Some examples of high-end retail companies that have sustainability initiatives in place are Kering S.A. and HUGO BOSS. The following details delve deeper into each of the companies detailing their sustainability efforts, how they promote them, and any available success metrics.
SUSTAINABILITY CASE STUDIES: HIGH-END RETAIL COMPANIES
1. HUGO BOSS
Description of Sustainability Efforts:
- HUGO BOSS is one of the leading apparel companies worldwide, which distributes high-end fashion and accessories in the premium segment.
- It currently has 14,700 employees and is located at 129 countries, with headquarters in Germany.
- HUGO BOSS bases its sustainability strategy on six fields of action to ensure focused and meaningful commitment, including We, Environment, Employees, Partners, Products, and Society.
Fields of Action
1) We: Vision and Strategy
- This area is where HUGO BOSS sustainability strategies are developed together with their stakeholders by conducting analyses, dialogs, and collaborations for further development and implementations.
- Their discussions and collaborations with stakeholders are centered on advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 4 — Quality Education; SDG 8 — Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 12 — Responsible Production and Consumption; SDG 13 — Climate Action; and SDG 17 — Partnerships for the Goals.
- The targets for this field of action are to implement a Group-wide stakeholder management strategy by 2020, and an ongoing plan of sustainability principle integration with the HUGO BOSS Group through different events.
- HUGO BOSS makes sure to do all they can for the reduction of the environmental impact of their business activities at their sites and logistics, such as carbon dioxide emissions, waste, and wastewater through innovations and other strategies.
- By 2025, they plan to reduce their energy use to 30%, carbon dioxide emissions by 40%, and water consumption by 40% regarding their Group-wide sales, in comparison to 2016 as their baseline.
- By 2025, they plan to finish implementing a sustainable store concept to all their stores in all regions worldwide.
- As of 2018, they were planning on increasing modes of transport that are more environmentally-friendly (such as rail shipping and sea freights) by 2%, simultaneously with shipping emission reductions by 4% in proportion to the weight of shipment (kg), and in comparison to 2016 as their baseline year, for their delivery of finished goods in Germany.
- HUGO BOSS ensures to provide a working environment for their employee engagements and to achieve their potential, through the framework of their Code of Conduct and Social Standards.
- By 2020, they are planning to revise their global OHS strategy to obtain a uniform standard Group-wide through coordination of KPI systems.
- HUGO BOSS also supports the development of their employees, active engagements of employees, and diversity in the workplace.
- 17% of HUGO BOSS goods and products are produced at their production sites, while 83% are from suppliers worldwide.
- The HUGO BOSS Social Standards require their partners to provide a safe workplace, uphold human rights, and fair compensations as well.
- Additionally, they engage and work with their suppliers to minimize the environmental effect of their supply chains.
- One of their targets for this field of action is to have 90% sourcing of all goods from their suppliers that have social audits of at least a satisfactory rating.
- HUGO BOSS explores new ways of meeting their customers’ expectations regarding their products by having an innovative and sustainable solution for the full potential of the Group as their primary goal.
- Animal Materials: HUGO BOSS is against wrong animal husbandry and methods of breeding, and also animal testing. They only use bovine hides, sheepskins, goatskins, and buffalo hides, and avoids exotic leather types and farmed fur.
- Some of their targets include a 90% sustainability in cotton materials that complies with the Cotton Commitment criteria by 2025 and 60% sustainable leather from LWG-certified tanneries by 2022. By 2020, they want to have 90% mulesing-free wool in products that are pure wool knitted.
- HUGO BOSS is committed to their social responsibility at worldwide locations, with a focus on giving professional training opportunities and also funds and support for chances of education at a young age.
- HUGO BOSS partnered with programs and projects of UNICEF, such as the Schools for Africa and Let Us Learn, to have an improvement in the preschool and elementary school education in Bangladesh.
- They implemented their ISKUR support program which assists women from Izmir, Turkey, by professional training in the textile industry. The women also get the opportunity to be hired as regulars at HUGO BOSS.
