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How sustainable is Zara ?

Zara & sustainability


Zara

First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 12 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Based on our sustainability criteria, Zara has achieved the D-label. According to us, Zara has started to take sustainability into account, by implementing measures to reduce carbon emissions, using preferable raw materials such as organic cotton for at least some of its garments, by signing the Detox Commitment to eliminate hazardous chemicals, or by collaborating with several organisation, such as Ethical Trading Initiative, to improve the labor conditions in its supply chain. Still, a lot more can be done.

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

What's your sustainability news about Zara?

Zara sustainability score report

Last edited: 28 January 2015 by Mario
Last reviewed: 28 January 2015 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 7
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Inditex (brand owner of Zara) implements several policy measures to reduce ghg emissions, such as energy efficiency measures or the use of green energy (see link, starting at p.79-81 & 142-147). 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's total climate footprint of own operations increased from 747,411 tons of CO2e in 2012 to 802,440 tons of CO2e in 2013. This represents an increase of around 7,3% (see link, p.146). Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year? Zara implements measures to make its stores eco-efficient and aims, that by 2020 all stores will be 100% eco-efficient. For 2013 the greenhouse gas emissions were at around 96,7 CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor (see link, p.81, 145, 146 & 221). Source
4. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Inditex reports on the use of green energy for its own operations, but is neither clear about the total percentage share nor about the sources of supply (see link, p.144). Source
5. Does 100% of the electricity that the brand (company) uses for its ‘own operations’ come from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
6. 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) ghg emissions by 20% in 2020. This is less than 20% within the next 5 years (see link, p.161). Source
7. 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 aims to promote a rational and efficient use of energy throughout the value chain by reducing ghg emissions and helping to mitigate their effects. However, Inditex does not yet provide tangible results on reducing ghg emissions in its supply chain beyond own operations (see link, starting on p.79). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

3 out of 15
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? In 2013, Inditex placed more than 3.5 million 100% certified ecological cotton garments on the market. However, Inditex does not communicate tangible information with regard to the total use of preferred raw materials such as organic cotton or recycled polyester (see link, p.86 & 87). 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. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. 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
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? As of 2014 Zara has prohibited the use of PFC (perfluorocarbon) in the manufacture of its products (see link,p.76). Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Zara does not report whether at least 3 out of 11 suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or BFRs can be considered as fully phased-out in the global supply chain already. Source
10. 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 reports a policy to limit the use of chromium III / VI in its RSL, but does not provide tangible information on the performance to avoid environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes. Source
11. 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. Source
12. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? Zara does not openly communicate a policy to reduce solvent based chemicals in their clothing production. Source
13. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Inditex implements several policy measures to minimize the environmental impact of its packaging, such as requiring that all paper bags and labels used have the PEFC or FSC certification. However, tangible aggregate results reg. its packaging materials footprint are not made public (see link, p.86 & 151). Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Inditex implements measures related to its waste production, such as recycling (security tags, paper), composting / processing (wood, plastics) or managing it in an environmentally-friendly way. Furthermore, Inditex reports aggregate results reg. its waste produced in weights (excluding waste generated in stores) (see link, p.148-151). Source
15. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Inditex does not report, whether the return or re-use of garments by its customers is stimulated (see link, p.87). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

7 out of 14
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; 2. Yes, maximum workweek of 48 hours, overtime is voluntary; 3. Yes, “wages should always be enough to meet at least the basic needs of workers (...)". 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 publicly announced a ban on sandblasting (see link, p.56). 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. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the direct supplying production facilities for improved labour practices? Inditex participates in the Joint Turkey Programme, a programme that seeks to improve productivity and management systems by involving workers and their representatives. However, tangible outcomes of improved labour conditions due to improved labour practices aren't reported yet (see link, starting on p.53). Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from direct suppliers monitored for labour conditions? In 2013, Inditex has conducted 4367 audits at 1592 suppliers. Inditex states that each and every supplier in its supply chain is subject to periodic social audits and publishes a detailed audit summary report with follow-up actions (see link, p.50-65 & 152-156). Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from direct suppliers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? In 2013, 44% of all suppliers achieved Inditex's highest classification "A": low risk. However, it remains unclear whether at least 25% of the production volume is verified as compliant against the standards from eligible third parties or certification schemes (see link, p.57). Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from direct suppliers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labour conditions question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its direct suppliers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Inditex implements several policy measures to promote living wages, such as collaboration with the IndustyALL Global Union or implementing programmes to promote freedom of association and to make it possible to reach resp. agreements. However, tangible information on first living wage payments realised aren't reported (see link, p.57). Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Inditex partners with NGO's resp. initiatives like ETI or BCI to tackle weak labour conditions at 2nd tier suppliers, such as implementing policy measures to end Sumangali schemes in Indian fabric mills. However, Inditex does not yet report comprehensively on outcomes or results of its respective policy measures (see link, p.64). Source
14. Are at least 50% of the fabric manufacturing phases - from spinning to final fabric - approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labour conditions question 13. Source