Esprit operates local offices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Warehouses in Europe and the APAC region support direct sales in those areas as well. All of these operations influence our company’s carbon footprint.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Target: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % by 2021
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
Esprit’s total carbon footprint in FY 17/18
We first published data on our company’s carbon footprint for FY 14/15, which focused on our German operations and the inbound transportation of our goods. This year, we were able to widen the reporting scope, which now includes our operations and logistics in Europe and the APAC region.
*Out of scope 1,16 t CO2e due to bio-fuel
**Esprit participants in the ‘DB Umwelt Plus’ program of Deutsche Bahn
Scope 1 covers all emissions related to fuel combustion, such as gas combustion for heating or fuel combustion in a car.
Scope 2 is the applicable scope for emissions related to purchased electricity.
Scope 3 is for all emissions generated by logistics processes, and business travel.
We have established a detailed carbon footprint case study of which we have highlighted the main findings and our targets in the three scopes in the following chapters.
Incoming Goods Shipments
Esprit products are mainly made in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region, and sold all over the world, so our goods often travel quite a long way before reaching the hands of our customers.
The main modes of transport we use to move our garments from the factories to our distribution centers are sea, truck, air, rail, and combined sea/air.
Overview incoming goods shipment modes
Shipment mode changes in percentage points compared to FY 16/17.
We are aware that each shipment mode has different risks, benefits and impacts on the environment.
- Air and truck shipments are associated with high CO2 emissions, and only small volumes can be transported at a time; we opt for air shipments only as a last resort.
- Sea shipments, while also linked to air pollution and noise pollution—both of which impact sea life—have the benefit of being very efficient in comparison to other modes of transport since very large quantities can be moved.
- Train, which is the most environmentally-friendly shipment mode, is our preferred method of shipment and we aim to increase the use of trains in the future. This option has the lowest amount of emissions and the smallest carbon footprint. We are able to use trains to transport a portion of our goods that are produced in China.
We carefully select the best transportation option that will meet our business needs, and also live up to our environmental commitments. Regardless of the mode selected, we aim to reduce the carbon footprint by making sure cartons and containers are full, space is efficiently used, and orders are combined where possible. In addition, a considerable number of our logistic providers has own CO2 offset programs in place and we are expecting more improvements in the coming years due to new innovative transport vehicles.
Target: Increase train shipments to 5% by July 2021
Baseline FY17/18: 4,1% train shipments
Target: Reduce air shipments to 5 % by July 2021
Baseline FY 17/18: 8,3% air shipments
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
Carbon-neutral or reduced shipping methods
Target: 90% carbon-neutral or reduced shipping methods for products sold through our European E-shops by 2021
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
We have been working hard to reduce the impact of shipping online purchases to our customers.In 2017, we were able to neutralize more than 3,588 tons of CO2e through more sustainable shipping.
We set an even more ambitious target for 2018: Our original goal was that 90% of our European e-commerce shipments would be carbon-neutral or shipped via reduced-emissions programs by the end of June 2018. We developed more sustainable shipping programs with our carriers, and we are proud of making progress toward achieving this goal. While we fell just short of the 90% target, by the end of FY17/18, around 80% of our European e-shop orders were shipped in a carbon-neutral way or through reduced emissions programs.
Working toward this target has taught us that the transition to more sustainable shipment programs takes more time than expected, and in some countries these programs simply are not available yet. We are still aiming for target of shipping 90% of European e-commerce through carbon-neutral or reduced-emissions modes of transport; based on the information learned so far, our revised target date is July 2021.
After our products have arrived in our distribution centers, they have to be further shipped to our retail stores and wholesale partners. These shipments are called outbound shipments. In FY17/18, we had a total of 481,19 t CO₂e in our outbound shipments. This reflects around 1% of our tracked emissions.
