At Superdry, we produce high-quality, contemporary products with a key focus on design detail, quality standards, end-to end innovation and value for money. Our clothes and accessories are strongly linked to our brand values, of which sustainability is one.
For us this means finding ways to:
- Make great products sustainably
- Best support our colleagues while extending our values to support people operating in our supply chain and within our local and wider communities
- Protect our planet by using resources sustainably
Make Great Product Sustainably:
This year we have been working hard to better understand our sustainability footprint - from the extended supply chain that manufactures finished product, to understanding our raw materials footprint and identifying opportunities for sustainable sources.
- Our Supply Chain:
The majority of our clothing and accessories is made by with third party suppliers in Turkey, India, and China.
Our factory base is split into ‘Tier 1’ factories that manufacture our products, and additional ‘Tier 2’ factories that provide specialist value added services including embroidery, printing and washing to our Tier 1 factories.
We are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (“ETI”) and we have adopted the ETI Base Code as our Ethical Trading Code – which is internationally recognised and is based on International Labour Organisation’s Core Conventions on Labour Standards.
Our Ethical Trading Code sets a minimum benchmark ethical standard for all factories across our supply base, in all countries. Our Ethical Trading Code and wider policies – including requirements and guidelines for the ethical treatment of vulnerable groups of workers including migrants and homeworkers - are included in our Supplier Manual which all suppliers are required to sign up to prior to working with Superdry.
We have teams based locally in key source countries that work directly with our suppliers to support them to meet our ethical requirements. Over the last year, running to May 2017, our ethical approval and monitoring processes covered Tier 1 factories supplying 100% and Tier 2 factories supplying 83% of volume by number of units delivered.
- Raw Materials and Identifying Opportunities for Sustainable Sources:
In 2017 we evaluated our raw materials footprint, identifying key raw materials used to make our great products and where we can have the greatest sustainability impact.
We are starting our journey with Cotton, which is the largest single material we buy. We have set ourselves the challenge to use 100% organic cotton Superdry garments by 2040.
Cotton is an important part of what we do. We bought 24.4 million garments containing cotton in 2017 – this represents 74% of all pieces bought, or 48% of overall composition by weight.
Negative impacts associated with pesticide and water over-usage, alongside concerns around poverty and modern slavery at this level of the supply chain – are increasingly challenging long term viability of cotton and its license to operate in source countries particularly where food and land is increasing in demand.
There are multiple types of sustainable cotton. We have spent significant time working with industry experts and key internal stakeholders in order to focus our strategy for sustainable cotton. For Superdry, sustainable cotton is in supporting use of organic seed – while benefiting farmers’ livelihoods and wellbeing.
Achieving our ambitions for Organic Cotton is not just about buying Organic at a premium. Superdry is a growing business – and our ambitions for growth will place further pressure on the sustainable cotton sector – which accounts for less than 1% of all cotton grown globally.
This is not a decision that we have taken lightly – it’s a big statement but we feel this is the right thing to do.
- Animal Welfare:
At Superdry, we take our responsibility to operate ethically seriously and believe that it is never acceptable to harm animals in the manufacture or testing of our clothing and accessories. We have a very strict policy in place on animal welfare - according to the recommendations on animal welfare set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health) - and we work closely with our suppliers to ensure it is fully enforced.
Down: We use both down and synthetic fillers in our outerwear – however down accounts for a very small part of our total product collection (approx. 1.5%). Where down is used we require it to be sourced from farms that respect our Animal Welfare policy, which was developed in partnership with animal welfare experts and according to the recommendations on animal welfare set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health. Although we have always strictly enforced our Animal Welfare policy, we recognise the importance of giving consumers confidence in this area, from this winter season our down filled outerwear will be certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).
Fur: We do not use Fur in Superdry products. Over the last year have reviewed and further reinforced our testing procedures to ensure our ban on fur is respected throughout our supply base.
Best supporting our colleagues while extending our values to support people operating in our supply chain and within our local and wider communities:
People, our suppliers’ people and our communities are critical to the continued success of our brand. We invest time, effort and money into ensuring that our people, and the communities in which our company is based and operates, benefit positively from Superdry’s presence and success.
- Our colleagues:
Superdry is committed to ensuring that our colleagues across the globe are invested in, supported, developed and given the opportunity to progress their careers within the business. We offer a diverse range of benefits, which vary depending on the country in which you work. We have a busy social calendar and hold regular wellbeing events.
Our employee engagement survey results consistently sow that our colleagues think Superdry is a great place to work, and people frequently talk about the inclusive, family feel to the business and the people they work with as key reasons why they enjoy working with Superdry.
