Guest article by Zalando
In its Sustainability Progress Report 2021, Zalando highlights the progress made in its journey towards becoming a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact on society and the environment, as a part of its sustainability strategy, do.MORE.
In its path towards sustainability, Zalando outlines some key metrics for its three priorities: Planet, Product and People.
Zalando has committed to reducing its carbon footprint and streamlining its waste management, pursuing the objective of decoupling its environmental footprint from its growth. Zalando’s objectives include diminishing, by 2025, its direct greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, and indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity for its offices and warehouses by 80% compared to 2017. The 2021 Report shows that both direct and indirect emissions were reduced by 64% last year against a 2017 baseline, whereas electricity used across Zalando’s own operations was 100% renewable.
Moreover, Zalando has committed to designing new packaging to minimise waste and keep materials in use, specifically eliminating single-use plastics by 2023, and has already managed to ensure that of the 68,000 tonnes of packaging materials used, 89% stemmed from recycled input and 99% was recyclable.
A key aspect of Zalando’s sustainability strategy resides in ensuring access to more sustainable products and allowing for more sustainable choices.
To help customers make more these sustainable choices when browsing in the fashion store, Zalando flags items with more sustainable materials, processes or certificates like GOTS with a sustainability flag. More information on defining sustainable fashion can be found here.
Zalando has committed to generating 25% of their Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) with more sustainable products by 2023. In 2021, the German platform grew its assortment meeting sustainability criteria to more than 140,000 products, in comparison with around 80,000 a year earlier. Moreover, this push towards more sustainable products seems to be picked up by Zalando’s customers. Last year, almost 60% of the active users of the platform bought at least one product carrying the sustainability flag, compared with 50% in 2020.
The marketplace is also investing in new models encouraging consumers to extend the life of their products, with new collaborations to facilitate care and repair.
For more information on Zalando’s progress towards its sustainability objectives, you can read the full report here.