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Esprit publishes Sustainability Report 2015/16

2016-10-26 Doing business responsibly has been a key component of the corporate culture and an important part of the brand’s identity since the founding of Esprit. This commitment resulted in the first sustainability report for the financial year 2014/15, which is intended to bolster and secure the work of Esprit in this area and make it measurable and transparent. Having reported a positive result for the financial year 2015/16, Esprit is now publishing its second global sustainability report. In spirit of the founding philosophy, Esprit is continuing to expand its activities in the area of sustainability and social compliance, focusing on the three main topics of sustainable materials, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. The company has been able to further advance these important fields of action, among other things, through valuable strategic cooperations with partners such as IndustriALL, Canopy and the Better Cotton Initiative.

Whereas, in the financial year 2014/15 the focus in the area of sustainable materials was on the Tier 1 suppliers, in the financial year 2015/16, the focus has moved to the Tier 2 suppliers and cotton farms. This means that Tier 2 suppliers are now also integrated into the HIGG index and thus their environmental impacts in the value chain can be measured. In February 2016, Esprit also became a Learning Member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which contributes to the promotion of organic cotton production. The likewise new alliance with the non-profit organisation Canopy ensures the sustainable production of viscose, which, besides cotton, is the most important textile fibre at Esprit.

To guarantee social sustainablity, Esprit cooperates with various initiatives and programmes such as the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), Better Work and Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. In addition, in September 2015, Esprit joined the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) programme1 in which the company works with other members to ensure fair living wages in the textile industry.

In order to implement environmental sustainability in the textile industry, Esprit is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC) to completely eliminate hazardous chemicals from the supply chain by 2020.

José Manuel Martínez Gutiérrez commented on the sustainability report as follows: “Given our legacy as a socially responsible company, we are eager to continue to better our operations through the engagement in issues related to sustainability and social responsibility – hereby, we seek to do our part in enabling a more sustainable fashion future. In this spirit, in the last financial year 2015/16 we further expanded our sustainability strategy and systematically advanced the development of significant fields of action. An important part of our sustainability strategy consists of cooperation with initiatives and programmes such as IndustriALL, Canopy and the Better Cotton Initiative. We are convinced that these cooperations are essential to implement our sustainability vision and to make industry-wide improvements possible. We also want to continue along this path in the current financial year.”

Esprit is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). In addition to participating in these initiatives, Esprit also has its own department which examines the risks associated with sustainability and social responsibility and works to implement national and international requirements. This includes, for example, the standards of the International Labour Organization, REACH standards and environmental and animal welfare directives.

The global sustainability report was written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 ‘Core’ Level and will be published in English and German on Esprit’s website. For more information on Esprit's global sustainability report, please visit www.esprit.com/company/sustainability/

For further information:

Esprit Social Compliance
Esprit Sustainability
Esprit Sustainability Report 2016

1 You’ll find further information at http://www.hiil.org/project/act-towards-living-wages-in-global-supply-chain.

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