- Extending our values to support people operating in our Supply Chain:
Our suppliers and Tier 1 factories provide jobs to over 94,000 people globally – each person plays a very important role in making our great products.
Our ethical trading team works closely with our suppliers and factories to support access to fair and safe working conditions across our supply base in line with our Ethical Trading Code.
Our Ethical Trading Code and wider policies – including requirements and guidelines for the ethical treatment of vulnerable groups of workers including migrants and homeworkers - are included in our Supplier Manual which all suppliers are required to sign up to prior to working with Superdry.
We monitor conditions within our supply base through third party ethical audits – completed on a semi-announced or unannounced basis , – and support sustainable improvement through our Ethical Trading team in key source countries, and wider local stakeholders.
Our Ethical Trading team works with our preferred audit partner to check audits accurately reflect the conditions in the factories. To do this, we have established ‘control audits’ which are completed by dedicated integrity auditors on an unannounced basis. In addition, our local teams also shadow auditors to monitor audit quality. We also work with local organisations to support offsite interviews and to obtain feedback on results and action plans as appropriate.
We work with our suppliers to ensure a policy of continual improvement but in the event that an issue is identified, we work with them to swiftly resolve it. To achieve this we use a combination of action planning, training and capacity building at management, supervisor and worker committee level. This is delivered by local teams or local partner organisations. Where factories fail to co-operate, provide transparency or fail to meet our requirements, we agree a phased exit plan in line with our responsible exit policy.
We consider certain issues to be ‘zero tolerance’, including immediate danger to life or limb, evidence of child labour, modern slavery, discrimination or harassment. Should evidence of these issues be identified, we immediately fully investigate the matter. Investigations are typically led by our local teams or in partnership with a respected local organisation. If confirmed, we agree an immediate plan to remedy in the best interests of impacted workers. We may terminate the relationship and alert the relevant authorities where the factory fails to co-operate.
Contact for ethical trading enquiries: Head Office Ethical Trading team firstname.lastname@example.org
- Supporting others within our local and wider communities – our work with The Prince’s Trust:
Superdry channel the majority of our community efforts into a partnership with The Prince’s Trust. We have been inspired by their goal to enable 100,000 young people around the world to make a positive contribution to their local economy by helping them into jobs, education and training.
We have chosen to focus on this because we share their belief that young people are the foundation on which future economies are built. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that every young person, no matter what their background, has educational training and work experience that allow them to flourish.
Superdry is a young business which employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. Based in more than 20 global employment jurisdictions, the average age of a Superdry colleague is 25. Young people matter to Superdry not only with regard to our brand and business but most importantly our colleagues have a real connection with them. Through our work with the community we aim to help 100,000 young people break out of the cycle of disadvantage and poverty.
Young people trapped in this cycle often lack the right level of family support and role models to enable them to get life back on track. These include young people who are:
- Struggling at school and at risk of exclusion
- In or leaving care
- Are or have been in trouble with the law
- Suffering from low esteem, anxiety, learning difficulties or mental health issues.
We have chosen to partner with The Prince's Trust in the UK, and other similar organisations around the world, including the fledgling Prince's Trust International organisation, with the aim of enabling young people to make a positive contribution to society through helping them:
- Get into jobs
- Build better communities
- Improve their practical skills
- Reduce offending or re-offending
- Improve their social skills
- Get into education or training
- Improve their mental health
We want to do more than simply providing cash to support the Trust in their work, though we do make charitable donations to them and other charities. We will do this through a number of ways:
Colleague fundraising for charitable organisations such as The Prince's Trust, including:
- Million Makers – Throughout 2017, we have two teams of UK based colleagues working together to raise as much as possible for the trust from a seed funding of no more than £1,500. Huge development opportunity for those involved, applying different capabilities than their day job requires including leadership, strategy & planning, sales, financial management, public speaking & presentations, influencing, team work, collaboration and more. One of our teams has customised a range of Superdry Limited Edition jackets to auction.
- 50 HQ based colleagues will be running the 2017 Cheltenham half marathon promoting the Superdry Brand, employee wellbeing as well as raising money and awareness of the Trust.
- A retail store fundraising month during October 2017.
Colleague volunteering on support programmes and mentoring of young individuals, including:
- Sport coaching
- Facilitation of Trust programmes such as ‘Get into’ Design
- 1:1 mentoring both online and face to face
- Achieve programme support, working in secondary schools with young people aged 13-16.
