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 23 % by 2021
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
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 19/20.
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.
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 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.
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.