September 16 (Reuters) – Online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) on Thursday presented plans to reduce its environmental impact and improve workers’ rights, linking its success to reducing waste and reducing carbon levels to future executive salaries.
Joining a growing list of fast fashion companies to open its supply chain to external scrutiny, ASOS has set goals to improve recycling rates, reduce energy consumption and increase the diversity of its business leaders. ‘business.
Like Primark, which produced a similar plan on Wednesday, ASOS must overhaul its operations in Asia, Europe, the United States and elsewhere without threatening the ultra-low prices or rapid delivery times that have won over an army of young people. buyers.
New mission statements follow calls from socially conscious shareholders, governments and customers for companies to identify their environmental impact, then reduce water and chemical use, and cut millions of tons of disposable clothing that end up in landfills.
“The responsibility for a sustainable future lies with all of us and companies must lead the way,” said CEO Nick Beighton, adding that ASOS must work with other brands, civil society organizations and governments to make the change.
As part of this plan, ASOS aims to achieve net zero status across all of its operations and to manufacture own-branded products and packaging from more sustainable or recycled materials by 2030.
It will also seek to improve human rights within its supply chain by producing an annual report from 2023 that addresses issues such as wages, modern slavery and the empowerment of women, which will be evaluated by independent campaign groups.
The fast fashion industry, which has been supercharged by online orders and instant delivery, has been criticized for causing around 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Working conditions in the textile industry have also been in the spotlight since the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 workers.
Many environmental activists are skeptical of the green commitments of big brands, believing that they do not correspond to an industry that produces items for little more than a few pounds. ASOS sells more than 85,000 products in 200 markets.
But Beighton said he remains proud of the industry because it brings confidence and joy to people and employs millions of people.
ASOS, which launched an original plan in 2010, said that while the updated program may lead to modest increases in costs, it is confident that the technology will make up for it.
From 2022, progress against goals will be part of the goals of the management team, alongside broader business performance, influencing their compensation.
Additional reporting by Tapanjana Rudra in Bangalore; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Uttaresh.V and David Evans
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.