- Some of their targets in this field of action are: to train and reach 2,100 women in the ISKUR project by 2025; to reach 1,400 children by 2025 through HUGO BOSS Education Association.
How They’re Promoting Their Sustainability Efforts
- HUGO BOSS promotes its sustainability efforts are by creating online contents through its Twitter social media account.
- Another method is through internal communications and external communications that will reach all its employees, supply chains, and other stakeholders, such as through its annual sustainability reports, Sustainability Magazine, sustainability page of their company website, and press releases.
- HUGO BOSS organizes regular events and dialogs with their stakeholders along the entire value chain, and they are also involved in external collaborations with other companies and organizations.
“We” Field of Action
- They continuously hold regular stakeholder dialog events into their sustainability strategy, with their latest organization of the 3rd international stakeholder dialog event in Bad Urach.
- As of 2018, HUGO BOSS energy consumption reduced by 1%; greenhouse gas emissions decreased 17%; and water consumption was reduced by 14% for all Group sales.
- Women have a 59% share of the workforce at HUGO BOSS Group, where 48% of management positions were staffed by women in December 2018, compared to 47% in 2017.
- 91% of HUGO BOSS goods were from finished goods suppliers that have a satisfying or better rating in the last social audit.
- 86% of all HUGO BOSS finished goods suppliers have been given sustainability training face-to-face.
- 55% of all leather used by HUGO BOSS was from LWG-certified tanneries, which is more than their target of 25% by 2019.
- Approximately 40% of cotton used by HUGO BOSS for their products already conform to the Cotton Commitment criteria.
- There’s an increase of 89% in mulesing-free wool in all pure woolen knitwear products, which is almost at their target of 90% increase by 2020.
- As of 2018, the social responsibility commitments of HUGO BOSS includes 118 supported projects, 18.971 material donations, and 2.186 hours of employee volunteer work.
- As of 2018, HUGO BOSS was able to support 1,434 women participants since the start of the ISKUR project in 2010.
- As of 2018, they were able to reach and support 900 children through their HUGO BOSS Education Association since 2008 when their project started.
2. Kering S.A.
Description of Sustainability Efforts:
- To “develop a more sustainable and responsible luxury,” Kering’s sustainability efforts are focused on their three pillars; “care, collaborate & create.”
- These three pillars are what shape Kering’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy, where they set targets and key milestones for their sustainability.
2025 Sustainability Strategy
A) CARE FOR THE PLANET
- Kering’s Care pillar is about reducing their environmental footprints and preserving Earth’s natural resources through innovation, new practices, and original methodologies.
1) Sourcing raw materials and supporting supplier sustainability
- In terms of sourcing raw materials and suppliers, their aim is 95% transparency and responsible supply chain by 2018, and 100% by 2025.
- Another goal by 2025 is 100% of Kering’s suppliers must meet their Group Standards for environmental stewardship, animal welfare, traceability, use of chemical products, and working conditions.
2) Reducing environmental impact
- Kering’s goal is to reduce its environmental impact from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and other activities.
- Their target is to reduce their EP&L, or Environmental Profit and Loss account, by 40% in 2025 across their whole supply chain.
- They are also targeting 50% carbon emission reduction by 2025 through their Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
B) COLLABORATE WITH PEOPLE
- For Kering’s collaboration pillar, they are committed to safeguarding their rich heritage, becoming an employer of choice, promoting parity, and diversity.
- This commitment is due to their belief that having a close collaboration with their stakeholders would result in higher environmental, economic, ethical, and social performances.
- Safeguarding craftsmanship and traditional know-how is one of their main goals, and they do this by creating a supplier-training platform; craftsmanship training programs in local communities, such as Brioni’s Scuola di Alta Sartoria, Gucci’s Alta Scuola de Pelletteria, and Bottega Veneta’s Scuola dei Maestri Pellettieri; and collaborating with organizations such as ANDAM’s Fashion Award to assist outstanding people who will influence the fashion industry’s future.
