set their own science-based emissions reduction targets by 2027.
To aid in accurate tracking against our goal, we prioritize gathering primary GHG data from our operations and supply chain and obtaining third-party, limited assurance for our performance disclosures on Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, water usage, and waste volumes.
  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from the stationary and mobile combustion of fuels and refrigerant fugitive emissions from stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices controlled by Carter's
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity usage in stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices controlled by Carter's
  • Scope 3: Indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, fuel and energy-related activities, upstream transportation, processing of waste (landfill waste, recycling, and wastewater), business travel, employee commuting, and end-of-life treatment of sold products

Total Emissions

Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2019 baseline and achieve Net Zero in our direct operations by 2040
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STATUS: In progress
26% reduction of Scopes 1 and 2 since 2019
Require 77% of our suppliers by spend to have science-based targets by 2027
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STATUS: In progress
43% of suppliers by spend and 27% by number have set science-based targets12
Divert 80% of operational waste from landfill by 2025
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STATUS: In Progress
67% of waste diverted from landfill
Achieve 50% reduction in virgin plastic packaging by 2030
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STATUS: In progress
31% increase in recycled content plastic since 2022
Reduce water usage in the manufacturing and washing of our products
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STATUS: In progress
62% reduction since 2019 in number of styles requiring additional wash during manufacturing
12 We surveyed 100% of our Tier I suppliers and received a 90% response rate. Those who did not respond were considered to have no targets.
In progress

Reducing Scopes 1 & 2 Emissions

To achieve our emissions reduction goal, we are continuing to make improvements across our retail stores, distribution centers, and offices, including:
  • Evaluating tech and energy management investments
  • Purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs)
  • Making procedural changes in retail stores
In 2023, our Scope 1 and 2 emissions decreased by 26% from a 2019 baseline. However, they increased by 3% from 2022. We believe this increase in emissions could be attributed to the net increase of 38 new store openings in 2023.

Historical and Expected Scope 1 and 2 GHG Emissions Through 2030

Energy-Related Investments

In 2023, we evaluated and selected a potential provider for energy management systems that we expect to create consistency and increase efficiency across our stores, as well as increase real-time data availability. We will roll out these systems taking a phased approach and will plan to provide updates in the future. While we anticipate these technologies will result in energy reductions, we also expect that renewable energy credits will be needed to meet the remainder of our goal.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

We view RECs as a complementary measure to cover any remaining emissions after we implement our direct reduction methods. In 2023, we purchased 14,000 RECs from wind power in North America, which earned us a spot on EPA’s Green Power Partnership as a top 30 retail company. This has been applied to our 2022 emissions inventory in this report. For our 2023 GHG inventory, we purchased 10,000 verified credits, to be applied to our 2023 emissions.

Green Buildings

We prioritize green buildings for our corporate offices. Several of our office buildings have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, the most widely used green building rating system globally. This certification, issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, is recognized around the world as a symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.
  • Headquarters, Atlanta: LEED Gold Certified
  • Sourcing Office, Hong Kong: LEED Gold Certified
  • Sourcing Office, Vietnam: LEED Silver Certified

Addressing Scope 3 Emissions

Scope 3 emissions represent the majority of our total GHG emissions. Therefore, we are continuing to explore pathways to reduce emissions from materials purchasing and logistics. In order to do so, we must first continue to gather data from various sources within our supply chain. As part of data collection, our suppliers are asked to indicate whether they have set science-based targets of their own. Carter’s commits that 77% of our purchased goods and services vendors by spend will have set their own science-based emissions reduction targets by 2027. In 2023, 43% of total vendors by spend have set science-based targets, and 27% of total vendors by number have set science-based targets.

2023 Scope 3 Emissions (metric tons CO2e)

Our Suppliers

To provide an accurate understanding of our Scope 3 emissions, we collect primary data from our logistics providers and facilities of our Tier I suppliers. The majority of our Scope 3 GHG emissions in 2023 came from our Tier 1 suppliers and logistics providers.
We gather information from our logistics providers, including their measurement capabilities and opportunities to reduce transportation- and distribution-related emissions, to calculate our transportation-related emissions. This data informs transportation purchasing decisions and enables us to reduce our impacts. We continue leveraging our use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) to better manage our inventory. RFID increases our monitoring of the real-time locations of our products allowing us to deliver them to consumers more efficiently.
We also use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM), a database of supplier impact data, and direct engagement to better understand the environmental practices and impacts of our apparel and accessory suppliers. Our data requests for Tier 1 suppliers include asking if they have
In 2023, we developed a framework to help us identify strategic partners in our supply chain using vendor performance and capability assessments. This work will guide our decision-making during future supplier selection and production allocation. One measurement of a strong supplier is their ESG work and, as such, we have developed criteria in our framework that accounts for a supplier’s environmental initiatives, worker empowerment programs, and public disclosure, among other topics.

Jay Jay Mills

One of our strategic vendors is Jay Jay Mills, located in India. Their mission is to clothe children for a sustainable future.

They utilize 55% renewable energy in their operations in order to manage energy consumption, mitigate emissions, and save costs.

Other initiatives like harvesting rainwater and recycling also contribute to their goal to reduce their environmental footprint for themselves and for customers like Carter’s.