Aligned with our Statement of Intent for Environment, GFG recognises our day to day operations have an impact on the environment and that we must better understand these impacts and reduce them. Although we have a lot of work ahead of us, GFG has significantly improved the maturity of its environmental management program in recent times.

Our Environment Targets

Target

Progress in 2020

100%

Carbon footprint mapped

100%

100%

Delivery countries using more sustainable order packaging

65%

100%

Waste tracking in fulfilment centres and transit warehouses

75%

50%

Waste recycled in fulfilment centres and transit warehouses

75%

50%

Regions with resale of pre-loved items

25%

100%

Group-wide Science Based Targets set Due to commence 2021

100%

Carbon from own operations and deliveries offset Due to commence 2021

Carbon & Energy

Climate change and emissions reduction is a high priority for GFG. We regularly assess the full Group carbon footprint, inclusive of all operating countries, delivery channels and purchase models, in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. In 2020, GFG accounted for 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which was a 4.3% increase on 2019 however a 14% decrease in our carbon intensity per order. The nature of our business means that the majority of our carbon emissions (98.2%) occurred within our value chain i.e. Scope 3 which are not operations we own or control. Emissions related to energy and refrigerant we consumed within our operations (Scope 1 + 2) contributed 1.8% of total emissions only.

Scope 1 emissions: direct emissions from activities owned or controlled by GFG (e.g. fuel combustion from company vehicles, refrigerants)
Scope 2 emissions: indirect emissions associated with GFG’s consumption of purchased energy (electricity and heating)
Scope 3 emissions: All indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) caused by GFG’s activities but not owned or controlled by us in our value chain, inclusive of our purchased goods (including merchandise) and services, use and end-of-life of sold products

*Percentage on the graph may not total 100% due to rounding.

The biggest driver of our emissions was product manufacturing (68%) which is associated with the development of raw materials and the manufacturing of products that we sell. This is followed by logistics (12%), product usage (10%), energy consumption (1%) and end-of-life treatment of sold products by customers (1%). The remaining 7% includes various emission sources such as purchased services, capital goods, waste, packaging, employee commuting and business travel.

Our carbon mitigation activities are multifaceted and focus on: 

  • Our Products: We seek to reduce carbon emissions associated with the raw materials and manufacturing processes of our products.
  • Our Logistics: We seek to reduce carbon emissions associated with inbound and outbound logistics including returns.
  • Our Operations: We seek to reduce carbon emissions associated with the energy consumption of our facilities.

Collectively they contributed more than 80% of GFG total emissions in 2020 and therefore provide significant opportunity for reduction.

More detail on our 2020 carbon footprint and our carbon mitigation strategy can be found in our 2020 Climate Report. We are also committed to setting Science Based Targets for the Group by the end of 2021.

Climate report 2020

Carbon Neutrality

In addition we are committed to offsetting the emissions associated with our own operations and our customer deliveries. 2020 is GFG’s first year becoming carbon neutral for this proportion of its footprint, offsetting 8.5% of our total carbon footprint. We achieved this through collaboration with South Pole, leading project developer and provider of global climate solutions,  and the purchase of high quality carbon credits from certified climate action projects around the world, resulting in 111,013 tonnes of CO2e verified emission reductions. These carbon credits originated from renewable energy projects located in China, India and Brazil where GFG’s operations and our own-brand suppliers are based. All carbon projects are certified under international offset standards recognised by International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).

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CASE STUDY

Low Emissions Deliveries in Santiago, Sydney & Russia

As an e-commerce retailer, our business model relies on delivering products to our customers via our own fleet or 3rd party logistic partners. It is an integral part of customer …

READ CASE STUDY

Packaging

As an online retailer packaging is an important part of not only our brand identity but also how customers physically interact with us and our environmental impact. Our focus is to either eliminate packaging materials altogether, or if that is not possible due to the role it plays in protecting the product, transition them to be made from a less environmentally impactful material. The packaging components controlled by GFG include what we purchase for use in our warehouses such as postage satchels and boxes for customer deliveries, polybags (clear sleeves used to protect products in warehouses and transit) and packaging used by own-brand suppliers including shipping boxes, shoe boxes, swing tags and polybags.

In ANZ and SEA we use recycled cardboard boxes and plastic made from at least 80% recycled plastic and in Colombia we use compostable packaging, meaning that customers in 65% of our countries receive less environmentally impactful packaging. Our remaining countries will complete the transition to more recycle or compostable packaging during 2021.

Polybags continue to be used across GFG due to the role they play in protecting products from damage both whilst they are in our warehouses and in transit. Given the resources invested in developing the product are greater than the packaging, this is a very important consideration. However we continue to seek opportunities to reduce their associated impact and where these are purchased by GFG and used in our warehouses we have already commenced transition to recycled content. We are also working with own-brand suppliers to support them to adopt recycled content.

We have completed a Group-wide review of the packaging used for our own-brand products during 2020, firstly seeking to identify packaging components that could be eliminated altogether such as shoe sticks. We have begun investigation of alternative sources and materials for the remaining as well as own-brand products’ packaging however it is notable that the supply chain for more sustainable packaging is much less mature in some of our markets.

Waste & Recycling

We understand our role in waste generation as a fashion e-commerce retailer and our responsibility to reduce this impact, despite the lack of strong waste infrastructure in some of our markets. Our commitment to proper waste management goes beyond our own operations to include our customers, and we seek to enable them to responsibly dispose of the packaging we send them even where public infrastructure is absent. Overall 75% GFG’s waste was recycled in 2020 and we are working to a target of 80% for the end of 2021.

We have also completed a study across our markets to assess how feasible it is for customers to recycle the materials we send them. Given the emerging markets focus of GFG, there is relatively immature consumer recycling infrastructure to support responsible disposal of our packaging. In addition, some markets have less concrete national policies, compared to ANZ for example, to drive improvement in the waste management landscape. However where it is possible to recycle our packaging, we are committed to providing customers with information about this on the packaging directly, on our websites or via our social channels.

Circularity & End of Life

The transition of the fashion industry to a circular economy, and keeping the clothes in the system for longer, is an essential driver toward being a less impactful industry. We understand we have a responsibility to manage our direct impact and an opportunity to provide customers with the infrastructure to manage theirs. Our strategy in this respect is to keep clothing in the system by enabling customers to access pre-loved ranges and providing end of life solutions which enable customers to dispose of their items responsibly once they are finished with them.

In SEA a Pre-Loved category was launched, facilitating another life for second-hand products. Focusing initially on the women’s assortment, the category was launched in partnership with one of the top Asia’s luxury marketplace resellers, Style Tribute, in Malaysia and Singapore. In 2020, the Pre-Loved category was expanded into new markets, including Hong-Kong and Taiwan and into new segments including menswear.

In addition, GFG launched two activities to support customers to divert textile waste from landfill during 2020. In ANZ in collaboration with Salvos Stores, the retail arm of The Salvation Army, and Australia Post. ‘Giving Made Easy’ enables customers to download and print a prepaid shipping label from ANZ website and use it on any box or satchel to donate their preloved clothes. In Russia, 13 clothing drop off boxes were installed on behalf of Vtoroe Dykhanie, a charity that supports collection, sorting, recycling and donation of clothing items. Between these two initiatives over 50,000kg of textiles were divested in 2020.

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