C) CREATE NEW BUSINESS MODELS
- Kering’s Create pillar is their way of creating innovative alternatives, and open-source approach of knowledge sharing.
- In 2013, Kering created Materials Innovation Lab (MIL), which is a lab for sustainable textiles and fabrics.
- They also partnered with Fashion for Good-Plug and Play accelerator, to find pioneering startups and help them develop while still ensuring innovation that supports sustainability.
How They’re Promoting Their Sustainability Efforts
- One of their ways in promoting their sustainability efforts is by creating online contents through their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media accounts.
- Kering also promotes their sustainability efforts through internal and external communications that will reach all their employees, supply chains, and other stakeholders, such as through their annual integrated reports, sustainability page of their company website, and press releases.
- Kering measures and monitors their sustainability progress and results using the Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) account, which provides in-depth analysis of their activity’s environmental impacts.
- Kering’s 2018 Group EBITDA is projected to be €514 million, a 12% rise on a pro-forma basis but a 12% decline in terms of growth as compared to their 2017 Group EBITDA.
- They achieved a 14% EP&L intensity reduction from 2015-2018, which is on their reduction pathway of 40% EP&L by 2025.
- Kering has experienced growth in its revenue since it began its 2025 Sustainability Strategy in 2015. It grew from a €7.66 billion revenue in 2015 to €13.665 billion in 2018.
Sustainability in China
Sustainability is a growing concern among Chinese affluent consumers, with 76% of affluent households spending more on green products in 2020 than what they spent in 2019. JD is one retail company in China focusing their efforts to attract Chinese consumers looking for green options.
- The visible deterioration of the environment, a more educated population, and the economic growth has made China more eco-friendly today than it was before.
- According to a study, 80% of Chinese consumers believe that brands and businesses should be ecologically responsible.
- A study of Alibaba’s consumers found that in 2015, 66 million Chinese consumers bought five or more green products, up from only 4 million in 2011.
- China can be a tricky market for environment efforts, as illustrated by Gucci’s reception of their decision to go fur-free by the Chinese consumers. Although some praised the efforts, a significant number of users on Weibo and WeChat believed the whole thing was a marketing ploy.
- According to Deloitte, the Chinese idea of luxury is evolving, and status is becoming less about what I own and more about who I am; younger generations are becoming more ethical, sophisticated, and discriminating.
- Companies in China are also making an effort to go green. In 2016, just 10% of businesses have social and environmental activities; by 2017, that figure had risen to 33%.
- According to Nielsen, retail spending, especially of luxury products, continues to be the major economic engine, conferring considerable influence on Chinese consumers. On the shelf, consumers are paying greater attention to healthier, higher-quality goods that allow them to live better lives.
- When it comes to affluent consumers, spending on green products in 2017 increased in 76% of households with monthly income of over RMB 40,000 while 24% remained about the same.
- When asked why they spend more on green goods, 59% said that they offer additional purchasing channels and convenience, while 57% stated that the market’s growing supply and the bigger green products availability was the reason, 41% said they are more concerned about quality of life and safety than before and 32% said that the narrowing price gap between green and conventional products was their main reason.
- Meanwhile, attitudes towards greens products for affluent consumers are usually about safety, with 81% saying they tend to use products ensuring health and safety, 68% tend to use eco-friendly products with focus on the environments while only 1% doesn’t care about such labels.
- As for price, 51% of affluent consumers are very willing to pay more for food or daily necessities, 64% for organic foods, 53% for organic skincare products and cosmetics, 54% for green products causing no or little harm to the environment, 42% on energy saving home appliance/electronic products/cars, 51% on recycled or renewable resources, 50% on products using new energy and 45% on garments made from organic cotton.
- When investigating the growing trend towards niche products among Chinese affluent consumers, Reuters discovered that sustainable and natural features were a big plus among consumers.
- They also noted that niche brands have benefited from their ability to make bolder claims, coupled with organic or ethical features to attract younger Chinese consumers, who take pride in their knowledge about new brands and offerings.
