SUSTAINABLE APPAREL COALITION MEMBERSHIP

Since 2016, ODLO has been a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition {SAC}; a multi-stakeholder initiative of the global footwear and apparel industry. With this membership, ODLO joins over 230 global brands, retailers and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, which are collectively committed to improving sustainability performance along the supply chain.

The Higg Index is the group’s tool of measurement for sustainability. It includes facility, brand and product tools that are open source and indicator-based. The Higg Index enables manufacturers, brands and retailers to evaluate their materials, products, facilities and processes based on environmental and product design choices.

With the implementation of the Higg Index, ODLO’s supply chain, as well as the brand itself, is assessed against an industry benchmark, holistically demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of the corporate activities that empower ODLO to make meaningful improvements.

For more information about Sustainable Apparel Coalition: www.apparelcoalition.org

 

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING


After joining the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in 2016 this is the third time ODLO is using the initiative’s tool, the Higg Index, for internal environmental monitoring. Developed in collaboration with industry leaders, the module is a very effective sustainability assessment focusing on a facility’s outputs. The core focus herewith is on a facility’s systematic approach in performing for Energy & Greenhouse Gas, Water Use & Water Effluent, Emissions to Air, Waste Management and Chemicals.

Five of ODLO’s main fabric suppliers have joined the environmental monitoring journey by dedicating time, efforts and expertise in filling the numerous questions of the relaunched FEM 3.0 module. Also this year we could increase the monitoring scope to in total 11 facilities, more than 70% of ODLO’s fabric purchasing volume is covered through the self-assessment. During the time of the publication of this report it was not yet possible to analyse the results in detail or compare them to industry standards. Next steps will be to analyse the results and discuss with our strategic partners the key areas to achieve improvement in the environmental performance.

Also, for the Tier 1 supplier – the manufacturer, ODLO continued and even slightly expanded the environmental monitoring with the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM). Next to our own production facilities, a total of 9 cut & sew and 3 seamless suppliers (with a total of 16 individual facilities) filled the renewed “Facility Environmental Module”. In 2018/19 we increased the monitoring up to 88% of ODLO’s total production value. Exactly as for Tier 2 suppliers, the self-assessment checks a facility’s systematic approach in performing for energy & greenhouse gas, water use & water effluent, emissions to air, waste management and chemicals.

Due to the general publication of the 2018 modules only by end of June 2019 and the missing official benchmarking it was not yet possible to export and hence analyse the assessment results in detail during the time of publication of this report. In October 2018, ODLO had for the first time a full environmental audit, the verified Facility Environmental Module (vFEM) at its own production site in Romania. The official SAC Higg FEM verification audit was conducted by a certified, independent third-party verifier and was overseen as well by ODLO’s sustainability manager.

The audit gave extremely valuable insights on the environmental impact of our factory in Romania and was crucial in the decision making with regards to the environmental goals and focus points ODLO is setting for the upcoming years in its own facilities. Textile waste management was identified as key impact area for our own production which lead to ambitious targets we have set internally on the recycling of textile cutting waste moving towards circular economy. Surprising result of the verification was as well that the overall verified score exceeded the self-assessment score, the face-to-face support by the trained verifier helped the local team to clarify any open questions regarding the module, which was very beneficial for the 2018 self-assessment.

The Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) is a cradle-to-gate material scoring tool using a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. It provides access to a large amount of relevant information about the environmental impacts of material production used in the apparel industry. The information given by the tool helps companies to compare their materials against others. The tool can be used to empower product teams to make more sustainable choices during materials selection and gives a clear understanding of what is causing different types of material impacts, and as well which different production processes can be used to reduce those impacts.

The key benefits are that it is scalable and actionable and industrywide shared data base which enables brands to use a common language. Therefore, ODLO decided to use the MSI tool and started with the first important steps of implementation in 2018/19. The kick off was defined for all materials of the material toolbox used in season FW20. Currently missing information of our internal material data sheets were identified and will be added in future, having all needed information on hand for using the MSI tool. Also, the technical integration of MSI scoring information into ODLO’s PLM system was completed. We are convinced the active use of the tool will support the product team in making sustainable choices during materials selection.

