Because of the global nature of our business, one area we need to consider carefully when working toward greater sustainability is transportation.
One topic we need to consider carefully when working toward greater sustainability is transportation. The main modes of transport we use to move our garments from the factories to our distribution centers are sea, air, combined se/air, truck and rail.
Each shipment mode has different risks, benefits and impacts on the environment. We aim to avoid air shipments other than as a last resort because this is linked to greater emissions and comparatively small volumes can be moved at one time. For our products that are produced in Europe, we are able to use trucks and for some products produced in China, we use rail shipment, which is the most environmental-friendly shipment mode. We plan to increase the amount of goods shipped by train in the future.
Smarter packaging and transportation are even more important in our e-commerce business, where six different package sizes and shipments to thousands of individual home addresses make operating responsibly a complex matter. All of the boxes and envelopes that Esprit uses are made of recycled cardboard or paper. Whenever possible, we try to use envelopes, which are smaller and compactable, as well as easier for our customers to carry. To reduce the impact our shipments, we set an ambitious target: 90% of our European e-commerce shipments will be carbon-neutral or shipped via reduced emissions programs by the end of June 2018. To achieve this goal, we focus on developing more sustainable shipping programs with our carriers. In 2016, we were able to neutralize more than 1,646 t CO2e due to more sustainable shipping.