Millennials and Generation Z
- According to reports by McKinsey and IPSOS, people born after the 80s are the driving force for luxury consumption in China and accounted for more than half of the total spending on luxury by Chinese consumers in 2018.
- While quality and originality are the primary elements that attract millennial buyers to luxury goods, ethical and environmental concerns also play a significant role in their purchasing decisions. Generation Z, in particular, expects companies to be open about their environmental and social impacts.
- JD, one of China’s largest retailers, released a report about green consumption in China, uncovering that millennials accounted for In 2017, 51.8 percent of all green purchases made on JD’s platform were green, while 48.8 percent of all users made green purchases.
- Sharing economy is yet to make a big impact in China, but resale platforms are growing, from 1.5 million users in 2015 to 38 million Chinese users in 2017. When asked about their motivations to buy second-hand goods, 57% of Chinese consumers said price, 41% said similar condition to new, 38% said environmentally friendly, 29% said not a big deal if it breaks and 27% try before purchase.
Sustainability and Luxury fashion
- A study that conducted several interviews with millennial Chinese consumers of luxury fashion discovered that even though most participants insist that they are environmentally friendly people and care about sustainability, convenience is still the determining factor whether actions are taken or not.
- The type of product influences whether participants prioritize sustainability solutions. While most participants engage with some sustainability practice or routine, these practices need to be convenient and easy to achieve. For instance, one participant noticed that if there are no recycle stations in his block, there is nothing he can do.
- The researchers also noticed that participants predominantly identified environmental aspects with sustainability in everyday activities and neglect social and economic issues in their understanding and definition of sustainability.
- Participants were divided when it comes to luxury and sustainability, with some believing that luxury brands are more environmentally-friendly due to their efforts and the fact that luxury fashion tends to last longer while others point out that sustainability takes a back seat to other characteristics such as rarity, hedonism and uniqueness when choosing a luxury fashion item.
- Although participants agree that there are steps taken towards sustainable practices, these are not applied throughout the whole supply chain and do not necessarily influence their decision to purchase a product.
- Most participants agreed that it is luxury fashion industry’s responsibility to make changes happen and actively encourage sustainability, however, most participants are willing to overlook this if the newly acquired product makes them feel good. That is not to say that they don’t care if a product is sustainable, with some indicating that they are proud to tell their friends a certain item is environmental-friendly.
- JD is one of China’s biggest retailers and has been aggressively expanding its green product offerings on its platforms to suit customer needs and preferences. In 2017, the overall volume of available green goods grew by 54.5 percent. Additionally, the overall amount of green purchases made on the site grew by 71% within the same time, accounting for 15.1 percent of total sales.
- Recently, the business committed RMB 1 billion to create the Green Logistics Fund, which would encourage the use of sustainable packaging materials throughout the supply chain. It is collaborating on this initiative with DHL, La Poste, Yamato, and SF Express, as well as Nestle, Danone, and environmental protection groups.
- Additionally, the business switched from paper to electronic invoicing in 2013 and, via packaging reduction initiatives, saved enough cardboard in 2017 to fill 6,000 soccer stadiums. To engage consumers in the business’s sustainability journey, the company recently introduced a new tool that allows customers in China to create a report based on their JD.com purchases in order to get a better understanding of their own green consumption footprints.
- According to Richard Liu, CEO of JD, being a good contribution to society has been central to the company’s purpose from its inception. “We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our technology and resources to enable our partners to better assist our customers’ growing desire to do their bit and meet their demand for a more sustainable lifestyle. In the future, we look forward to further developing our skills in order to solidify our position as China’s preferred destination for sustainable retail.”
- Recently, the business collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to bolster its environmental initiatives.
- Kering, the parent company of Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, has created a WeChat mini-program to expose customers to the Environmental Profit & Loss account, the business’s impact assessment tool.
- By inputting a product’s category, materials, material sourcing, and manufacturing location, a user is provided with a score reflecting the cost of environmental changes connected with the products’ manufacture, from raw material extraction through sale.