The Higg Brand and Retail Module (BRM) helps ODLO to measure the environmental and social impacts of all operations, so that strategic areas for improvement can be identified and focused on. The key areas brands are evaluated on are: sustainability strategy, product development, supply chain, packaging, transportation, distribution centres and retail stores. The tool supports the sharing of sustainability information with key stakeholders, including supply chain partners, which is very beneficial in the equal partnership approach ODLO is pursuing.

The planned relaunch of the BRM tool in 2019 was postponed after the member vote. ODLO actively participated in the pilot testing of the new BRM and gave extensive feedback to ensure that the needs of small medium enterprise (SME) are considered as well in the new module.

 

WORLD OF TRANSPORT



MODE OF TRANSPORTATION (GOODS RECEIVED 2018)
Land 59 %
Sea 33 %
Air 8 %


ODLO tries to transport goods by sea wherever possible, as this is the most economical and environmentally-friendly option. Decisions on transportation methods are heavily influenced by the origin of the products in question.

ODLO’s highlights in the area of transportation for 2018/19 are the following. In May 2019 we introduced a new shipping mode = rail and road. The first trials will come from our own production facilities in Romania. With the help of this new mode of transport we are able to save 1.100 kg CO² per Transport, which is a reduction of 73% per transport. With Romania being our main production location this shift will support our ambitions to significantly reduce our CO2 footprint with this combined transportation mode.

For 2019 we are currently testing this new rail/ road transportation for 50 transports. Another highlight is the reduction of air freight in 2018. Thanks to careful planning and order tracking, we had a decrease of goods transported by air last year, the percentage went down from 11% to 8%, compared to 2017.

Our central distribution centre in Brüggen (Germany) makes every effort to sort and recycle its packaging materials. For example, 70’000 of inner cardboards are reused by exchanging between the central warehouse and own production. The warehouse makes also use of reusable cardboard palettes for export, which are made from recycled paper and use less space in the truck which reduces the fuel usage in transportation. In addition, all deliveries to the outlet in Brüggen are done with reusable plastic trolleys.

To save energy, the warehouse is equipped with a geothermal heat pump and a lighting system which can be regulated independently by workplace division. In addition, the warehouse has its own seepage reservoir for waste water.

 

OWN PRODUCTION INITIATIVES

Both of ODLO’s productions in Portugal and Romania have a lot of environmental initiatives.

  • ODLO PORTUGAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES

      Throughout the year of 2018, ODLO Portugal continued the implementation of a systematic approach for environmental performance, monitoring the consumption of natural resources and the production of industrial waste. We continued with the process of energy recovery from the textile waste, reducing the ecological impact of the polyester fiber’s lifecycle.

      Continuing the professional training project from 2017, in 2018, we continued to work towards raising awareness amongst all the employees with regards to the impact that our actions have in the organization’s environmental performance, as well as in the community and the world. The training focused on the strategies defined to reduce the use of paper, plastic and textiles, reuse and sort for recycling, integrated in an environmental efficient production process.

      ODLO Portugal has banned all single-use plastics in the canteen; we have replaced coffee, tea and soup plastic cups for washable dishware. We receive now our soups in an electric soup pot.

      In order to follow up the sustainability project, ODLO decided to offer its employees an eco-bottle. In addition to being reusable, the bottles have a UV filter for protection from light and also to ensure the maintenance of water properties. They are ergonomic and ecological, as their use will contribute to the reduction of the non-biodegradable residues of the planet.

  • ODLO ROMANIA ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES

      ODLO Romania set the target to replace all lighting in the factory by LED until 2020. During the last business year, more lights were replaced in the production lines, the fabric warehouse and in the cutting area.

      A local external third party analysed ODLO Romania’s waste management to get insights into the company’s environmental impact and learn about improvement options in this field.

 


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