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How sustainable is Zara ?

Zara & sustainability


Zara

Reasonable, could be better Click here for score rapport: 8 out of 20

Sustainability summary

Brand owner: Inditex
Head office: A Coruña, Spain
Sector: Retailers
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: Zara, Bags, Pullover, Shirts, Suits, Jackets, Jeans, Dress, Shoes, Boots

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Zara sustainability score report

Last edited: 7 April 2014 by Mario
Last reviewed: 7 April 2014 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 5
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Inditex (brand owner of Zara) has various policy measures to reduce carbon emissions, such as installing sources of renewable energy and building eco-efficient stores (see link). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Inditex (brand owner of Zara) publishes its carbon footprint. However, the 2012 footprint (314599 tonnes COeq) has decreased by only around 6% compared to 2009 (335,226 tonnes COeq) (see link, page 285). Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year, or does the brand use at least 25% green electricity for the shops? Zara is implementing an eco-friendly management model in its shops in order to reduce energy consumption by 20%. However, no concrete information about an energy efficiency lower than 200 kg CO2e per square meter or the use of renewable energy to at least 25% is reported (see link, pages 92-93). Source
4. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Inditex provides a clear target of cutting (2005 as base year) emissions by 20% in 2020. This is however less then 20% within the next 5 years (see link, page 13). Source
5. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? Inditex does not communicate a policy to reduce the carbon emissions in the supply chain that is beyond own operations on its website (see link, page 285 pp.) Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 6
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? In 2012, Zara introduced over 4.2 million articles made with 100% organic cotton onto the market. However, the brand is unclear about the percentage of organic cotton related to total production. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices (see link, page 313). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? Zara has signed the Greenpeace Zero-Discharge Commitment. Companies that signed this document promise to 'eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures that are associated with the making and using of company's products, by 2020'. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? Zara does not openly communicate a policy to limit chromium and other harmful substances pollution caused by leather tanning processes. (see link, page 314). Source
6. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? Zara does not report about having a plan to phase out PVC in their products. Sustainability information should be easily accessible to enable consumers to make more responsible choices. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

6 out of 9
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All standards are mentioned in ‘Inditex code of conduct for external manufacturers and suppliers’. Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Yes, legally-binding employment relationships (see ‘Regular employment’); 2. Yes, maximum workweek of 48 hours, overtime is voluntary (see ‘Working hours are not excessive’); 3. Yes, “wages should always be enough to meet at least the basic needs of workers (...)" (see ‘Wages are paid’). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions (see ‘Respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining. Source
4. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective health and safety policy for the workers in the finishing process of jeans, at least covering the ban on sandblasting? Inditex has not publicly issued that sandblasting is banned from the brand's supply chains in its current reporting. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Neither Zara nor Inditex communicates a list of factories on its website. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? Inditex is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since 2005. Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? Inditex is a full member of ETI which means that Labour Unions and/or business-independent NGO’s have a formal and co-decisive voice within the initiative and are co-responsible for the integrity and credibility of the initiative. Source
8. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Inditex provides a clear report of their labour conditions policy and implementation levels (see link, pages 63 - 73). Source
9. Has the brand’s labor conditions policy resulted in a ‘compliance level’ of at least 30% of the purchase volume, or a ‘monitored level' of at least 80%? In 2012, internal, SA8000 accredited auditors have conducted 3,513 audits for Inditex. Thereby, 37% of all achieved supplier achieved Inditex´s high classification: low risk. However, nothing is reported whether these audits have been verified or certified by an independent third party ( (see link, pages 69 - 70). Source