- Kering also established the Kering Sustainable Innovation Award in collaboration with Plug and Play. The award aims to accelerate sustainable innovation in the luxury and apparel sectors in Greater China by providing comprehensive mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as a trip to Europe and the United States to meet with fashion and innovation leaders, as well as a €100,000 grant to the top winner.
Sustainability is perceived differently across the many countries of the world. While there are regional differences in perceptions to sustainability, often it is the individual characteristics of a country that shape their perceptions. Countries that share the same characteristics and histories are more likely to have the same attitudes to sustainability.
- Europe and Scandinavia are two regions that lead the world in the adoption of sustainable practices and discussions about sustainability.
- Certain Countries in Central and South America have instituted sustainable practices due in part to the unique landscape they occupy. Discussions in these regions are ongoing as to how to maximize sustainability.
- The Pacific Island Nations lead discussions in the Oceania region around sustainability because of the impact on their countries if sustainability is not adopted.
- Sustainability is less of an issue and less likely to be discussed in the poorer less developed countries, such as parts of Asia and Africa. This is largely because their current situation is such that they have to adopt a survivalist approach to life.
- With the assistance of international organizations, the dialogue around sustainability is slowly increasing as the populations become more educated around the issues.
- There are several complex factors as to why sustainability is more positively perceived in some countries. The differences are not so much regional, but based on a range of factors specific to different countries.
Global Sustainability Development Report
- A report completed in 2016 by the United Nations illustrates how sustainability issues are perceived differently by the different countries of the world.
- Often the perception of sustainability is similar in countries that have similar characteristics.
- For example, these may include the least developed countries, least developed landlocked countries and smaller island developing states.
- This is because the issues that affect these countries are similar, and the perception of sustainability and the role it has is likely to be impacted by their current situations.
The Age of a Country
- Sustainability is a complex concept as it involves trade-offs between uncertain future benefits and current sacrifices. Psychological considerations are almost certain to have an influence in how a nation views sustainability.
- A country that has a long and well-established history is more likely to invest in sustainability initiatives. This is because they believe they have a long future ahead of them.
- Switzerland recognizes the importance of good air quality and preserving its expansive greenery through the implementation of national parks.
- France has deindustrialized in order to deal with the residue of its industrial history. They are proactive in reducing emissions and creating a positive future for the citizens.
- France also has global awareness and acknowledges the impact of its industrial past on the global environment.
- Denmark and Sweden are 2 other countries that lead the world in the discussion and adoption of sustainable practices.
- All 4 countries have long and established histories. They are likely to have long futures.
The Culture of a Country
- A study of 1924 companies in 36 different countries found that culture plays a major role in the perception of sustainability.
- Countries that have a strong future orientation and gender egalitarianism are more likely to have positive perceptions and practices toward sustainability, as opposed to those that don’t.
- Those countries that have a higher standard of living and greater wealth are more likely to perceive sustainability positively and look for ways of adopting sustainable practices.
- This is because they can afford to have a future-oriented outlook.
The Landscape of a Country
- Countries with unique ecological systems that are at risk if sustainable practices are not adopted are more like to perceive sustainability as a vital part of future life.
- Costa Rica has a tropical ecology system and is home to a range of unique lifestyle.
- They faced considerable international pressure in the early 2000s over damage to these ecological systems. Had sustainable practices not been discussed and adopted, these systems could have been destroyed.
- As a result, Costa Rica leads the world in Rainforest Conservation. Reserves and national parks have been established to preserve almost a quarter of the land area.
- Brazil, with a similar ecological system, also perceives the importance of sustainability.
- Columbia is a biologically diverse country that is home to over 10% of the world’s species. In the early 21st century it received significant criticism internationally for its lackluster approach to sustainability.
- As a result, Columbia has adopted sustainable practices and a positive dialogue internationally around issues of sustainability.