Promoting the work of the Trust and encourage other organisations to engage in their work through Superdry Senior Executive acting as ambassadors and members of Trust committees and boards, including:
- Euan Sutherland, CEO – member of The Prince's Trust Retail Industry Board
- Andrea Cartwright, HRD – member of The Prince's Trust South West Development Committee
- Hosting a Cultivation event at our Cheltenham HQ in June 2017
- Extending our successful School Days programme for 15/16 year olds in the UK and into other key territories such as Germany and the USA. Host a specific Princes Trust young people School Day in autumn 2017. ‘School Days’ introduce young people to the world of work and the range of job opportunities that exist, giving them the inspiration to progress to the next stage of their lives.
- Extending our successful Work Experience programme to give more young people a week long taste of the workplace and how inspiring team work can be.
- Extending our successful Apprenticeship programme, already established in the UK, to our Germany operation. Launching graduate level apprenticeships across the UK business.
- Supporting The Prince's Trust organisation with strategic thinking, infrastructure projects and connect them with our network of third party suppliers.
- Supporting key Trust events such as Annual Fundraising Dinners, Large fundraising events and Award/ Recognition ceremonies, including:
- Lead sponsor of the South West fundraising Annual Red Dinner at which we will host a catwalk show with Prince's Trust ‘young ambassadors’ as models.
- Personal sponsorship by Julian Dunkerton of the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the South West trust awards event.
We also offer a match funding programme for the individual charitable work done by individual colleagues. Anyone has the opportunity to apply for this programme, to support their own personal charity work, with Superdry contributing an equal amount to that raised by the colleague.
Protecting our planet by using resources sustainably:
We understand that using resources sustainably minimises our impact on the natural environment. We remain committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and waste throughout our business. We have clear environmental, energy and waste policies to meet these goals. Some of the work we are doing in this area includes:
- Increasing the use of renewable energy:
We have set the following targets for the use of renewable energy:
- 100% renewable electricity for our stores and offices by 2020.
- 100% renewable electricity in our franchises and distribution centres by 2030.
- 100% renewable electricity in our main suppliers’ businesses by 2040
The burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation is one of the major factors contributing to climate change and the private sector accounts for around half of the world’s electricity consumption.
Switching our demand to renewable sources is our contribution to shifting of the global energy market away from fossil fuels and nuclear, and aid the transition to a low carbon economy.
We are already making good progress with over 70% of the electricity we use in our stores and offices sourced from renewable generation in 2016.
- Improving energy efficiency in our stores:
Electricity makes up over 98% of the energy we use to power our stores and offices. Our target is to improve store electricity efficiency by 35% by 2020. This is measured on a kilowatt hour per square meter per year basis against a 2014 baseline.
As of 2016, we use 25% less electricity to power an average store than we did when we started the efficiency program. This has been achieved through effective monitoring, use of advanced building controls and energy efficient LED lighting technology.
- Reducing the impact of waste:
Our Waste Management Protocol ensures that all colleagues understand the importance of reducing waste and maximising recycling. We are committed to adopting the following waste hierarchy where there are materials that are no longer required:
Reduce – Avoid the need to discard materials in general. This will be achieved by working with suppliers to ensure that we only purchase the right quantity of essential items needed. Suppliers will be asked to take back and reuse any packaging or reusable items.
Re-use Reusable equipment and materials will be offered to others before being disposed of. At tender stage, suppliers will be encouraged to take back packaging for re-use.
Recycle – All organisations have a legal requirement to pre-treat waste. This can be as simple as segregating items for recycling, essential for the reduction of the waste here at SuperGroup.
Recover – Energy should be recovered from waste through the most appropriate means. These include methods such as incineration and anaerobic digestion (AD).
Disposal - Any disposal of waste shall be fully legally compliant.
We continually examine our waste streams to see if any of them can be pushed further up the waste hierarchy – for example the recent introduction of food waste and coffee cup recycling at our head office.
Both our UK head office and distribution centre are certified ‘zero waste to landfill’ and recycling rates at these sites have increased following this achievement. We aim to roll this certification out to other sites over the coming years.
- Re-using unwanted garments:
In 2016 we partnered with Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children. The charity de-brands and sells unwanted product, raising over £250,000 so far. This approach eliminates any need for landfill and extends the life of these garments - making maximum use of the embedded energy and water consumed during the manufacturing process.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions totals are calculated every year as part of the Annual Report. We publish our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions – which are provided in the below table for FY16 and FY17.
Absolute direct Group GHG emissions declined by 1% year on year to 9,974 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (TCO2e)
Group GHG emission intensity (emissions per £million of revenue) showed a year on year decrease of 22%.
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