Protecting the Environment
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is committed to protecting the environment and taking collective action. It strives to make meaningful progress to protect our planet by partnering with organizations focused on local community needs, including safe water, adequate sanitation and proper hygiene solutions and sustainable cotton development.
Water Accessibility & Sustainability
DigDeep is a human rights nonprofit working to ensure that every person living in the U.S. has clean, running water and proper sanitation. DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project is a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines on the Navajo Nation. In 2020, the Foundation made a three-year commitment to support the implementation of DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, which serves hundreds of Navajo families each year. The Foundation’s commitment directly funded 33 Home Water Systems from 2020-2022.
In 2022, supported by commitments like the one made by the Foundation, the Navajo Water Project expanded to serve more communities, bringing Home Water Systems to 200 additional homes and delivering more than one million gallons of water to people across the Navajo Nation.
Water Accessibility & Sustainability
In 2022, The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation launched a year-long partnership with the international nonprofit WaterAid, empowering women in the town of Budhni, India, to make sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) a reality.
The project will directly reach 21 villages in Budhni, where there is a high volume of apparel factory workers and their families.
In 2022, the Foundation’s grant funded:
- Establishing local water governance committees in 21 villages
- Providing 750 marginalized families with piped water connection at home
- Repairing water and toilet infrastructure in five schools, directly benefiting 733 students
- Reaching 1,874 people with WASH services and hygiene education
WaterAid’s new program in Budhni, India, is a key step toward reaching its goal of universal clean water access, impacting the lives of 25,000 people in homes, schools, healthcare centers and local communities with clean water systems, hygiene and menstrual hygiene education. It will also deliver essential water, sanitation and hygiene services in factories in coordination with current Ralph Lauren Corporate partner, HERproject™.
Soil & Cotton Health
U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund
In 2021, The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation partnered with the Soil Health Institute to launch the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund (USRCF), a farmer-facing initiative that will support long-term, sustainable cotton production in the United States, with the goal of eliminating one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere by 2026. The Foundation’s founding contribution to USRCF has primarily supported work in four states – Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia.
The USRCF works toward this goal by empowering growers and their trusted advisors with the education, tools, information and networks they need to successfully adopt regenerative soil health systems. The USRCF is focused on five key initiatives:
- Standardizing soil measurement and goal setting through the development of soil health targets
- Establishing the business case through analysis of soil health economics
- Farmer education and empowerment through soil health training
- Building the regenerative movement through impact assessment and communication
- Creating a resilient future through diversity, equity and inclusion programs
In 2022, SHI hosted five aspiring young soil scientists from four Historically Black Colleges and Universities as part of the USRCF Internship Program. Participants engaged in soil sampling, impact assessment and professional development in soil science. After USRCF’s first year of research, SHI data from five farms showed that by employing innovation in agriculture and regenerative cotton cultivation, farmers gained an average of $100 an acre with these more sustainable practices. This past year, other leading industry and philanthropic peers have joined USRCF in support of the goal to reach nine states representing 85% of U.S. cotton production.
Learn more about the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund.