Tackling climate change is a priority for us all. As a footwear brand, we do business in all corners of the planet and as such have shops, distribution centres, offices and showrooms in various countries. We have three priorities for all of our buildings - to increase our use of renewable energy, minimise our greenhouse gas emissions and divert waste from landfill. See what we’re doing below to meet these goals below.
Increasing our use of renewable energy
All of our buildings require power, which is why, from 2017, we started to increase our use of renewable energy by moving our European sites onto green electricity tariffs. From January 2020, this will account for 90% of our sites across Europe and we will continue to make the transition for our remaining sites when it is possible to do so –for instance, an impressive solar array is fitted to the roof of our office near Boston, MA, which generates up to 13% of the power required.
Minimising greenhouse gas emissions
As well as thinking about where we source our energy from, we also have a clear direction and programmes in place to minimise our demand for power. Over the past five years we have replaced inefficient heating and cooling systems, insulated draughty buildings and replaced traditional lighting with more efficient LED lamps.
Our current shop fit design, PURE, is our most efficient one yet, with the shop floor lit with only LED’s. These lights require less energy to run, let off less heat and last much longer than traditional lighting.
We have taken a similar approach beyond our shops by installing LED lights with motion sensors in our Global Headquarters in Somerset, as well as our UK warehouses. The result has been a better working environment for our people and a significant reduction in the power that these buildings require. Our warehouse in Somerset emits up to 20% less CO2 since the Philips LED’s upgrade in 2016, and our warehouse in Cumbria now demands up to 15% less power since the LED transition began in 2018.
Continuing on this journey, our main North American warehouse was recognised for its sustainable building performance. Located in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the facility was built in compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, resulting in a LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. Over 97% of the construction waste was diverted from landfill, the indoor air quality is optimized with low-emitting materials in paint, flooring and composite materials, and the facility is surrounded by flowering meadows, which encourage biodiversity.
Diverting waste from landfill
It has long been our priority to divert as much of our waste from landfill. In 2018, over 80% of our store, office and warehouse waste in the UK was recycled, with most of the remainder going to “Energy from Waste” facilities to generate power and a very small amount going to landfill. Our LEED Gold Boston office recycles up to 50% of our day to day waste, while our people at our new Singapore office are also able to recycle.
Our office near Boston, Massachusett, which has also achieved LEED Gold certification, was constructed from the former Polaroid headquarters and built using over 95% of the previous structure, re-using materials where possible to save waste going to landfill.
During Recycling Week in 2018, our Sustainability Champions removed single use coffee and water cups from 4 of our biggest sites globally, which, in one week, saved approximately half a tonne of waste going to landfill. As part of our journey to waste less, our warehouse operatives in the UK are reusing inbound factory cardboard cartons to transport our products to our Outlet stores, and we are also trialling shredded cardboard in our transit packaging.