Tackling climate change is a priority for us all. As a footwear brand, we do business around the world and as such have shops, distribution centres, offices and showrooms in various countries. Our priorities are 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.
Increasing our use of renewable energy
All of our buildings require power, which is why, from 2017, 80% of our sites in the UK and Europe moved onto REGO renewable electricity tariffs. From January 2020, this will account for 90% of our sites across UK & Europe and we will continue to transition our remaining sites when it is possible to do so. Generating power on-site is currently limited to an impressive impressive solar array which is fitted to the roof of our office near Boston, MA, and generates up to 13% of the power required. We appreciate this is very much the beginning of our renewables journey.
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 is our most efficient one yet, with the shop floor lit with only LEDs. These lights require less energy, let off less heat and last much longer than traditional lighting.
We have taken a similar approach beyond our shops by installing LEDs 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 LED upgrade in 2016, and our warehouse in Cumbria now demands up to 15% less power since an LED transition began in 2018.
Continuing on this journey, our main North American warehouse was recognised for its sustainable building performance. Located in Hanover, PA, 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. Going beyond minimising greenhouse gas emissions, 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 the rest going to “Energy from Waste” facilities to generate power and a very small amount going to landfill. Our US office near Boston, MA, recycles up to 50% of our day to day waste, and our new Singapore Hub has been designed with recycling in mind.
As with our Distribution Centre in the US, our main US office also achieved LEED Gold certification. It 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.
Our people are also really passionate about doing the right thing in our offices day-to-day. During Recycling Week in 2018, our internal 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. Our warehouse operatives in the UK have, for many years, reused inbound factory cardboard cartons to transport products to our Outlet stores.
There are many opportunities and we will continue to update on our progress here.