Self Preservation or Interest
- The Pacific Islands are a group of nations that are likely to be impacted heavily by climate change and global warming. They are pioneers in pushing the region’s larger nations, such as Australia and New Zealand, to embrace sustainable lifestyles.
- Recently a summit between the Pacific Nations, Australia, and New Zealand was held in Guam. The Pacific Island Nations led the discussion on the adoption of sustainable practices because the impact on them if these practices are not adopted is likely to be devastating.
- They have been holding this conference for the last 30 years.
- Australia is by far the largest nation in the world, dwarfing the Pacific Island Nations. The impacts of unsustainable practices are less likely to be felt as harshly by them.
- As a result, Australia has sought to minimize the discussions about sustainable practices, especially concerning carbon emissions.
- Singapore has established a global leadership position in debates concerning sustainability. It became a matter of self-interest due to the highly congested population, with 5 million people occupying 671 square kilometers.
- They have committed themselves to adopting sustainable practices and encourage the rest of the world to follow suit.
- Frequently, emerging nations are impoverished. They lack the financial means to invest heavily on sustainability problems.
- Their orientation is very much on the present because they need to get through the present to have a future.
- Their resources have to be used to maximize the quality of life for the current citizens often because their circumstances and living situations are dire compared to that of developed countries. They have to concentrate on the current conditions to survive.
- This is the reason for overall apathy around the issue of sustainability in these regions.
- One of the greatest ironies is these countries are likely to be among the most affected if sustainable practices are not adopted.
- Often in these regions, it is not the individual countries promoting the talk around sustainability it is international organizations. Many of these organizations have recognized the issues faced by the countries and have assisted in instituting programs that promote sustainability.
- Nepal and India are two examples of this. Rubbish disposal was a major issue, and one the countries were failing to deal with.
- After being educated by a range of international organizations, a range of local initiatives have been implemented with assistance from organizations such as the United Nations One of these local initiatives is committed to cleaning the Katmandu Valley.
- Although sustainability is not discussed as often or as openly in many developing countries, often a lack of awareness and education is the issue.
- When education is made available and assistance provided, these countries become more involved in talking about and planning for future sustainability.
- Being a developed country does not necessarily imply that the country will adopt sustainable practices.
- There is more awareness from individuals in developed countries around the importance of adopting sustainable practices. On an individual level, there is considerable discussion around sustainability in developed countries.
- There is also likely to be considerably more engagement from the population at large in terms of adopting sustainable practices such as recycling.
- In these countries the people have jobs, they have stable incomes, housing, and sufficient food. Given the conditions they live in, they have the time and opportunity to discuss and adopt sustainable practices.
- Europe and North America are good examples of regions where people are discussing sustainability and adopting sustainable practices.
- In some developed countries, the government’s attitude toward sustainability is less positive than that of the citizens.
- The US and Australia are good examples. Both have been reluctant participants at different times around decreasing carbon emissions.
- There are several reasons for this. Often developed countries are more orientated toward growth and see sustainability as a hindrance.
- The other reason is the impacts of poor sustainability will not be felt as heavily by them.
- Although the government’s attitude may be less positive, there is still considerable discussion around sustainability in these countries. In many instances, the power of the people forces the government hand, and they are forced to recognize the importance of sustainability.
Sustainability and RFID Tracking
Zara uses RFID technology to improve and speed up its stock management. Italian luxury brand Moncler uses RFID to combat counterfeiting and reduce the impact of pirated goods. Rebecca Minkoff uses RFID technology for supply chain transparency as well as faster checkout and customer engagement. These are outlined below.
Zara By Inditex
- Inditex apparel brand Zara uses radio frequency identification technology (RFID) to identify and track individual garments through an embedded chip.
- As a fast fashion brand, Zara uses RFID to immediately identify which apparel sizes and models need replenishing as well as to determine size availability in its physical and nearby stores.
- Zara also uses RFID to improve and track its stock management from the logistics platform to the point of sale.
- This allows for a more efficient distribution, more accurate in-store garment management and overall enhanced customer service.
- RFID is also used in Zara’s self-checkouts and interactive fitting rooms as part of its customer engagement.
