Waste occurs in various parts of our business operations. To reduce it to a minimum we started to improve our processes and habits.
In FY 15/16 we also started using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved hangtags. The FSC is a global non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forest management. Previously, Esprit had already sourced hangtags made with FSC-certified paper, but to work towards more transparency and an improved consumer and partner communication of our sustainability efforts, we decided to print the FSC logo on our price hangtags for our Casual, Collection, Trend, EDC, Accessories and Shoes collections from August 2016 onwards.
PAPER SHOPPING BAGS
In FY 14/15 Esprit started to switch from plastic to paper bags. The reason for this switch is that plastic decomposes slowly in landfills, and much of it, including shopping bags, eventually ends up in the ocean. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that more than 13,000 pieces of plastic litter float on every square kilometer of the ocean’s surface. Plastics decompose very slowly and incompletely under the influence of salt water and sun, and release toxins that are harmful to ocean life. By switching to recycled paper bags we are able to save only in the European market more than 17 million plastic bags per year.
Transport & Packaging
We recognize that our e-commerce business involves an additional environmental impact related to waste. A few simple changes have been made to improve processes and lower waste. With six different package sizes, we strive to ensure that our parcels are optimally filled to minimize the amount of air being shipped. In addition, we have reduced packaging material to a minimum. For instance, we do not wrap our goods in tissue and we do not use envelopes for our invoices.
We changed our processes in our Distribution Center Europe in Mönchengladbach, Germany, to reduce the amount of waste. We have started to switch cardboard boxes, that are used to send our products to the retail stores and our wholesale customers, to reusable boxes made of robust plastic that does not break, even after multiple uses. By using 75,000 reusable boxes we are able to save more than 520,000 cardboard boxes every year.