Overview of outbound shipments
We first began tracking and publishing data on the carbon footprint of our headquarters operations in 2014, and we are now able to include information about the carbon footprint of our offices in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Environmental building efficiency
We have established a taskforce at our headquarters that is charged with monitoring the environmental impact of our day to day operations. Our gas, water, and electricity use is measured every 2 weeks, and we have put automatic monitoring and control systems in place for heating, ventilation, window shade, and air conditioning systems. Settings must be adjusted centrally, and timers are used to turn of lights after regular hours.
We have reduced the carbon footprint of our headquarters by 56 % in FY17/18, mainly because the energy mix which we contracted with our service provider now includes 45,3 % of carbon neutral energy.
Reduction carbon footprint in our headquarters (CO2e in t)
We are proud that our HQ building and our own outlet in Ratingen (Germany) both have green roofs, and we are exploring opportunities to use our roofs for solar power generation.
Energy efficiency audits
One way we monitor the environmental performance of the buildings we operate is through energy efficiency audits, which are conducted according to DIN 16247-1, an accredited set of energy efficiency standards. Nineteen of the buildings we use in Germany have been through this process so far, with the most recent audit taking place in 2015. Our German warehouse is certified according to the BREEAM standard, which evaluates and scores parameters such as energy and water use, health and well-being, pollution, transport, materials, waste, land use and ecology, management and innovation. We have reached a score of 64 % (out of 100%), with some areas identified for further improvements.
Business travel & employee commuting
For business travel, our teams aim to use trains operated by Deutsche Bahn AG. These trains use renewable energy and are carbon-neutral. Business air travel is also closely monitored so that emissions can be tracked. We aim to reduce air travel as much as possible.
Esprit has a fleet of cars available in Ratingen, Germany for local business travel. We track all emissions associated with these vehicles, and we continually renew the fleet to use vehicles with low emissions. While the actual number of kilometers driven has increased by 9% compared to the previous FY, we had a 2% reduction in CO.e emissions due to the improved efficiency of our new vehicles.
Carbon footprint of Esprit car fleet per km driven
Carbon footprint generated by business flights
We track distances and modes of transport used by our colleagues to travel to work every day. Overall, nearly 40% of our employees have a carbon-neutral commute.
In order to raise awareness of climate issues, 31 of Esprit’s employees & friends in Germany participated in the 2018 “City Cycling” Campaign, developed by “Climate Alliance,” a European network of cities, towns and districts. Local teams cycle as many kilometers as possible during 21 consecutive days to raise awareness for climate protection. During the 3 weeks of the campaign, the Esprit team cycled nearly 6,000 kilometers and saved 840 kg of CO2.
We continually look for opportunities to expand the environmental awareness at Esprit, and build a conscientious culture. We are also working on an individual level to create a culture of energy efficiency, encouraging our staff shut down computers, turn off monitors and printers, and contribute to our overall energy efficiency goals however they can.
We have one of the most sustainable canteens throughout Europe. In March 2018, Esprit has been awarded with the INTERNORGA Future Award 2018 in the category “Trendsetter Company”. The INTERNORGA is of one of Europe’s greatest trade shows for foodservice and hospitality. The award acknowledges the clear and straight-forward communication on sustainability at Esprit's canteen.
Our canteen strives for transparency, sharing not only what kind of food is served but how it gets to the plate. It also features an open kitchen. Regional and organic food is highlighted on the menu, with around 60% of the food meeting organic standards. Additionally, the canteen takes into consideration things such as animal welfare, fairtrade practices, and seasonal availability of foods when planning menus. While vegetarian options are always available, our monthly Veggie Day with meat-free meals is both well established and popular. When it comes to waste, plastic packaging is avoided, and glass bottles are promoted.
To support our commitment to tackle the carbon footprint in our supply chain and our operations, in December 2018, we became founding member of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland. Together with other brands and suppliers we pledge to limit our greenhouse gas emissions and support the world reaching climate neutrality by 2050.
In line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Charter defines issues that will be addressed by the signatories, ranging from decarbonization of the production phase, selection of climate friendly and sustainable materials, low-carbon transport, improved consumer dialogue and awareness, working with the financing community and policymakers to catalyze scalable solutions, and exploring circular business models.