- The implementation of RFID technology is part of Inditex’s commitment to sustainability, on which it has invested over $1.1 billion since 2012.
- Along with RFID, Inditex has made investments in sustainability within its technology, apparel collections, logistics and audience engagement in 2016.
- In 2015, Inditex reported that RFID technology increased its efficiency and speed in making inventories and stock by 80%.
- Using the technology also cut down losses in operations and freed more time for Zara’s teams to focus on customer service.
- As of 2017, 60% of Inditex’s stores have achieved sustainable status. The company aims to make all its properties eco-efficient by 2020.
- Sourcing Journal reported that Inditex plans to roll out its RFID technology not only for Zara but also Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Bershka, Oysho, Pull & Bear and Uterqüe.
- As part of its Sustainability Report in 2016, Italian luxury apparel brand Moncler reported that it has adopted anti-counterfeiting measures featuring highly sophisticated RFID technology.
- RFID technology serves as an authentication and tracking method, creating an alphanumeric code, a QR code, and a Near Field Communication (NFC) tag.
- All Moncler apparel equipped with the RFID tag can be authenticated via Moncler’s website where clients can register and confirm their purchase.
- The website features a special service to help clients recover their money from online payment service providers selling counterfeit goods.
- The luxury brand is at the forefront of fighting counterfeiting and piracy of goods, which amounts to almost $500 trillion per year according to OECD.
- Moncler is an active member of international associations against goods piracy including INDICAM in Italy, UNIFAB in Japan and France, QBPC in China, and global groups INTA and BASCA.
- RFID engages Moncler’s customers in the battle against counterfeiting and empowers them to take action.
- Moncler has since identified numerous online sellers of fake Moncler items as well as counterfeiting rings around the world.
- It has also won a counterfeiting case in China against a Beijing-based company called Beijing Nuoyakate Gourmet, for which it won $470,000 in damages.
- Moncler also reported that its anti-counterfeit operations has initiated investigation into over 1,400 cases around the world and seizure of over 450,000 suspected counterfeit goods.
- American luxury apparel brand Rebecca Minkoff has partnered with RFID solutions provider Avery Dennison to leverage RFID for faster checkout and customer engagement.
- In 2016, Rebecca Minkoff boutique stores implemented RFID-powered self-checkout features for customers.
- The RFID tags are tied around items which are then placed on smart tables for checkout.
- The technology also doubles as a security measure to prevent shoplifters from taking unpaid items out of the store.
- Rebecca Minkoff also leveraged RFID in interactive fitting rooms with smart mirrors for an immersive customer experience.
- The next-generation mirrors track the RFID tags in clothing to provide item details including transparency in the supply chain and logistics, as well as style recommendations.
- The technology enables transparency in the store’s supply chain to help customers make sustainable and eco-ethical choices.
- Avery Dennison, the RFID solutions provider, said that the technology drives accuracy and visibility to avoid overproduction across industries.
- The brand has traditionally used RFID as a more cost-efficient solution than NFC tags to improve its inventory management and customers’ in-store experience.
- Through RFID, Rebecca Minkoff stores were able to track SKU velocity and conversion rates.
- It also tracked shopper interactions and staff response times to address operations inefficiencies.
- The technology allowed communication with international shoppers and provided a seamless omnichannel experience.
- Avery Dennison also reported that for Rebecca Minkoff, the RFID-equipped garment becomes a communication channel to drive sustainability and transparency at the industry level.
Climate Change and Sustainability
Sustainable development plans and programs help reduce the possible further effects of climate change to the environment and protect people that heavily depends on natural reserves like agricultural land, marine resources, and forestry. As consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impacts of climate change and the importance of sustainability to counter its effects, industries are doing their part by launching initiatives, operation changes, new policies, and programs that support sustainability to meet the consumers’ expectations and to be part of a global change.
Relationship Between Climate Change and Sustainability
- According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the global effect of climate change is accelerating, noting 2018 as the “fourth warmest year on record“.
