Principally GFG is committed to reducing the impact of our own operations by understanding all of the most significant impacts of our and implementing programs which progressively reduce that impact.
We are also committed to pursuing initiatives that promote circularity of clothing, such as post-consumer textile recycling. Our work in this area is guided by our Environmental Statement of Intent.
The packaging we buy, or which is sent to us by suppliers and sent on to customers is a key opportunity to reduce our environmental impact. This includes the adoption of more sustainable materials and reducing the amount used, while balancing the need to protect our products and the environmental investment involved in making them. In our private label brands particularly, we can influence decision making to eliminate unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging. In the packaging we procure directly, such as postage satchels, we are transitioning away from virgin plastics and adopting recycled and bio-based alternatives are already in use in our Chilean and Colombian operations. Other countries will move to packaging made of more sustainable materials during 2020.
Our key waste impacts are generated in our warehouses through the product sent to us by suppliers and through the packaging we in turn send to customers. Waste generated is predominantly soft plastic and cardboard but comprehensive recycling infrastructure in our 17 operating markets is not always straightforward. Our first step therefore is to complete mapping of all waste streams across the Group, identify the landfill diversion opportunities which deliver the greatest recycling return, and to continuously tackle additional streams.
We are also committed to supporting customers to recycle the packaging we send them, both through improving on-pack communications about recyclability and promoting recycling services where home pick up services are not available (as THE ICONIC has done in Australia via REDcycle)
As an online fashion retailer, we recognise the carbon impacts of our business are significant and that it is imperative we become more carbon efficient. We have learned through the work we have done in this area to date, that the impacts of our direct operations – Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) – are a relatively small part of our footprint as our warehouses are not energy intensive operations. As such, we acknowledge our attention will need to be on that of our supply chain – Scope 3 (value chain) both in terms of logistics and deliveries and in terms of the carbon impacts of the products we sell. In the first instance we need to conduct a comprehensive carbon footprint baseline covering all our markets. This in turn will inform our carbon reduction plans and provide the foundation for setting Science Based Targets across the Group.
Our intent is to ensure that no products we sell end their life in landfill where they cause long-term negative environmental impacts. We do receive product back from customers which is damaged and cannot be sold. Where this product can be repaired, cleaned and/or provided to charities who can distribute it to people in need, we are taking these opportunities. However, we do need to map our textile waste impacts more comprehensively and identify opportunities to improve recovery.
We also have an opportunity to influence customer behavior when they are finished with an item and are actively pursuing both take back and resale opportunities. THE ICONIC’s Giving Made Easy initiative is an innovative model that enables customers to download a pre-paid postage label and send their pre-loved clothing directly to charity. In GFG’s first resale functionality, ZALORA has enabled customers to purchase luxury secondhand clothing, bags, shoes and accessories, contributing to extension of the products lifespan.
We will track and progressively reduce our waste to landfill and support customers to do the same. We will set Science Based Targets for carbon reduction and pivot our business operations to meet the needs of a 1.5 degree future, including adopting green energy sources. The majority of our packaging will be made of more sustainable materials and we will assess and reduce the volume and impact of our private label packaging. We will map out our textile waste impacts, improve recovery and enable resale of pre-loved items.
of waste from our warehouses comprehensively tracked and at least 50% of waste recycled
of carbon mapped and Science Based Targets set for the entire group
of delivery countries using order satchels made from more sustainable materials
of regions enabling resale of pre-loved items