Helping Environment

Sustainability

Sustainability is important to us because it is ingrained in our values as an organization—to use resources wisely and make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of the USA is proud that girls today are helping lead movements that address environmental and social issues such as climate change. We know that the increase in atmospheric temperature from climate change causes environmental, health, socioeconomic, and economic consequences for people across the globe. The U.N.’s 2015 Paris Agreement established a global framework to limit warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C. Most scientists agree that an increase of 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures would detrimentally affect the global economy, food systems, and life on Earth. These are impacts that will be felt by generations to come, and it is our responsibility as stewards of the environment to do our part now. In many cases, girls are already leading actions!

Therefore, our sustainability initiatives are built on our core values and our mission—supporting our girls in improving their own communities and developing as leaders. We are proud of our environmental badges and journeys that enable our girls to learn about the environment and ways to protect it. We encourage and support local and national projects that focus on sustainability and environmental protection. With many environmental and social problems becoming more pressing and frequent, we look to continuously empower our girls to become the next generation of change-makers.

However, Girl Scouts of the USA also recognizes the importance of reducing our organizational environmental footprint, and we know that true sustainability leaders use frameworks and set concrete goals. Therefore, our Girl Scout Merchandise and National Properties teams came together to align their operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), commonly used by organizations and government entities to frame their own sustainability goals. The SDGs address global challenges to sustainable international development and were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. The 17 goals and 169 targets span across social, economic, and environmental issues. The UN aims to achieve these goals by 2030.

sustainable development goals



The Girl Scouts of the USA Supports the Sustainable Development Goals

Our Girl Scout Merchandise and Properties teams set targets to advance Goals 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production, and 13 – Climate Action over the coming years.

 


affordable and clean energy

Girl Scouts of the USA is working to maximize energy efficiency, and we plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2026 at our Distribution Center, Edith Macy Center, and Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace sites.

 


 

 

decent work and economic growth

By 2021, Girl Scouts of the USA will launch a collection of sustainable and socially responsible product. We intentionally sourced these products from businesses owned by women entrepreneurs or Girl Scout alum, Certified B Corporations®, and companies with high ethical standards. This assortment also includes fair-trade products, made by workers under the safest working conditions, who earned a premium for their labor. As always, Girl Scouts prohibits the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), never sells products made using child labor or forced labor, and requires all partners to certify nondiscriminatory employment practices. We plan to continue sourcing as many products as possible using the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility.

responsible consumption and production

By 2023, Girl Scouts of the USA will reduce plastic and paper waste in the life cycle of merchandise packaging by using 25% (plastic) and 75% (paper) post-consumer recycled materials. We will also encourage cookie consumers to recycle through improved messaging. We are working with our bakers to achieve maximum recyclability for cookie packaging and renewable electricity at their facilities. Moreover, our 2021 sustainable and socially responsible product assortment includes upcycled or carbon-neutral products, products made with recycled materials and organic cotton, and products with Forest Stewardship Council®, OEKO-TEX®, and bluesign® certifications. We increasingly work to offer durable products that supplant the need for single-use plastics.

climate action

By 2024, Girl Scouts of the USA will increase awareness about climate change among its employees, Girl Scout councils, and Girl Scout troops by integrating sustainability across our departments, considering climate impacts in business decision-making, and engaging in conversation with councils and troops.


We regularly reevaluate our sustainability goals to further improve. This process requires a deep understanding of our current practices, gathering baseline data, implementing initiatives and best practices, and ensuring that key metrics are captured. We are proud of the efforts in progress, and we are excited to share these changes. 


To learn more about how our Merchandise and Properties communities are working toward these Sustainable Development Goals, see their sustainability briefings here:

Download Product and Packaging Sustainability Briefing (PDF)
Download Properties Sustainability Briefing (PDF)

Continually inspired by our girls and their concern for the world around them, we are excited to enact positive change in our communities and for our planet.