We know that corporate responsibility, including environmental sustainability, is increasingly important to both current and prospective Associates, and we believe that the more we collaborate across the organization, the better our program will be. At TJX, our Associates are encouraged to consider how to make operational decisions that minimize environmental impacts, and we communicate this in our Associate Code of Conduct.
As we consider options for setting our third greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target, we are engaging with cross-functional subject matter experts to identify and measure emissions impacts to our business. This process requires participation from Associates across our Store Operations, Facilities, Procurement, IT, Construction, and Energy Management groups and should result in a better understanding of which initiatives could potentially affect future energy use and reduce our GHG emissions.
In addition, we have global energy teams, global waste management teams, and other teams that convene several times a year to share best practices and collaborate on opportunities for efficiency gains and operational cost savings. We plan to continue to foster these global, cross-functional initiatives to better address environmental sustainability risks and create efficiency opportunities for our business.
We use our intranet, The Thread, to communicate with Associates about our environmental sustainability initiatives, whether they are global corporate efforts or more regional success stories. In the U.S., we have hosted events at our home offices in which local vendors and TJX experts educate Associates on the Company’s environmental sustainability initiatives, as well as with regard to what they personally could do to help the environment. In Europe, our internal communications channels share environmental achievements regularly.
In Canada, our regional Go Green Committee has a strong commitment and robust strategy around Associate engagement on environmental sustainability topics. Each year, the team produces events and educational materials that help demonstrate how Associates can incorporate sustainable values into their lives. It also manages the "Turn Over a New Leaf" program, which encourages Associates to take sustainable actions in the workplace or at home. In the last five years, "Turn Over a New Leaf" has netted over 81,000 pledges from Associates to implement environmentally friendly practices. In 2017, Associates focused their pledges on reducing their diet-related environmental impacts by increasing their consumption of plant-based foods.
Associates also volunteered their time on various local conservation projects in the year, including a park clean up, planting a pollinator garden at our headquarters, adopting a bee hive, and creating a beautiful patio vegetable and herb garden. Other key successes in the year included the introduction of an onsite, eco-friendly dry cleaner; swap and reuse events for formal wear, back to school supplies, and Halloween costumes; and our annual EcoFest.
EcoFest is TJX Canada’s annual sustainable celebration that features special guests, eco-friendly vendors, and food offerings. At the 2017 EcoFest celebration – our 8th annual – over 800 Associates joined in the fun, enjoying samples of eco-friendly products from more than 30 vendors. To continue inspiring Associates year round, we also host EcoFest pop-up shops that feature eco-friendly vendors that Associates can shop and learn from.