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How sustainable is Zara ?

Zara & sustainability


Zara
Reasonable, could be better Click here for score rapport: 14 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Zara has achieved the C-label. According to us, Zara has started to take sustainability into account, by implementing measures to reduce climate 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, 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: 17 October 2016 by Jonne
Last reviewed: 17 October 2016 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 measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy efficiency measures or the use of green energy (see link, page 70-77, 152). 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 has published the climate footprint of own operations (Scope 1 & 2), which decreased from 687,535 tons of CO2e in 2014 to 645,875 tons of CO2e in 2015. This is a decrease of around 6,1% (see link, page 154). Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year? Inditex implements measures to make its stores eco-efficient and aims, that by 2020 all stores will be 100% eco-efficient. For 2015 the greenhouse gas emissions were at around 158,04 CO2e per square meter shopping floor (see link, page 154 & 224). Source
4. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Renewable energy and co-generation together take up about 13% of Inditex' entire electricity consumption. Thereby, a part of this energy is generated on-side. For purchased renewable energy sources, types and additionality of supply are not clear enough specified (see link, page 72, 76, 144 & 152). 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 aims to have the "Green to Wear" seal, which implies that all stores of the Group will be 100% eco-efficient by 2020. However, this applies only to the stores and there is no specific information what "100% eco-efficient" means. There is no information on total target reductions for its greenhouse gas emissions (see link, page 76, 153-155 & 302). 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 efficient use of energy in its value chain by reducing climate emissions and helping to mitigate their effects. However, Inditex does not yet provide concrete results on reducing climate emissions in its supply chain beyond own operations (see link, starting on page 154). 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? Inditex implements several measures to extend the use of environmentally preferred raw materials, especially organic cotton and tencel. But, the overall proportion of environmentally preferred raw materials is not specified yet (see link page 58-64 & 301). 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? Inditex has signed the 'Greenpeace Zero-Discharge Commitment', and promises 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'. In this matter, according to Greenpeace, Inditex is categorized as a "Avant-garde". 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, Inditex delivered on its commitment to eliminate PFCs (perfluorocarbons) in its production (see link, page 12). 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? Inditex does not specify clear enough whether at least 3 out of 11 suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or BFRs, can be considered as fully phased-out in its entire production chain. 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? Inditex regulates the use of chromium III/VI and sets a maximum limit for textiles. Furthermore, Inditex also describes some preventive measure to avoid chromium (above the limit), but does not describe clear results of its measures implemented. The brand is therefore not clear enough about the scale and impact of this policy (see link, page 19, 33-34). 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%? Inditex does report about having a plan to phase out PVC in their products, but no exact percentage on the current status is reported (see link, page 36). 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? Inditex 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 measures to minimize the environmental impact of its consumer packaging, like its 'Green to pack' programme or having all paper bags an labels are PEFC or FSC certified. Also, Inditex reports aggregate results regarding its packaging materials waste produced in weights (see link, pages 61-76, 155-157). 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 and reports aggregate results regarding its waste produced in weights 61-76, 151-157). Source
15. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? In 2015 Inditex began implementing its 'Closing the loop' project in 37 Zara stores in Spain, UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden for the reuse and recycling of products at the end of their lifecycle, in partnership with the third sector, recycling companies, textile manufacturers and technologists (see link, page 58, 69, 68, 155-156). 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? Audits of Inditex "include inspections of washing processes, to ensure that practices banned by Inditex, such as sandblasting, are not in use"" (see link, page 43). 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. 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 2007 (see link, page 54) 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 NGOs 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? Inditex implements projects to improve efficiency in factories, with a view to achieving better payment for workers employed in these factories. Inditex reports on projects in China and Turkey that increased productivity, efficiency, wages and positively influenced the working environment. However, no concrete outcomes are published (see link, page 46 & 47). 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? In 2015, Inditex has conducted a total of 10.977 audits, while it sourced from 6.298 factories. Inditex publishes a detailed audit summary report with follow-up actions (see link, page 32-57). 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? In 2015, 42% of all suppliers achieved Inditex's highest classification 'A'. However, it remains unclear whether at least 25% of the production volume is independently verified against the standards from eligible third parties (see link, page 45). 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 10. 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? Inditex implements several policy measures to promote living wages, such as collaboration with the IndustriALL Global Union or implementing programmes to promote freedom of association and to make it possible to reach respective agreements. However, concrete information on first living wage payments realised are not reported (see link, page 45-47). 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 collaborates with initiatives as ETI and has a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL. GFA serves to protect all workers' interests, even those not directly working for the company. However, Inditex does not report comprehensively on outcomes or results of its respective measures for the fabric manufacturing phases (see link, page 32-57). 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