Levi's Harmit Singh on making the CEO a sustainability ally

"It's not only important what we make, but how we make it," said Harmit Singh, chief financial officer of Levi Strauss & Co. "It is the cornerstone of our sustainability strategy."

Sustainability began as a risk mitigation strategy for Levi Strauss & Co., but has evolved to become "a part of our core fabric of our values," said Singh — "no pun intended."

Now, through the company's "Waterless" initiative, products are 96 percent less water-intensive, which differentiates the brand name. Financial literacy and health education for workers also have become a priority. 

In order to push the needle further, Singh discussed how to engage the executive team about how sustainability unlocks value for stakeholders.

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