- In 2018, natural hazards brought by climate change and extreme whether affected almost 62 million people and 35 million were affected by devastating floods.
- Climate change also has a detrimental effect on food security at all levels (i.e its availability and future stability).
- Sustainability is becoming a global effort to lessen the effects of climate change.
- The three dimensions of sustainability — environmental care, economic growth, and social welfare — should always come in balance.
- While satisfying everyone’s current needs, the responsible use of the available resources is becoming an important action plan to not compromise the needs of future generations.
- Sustainable development plans and programs help reduce the possible further effects of this phenomenon to the environment and protect people that heavily depends on natural reserves like agriculture, fishing, and forestry.
Sustainability and the Protection of Agricultural Land
- Every year, 40 hectares of cropland were destroyed by soil erosion.
- Genetic erosion, or the result of an agricultural production system that use more genetically uniform varieties of crop, threatens the agricultural production of 60 countries.
- With sustainable agriculture development, the land’s productivity will be enhanced and maintained, and more importantly, soil fertility will be restored.
- To achieve this and increase the efficiency of agricultural production, the food system was examined through the introduction of inexpensive sustainable technologies and agricultural practices.
Sustainability and the Protection of the Ocean Water
- The oceans are considered “carbon sinks”. About 50% of carbon dioxide was absorbed by the ocean which acidifies the water causing damage to marine creatures.
- Around 90% of the trapped energy in greenhouse gases go to the ocean causing the ocean heat content to be in the upper portion of the seas that leads to rising sea levels and affect coastal environment and communities.
- 3 billion people worldwide rely on marine and coastal resources for their subsistence.
- Part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations aims to reduce marine pollution due to ocean acidification, and “establish a sustainable coastal ecosystem by 2030″.
- It also covers giving awareness about the conservation enhancements and sustainable use of water resources through the implementation of international laws.
Sustainability and the Protection of Forest and Wildlife
- Every year, between 10,000 to 50,000 species die because of the changes in the ecosystem.
- Deforestation affects not just the species living within the forest but it also lessens its natural ability to provide people with the oxygen it releases in the atmosphere.
- UN has a global program, the UN-REDD Programme, encompassing 64 partner countries to spread global knowledge and solutions to forest degradation and deforestation.
- The program pioneers policies on how forests and its ecosystem will be protected for a sustainable future.
- Positive transformations are seen in forest protection that eventually leads to wildlife preservation. These changes are driven by society organizations, governments, and even businesses.
How Consumers’ Awareness on Sustainability Impacts Industries
- Consumers’ awareness on issues of environmental impacts of climate change and the importance of sustainability to counter its effects leads them to transition to a sustainable lifestyle.
- It is also reflected on how they value the efficiency of resource management among the services and products they consume.
- As a result of a global consumer confidence survey, 81% of global respondents state their strong belief that companies should be involved in social responsibilities that support sustainability.
- Additionally, 33% of consumers prefer to buy products and services from brands doing environmental and social good while 61% is more likely to switch to brands that support sustainability.
- While economic growth saw a great environmental impact, companies are becoming aware and eco-effiency strategies are used. Businesses implement reduction in the level of resource consumption.
- A McKinsey survey result revealed that 70% of the respondents from different business sectors are becoming engaged in sustainability development. Sustainability programs are now aligned with their goals, values, and mission.
- Companies have increased the use of innovative and energy-efficient technologies to support and effectively manage their sustainability agenda, especially in MENA region.
- The cost of technologies needed for sustainability-related programs and projects has dropped dramatically, making it easier for companies who are in transition.
- Even businesses in the cities are embracing the global efforts for sustainability in different ways. This include reduction of energy usage, installation of solar rooftops, and proper waste management.
- Brands behind consumer goods are now using biodegradable packaging and sustainably-sourced materials, transitioning to low carbon usage, and launch different initiatives that show environmental and social responsibility.
- These changes were able to help companies and industries meet the expectations of customers and consumers who are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of sustainability.