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How sustainable is Primark ?

Primark & sustainability


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

Sustainability summary

According to our sustainability criteria Primark received a D-label. According to us, Primark has started to take sustainability into account, but still has a way to go green and fair. Primark implements measures to reduce climate emissions, uses preferable raw materials such as organic cotton for at least some of its garments, signed the Zero-Discharge-Commitment to eliminate hazardous chemicals and collaborates with several organisations, such as Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), to improve the labor conditions in its supply chain. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: Associated British Foods (ABF)
Head office: Dublin, Ireland
Sector: Retailers
Categories : Male, Female, Kids, Baby
Free Tags: ABF, Bags, Caps, Pullover, Shirts, Suits, Jackets, Jeans, Dress, Shoes, Boots

What's your sustainability news about Primark?

Primark sustainability score report

Last edited: 2 October 2017 by Beppie
Last reviewed: 2 September 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 7
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Primark implements several measures to reduce climate emissions, such implementing energy efficiency measures in its stores. 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? ABF (brand owner of Primark) publicly reports its climate footprint where both, direct and indirect GHG emissions are covered. ABF decreased its net footprint from 5,246,000 million tons of CO2e in 2015 to 4,892,000 million tons of CO2e in 2016, which represents a reduction of around 6,8% (see link, page 19). Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year? Primark does not provide concrete information about an energy efficiency lower than 200 kg CO2e per square meter shopping floor per year. Source
4. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Primark does not provide concrete information on the use of renewable energy for its own operations. 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? Neither Primark nor ABF communicates any information on target reductions for its greenhouse gas emissions of own operations. 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)? Primark does not yet provide concrete results on reducing climate emissions in the supply chain (see link, page 81). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

5 out of 15
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Primark has defined a sustainable fiber strategy. However, the overall proportion of environmentally preferred raw materials is not communicated (see link at next question, page 85). 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? Primark has signed the “Detox 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'. According to Greenpeace, Primark is categorized as "Evolution Mode” in doing so. 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? According to Greenpeace, Primark has successfully eliminated PFCs by December 2015 (see link, page 21). 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? Primark 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? Primark reports a policy to limit the use of chromium III / VI in its PRSL, but does not provide clear 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%? Primark does not specify its status on phasing 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? Primark does not report whether an average of max. 30 grams of VOC emissions per pair of shoe is achieved. 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? Primark implements several measures to minimize the environmental impact of its packaging, such as ensuring that all regular shopping bags are made from recycled store waste materials (cardboard). Furthermore, aggregate results regarding its consumer packaging materials footprint are made public (see also link next question, page 81). 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? Primark implements several measures to minimize waste, such as recycling unsold clothing or store waste cardboard. Furthermore, aggregate results regarding its waste materials footprint are made public (see link, page 81). Source
15. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? In 2016, Primark started to offer a garment collection system in some of its stores (see link, page 7). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

6 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? Primark is a member of 'Ethical Trading Initiative' (ETI), but has its own 'Code of Conduct' (CoC) that includes all the mentioned standards. 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 (max 12 hours) is voluntary; 3. Yes, commitment to implement payment of living wages. 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. 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? Primark reports that as of October 2011 has fully eradicated the process of sandblasting from its supply chain. 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? Primark does not provide a significant list of direct suppliers. 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? Primark is a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). 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? Primark is a 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 apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? Primark implements measures to improve labour practices at its apparel manufacturers. However, concrete results, such as wages increased or working hours decreased, are not reported. 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 apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? Primark has conducted audits on all factories making its products (2,994 ethical audits in 2016). In addition, Primark has held the 'ETI Leader' status since 2011. But, the provided information about audit results are not comprehensive. Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Primark implements measures to achieve living wage payments at its supplying production facilities. But, concrete information on realized living wage payments are not reported yet. 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? Primark does not publicly report clear results of its implemented measures to improve labor conditions at its fabric manufacturers. 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 labor conditions policy question 13. Source