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
More than 2.2 million Americans don’t have access to running water or basic plumbing. In 2020, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation made a three-year commitment to DigDeep, a nonprofit helping to close the gap in water accessibility to help ensure that every American has access to clean, running water.
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s donation supports DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project to bring clean, running water to Navajo families in remote areas across New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. To date, the donation has helped fund the installation of home water systems, off-grid water solutions and solar power panels.
Since its founding, DigDeep has installed over 300 Home Water Systems, ensuring more families have access to running water in their own homes. When the pandemic made it difficult to conduct in-home installations, DigDeep pivoted and created a 'Suitcase' Home Water System for contactless installation just outside family homes. These 100 systems are currently being converted and moved inside for in-home water access. DigDeep is expanding its Navajo Water Project to serve even more families. In 2022, it will also install new Home Water Systems in more than 200 residences to provide more families with running water. This expansion accompanies assistance for first-time piped-water connections for up to 50 homes and piloting sanitation solutions in several homes on 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.
Budhni is a small town with significant WASH needs that is more difficult to reach compared to industrial hubs where the situation is less acute.
This commitment builds on the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s goal to address critical community needs and empower vulnerable populations. It supports WaterAid’s mission to help people in the world’s most vulnerable communities transform their lives through access to clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene. WaterAid works in more than 30 countries, building resilience for millions against the threat of water insecurity.
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.
Supported by a $5 million grant from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, the USRCF will empower cotton farmers to adopt regenerative practices, like cover cropping and no till, in a way that benefits their operation. Regenerative agricultural practices can address issues important to both consumers and the environment, such as climate change, water quality, and pollinator habitat. The program will also help to ensure farmers can generate long-term value for their operations including increased profitability.
Additionally, the USRCF will engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), specifically those with agricultural programs, to develop increased access to career paths in decision-making positions in U.S. agriculture and establish mentoring programs to help prepare the next generation of scientists and leaders in agriculture.
Learn more about the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund.