Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five categories: apparel, accessories, home, fragrances, and hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren’s reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company’s brand names, which include Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, Chaps, and Club Monaco, among others, constitute one of the world’s most widely recognized families of consumer brands.
The Manager, Product Sustainability, will focus on environmental sustainability though the lens of materials and product. This will include supporting the implementation of Ralph Lauren’s strategy around designing more sustainable and circular products, shifting to more sustainable key raw materials, increasing transparency and traceability of raw materials and supporting the environmental impact review of new product technologies and innovations.
The Manager will collaborate closely with key internal partners (Product Innovation, Design, Product Development, Raw Materials and Marketing) and external stakeholders, including the Textile Exchange, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).
The Manager, Product Sustainability will report to the VP of Sustainability. Direct experience in product sustainability and supply chain is strongly preferred.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
- Partner with key business units/leaders to drive the implementation of Ralph Lauren’’s product and materials sustainability initiatives, including the achievement of our goals to source sustainable key raw materials.
- Engage with strategic multi-stakeholder initiatives and promote the adoption of industry tools
- Review, analyze and provide strategic recommendations related to improving adoption of environmentally preferred materials
- Evaluate new standards and certification schemes for adoption and lead engagement with standard setting bodies and organizations
- Collaborate with business divisions, and suppliers to validate and substantiate seasonal on-product environmental benefit marketing claims across all material types
- Provide subject matter expertise and content for training materials to educate internal teams (including designers, supply chain, licensees, etc.) around sustainability claim verification and marketing
- Help prepare for internal forums and trainings to share insights, case studies, best practices and resources/expertise.
- Communicate effectively to build the business case for product specific sustainability initiatives with internal and external parties.
- Track and analyze key product and materials sustainability issues including micro and nano fibers generated by the apparel industry, leather supply chain traceability verification, regenerative agriculture and sourcing strategies that protect and preserve biodiversity.
- Support Ralph Lauren’s effort to drive traceability across its key raw materials.
- Conduct ongoing research and data analysis to support and expand (over time) Ralph Lauren’s product and material sustainability goals.
Experience, Skills & Knowledge
- 4-6 years’ experience in sustainability field. Apparel industry, raw material, supply chain or product sustainability experience preferred
- Demonstrated ability managing product environmental or corporate responsibility-related programs in the supply chain; Knowledge of the apparel industry, consumer goods industry, product development or supply chain preferred
- Experience with product life cycle assessment tools and the application of life cycle analysis to business decision-making
- Knowledge of and experience working with product sustainability standards and certifications including GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and BCI.
- Advanced MS Excel skills that can be used to combine and analyze data from various sources, and generate reports and graphics to help drive decision-making
- Previous engagement with the Textile Exchange, BCI, SAC, or comparable industry working groups and knowledge or prior experience with SAC’s Materials Sustainability index or similar tools, a plus
- Proven ability to thrive in a fast-paced, collaborative and team-oriented environment
- Strong problem-solving abilities with a solutions oriented mindset
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Proven ability to work creatively and analytically to deliver results
- Ability to build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholder