Footwear PEF (Product Environmental Footprint)
Taking a step further into sustainability and transparency.
In Inditex we believe that participating in initiatives like the PEF are key to improve the environmental performance of our products while increasing the transparency and reliability towards our clients.
We are taking part in a pilot study to calculate the environmental impacts of our shoes, compare them to others, and put a label on them with a grade in stores. In this way, we provide our customers environmental information to take into account when they are making their purchasing decisions.
The purpose of the European Union Environmental Score label is to give customers information about the environmental impact of the products we all buy and use.
The Environmental Score measures different environmental impacts across the full life cycle of a pair of shoes – from producing the raw materials such as leather and rubber that are used, to how they are manufactured, shipped to stores and even disposed of at the end of their useful life.
Initiated by the European Commission, this is one of several pilot projects across Europe that is bringing few leading brands together to collectively find ways of increasing transparency around the environmental impacts of products and explore new ways of giving information to customers
The grades have been determined using a methodology developed by industry experts from the brands, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and third-party experts. They reflect the environmental impacts of shoes across the entire lifecycle of the product: from the extraction of raw materials to the disposal of the used shoes ("from cradle to grave").
While there are many different stages in how shoes are made and brought to stores, typically most of the environmental impacts come from two main areas:
- The type and volume of materials used,
- The energy efficiency of the shoe manufacturing factory.
The score also includes several other factors and stages, such as how the products are transported and the type of packaging used. But, these have been found to be far less significant to the overall score.
The overall score consolidates in a comprehensive way many of the environmental impacts that can be measured, including global warming, water contamination and air pollution among others. The full list of these impacts and the methodology to consolidate them into a single score was suggested by the EU Commission and is available here.
As the initiative is just in a pilot phase, the scores are not yet externally verified. In the future, if this scheme is rolled out, calculations and grades will be based on even more factors and will have independent verification.
For the purposes of this pilot, the participating brands picked a sample of similar footwear products from the same product category, for example, running shoes, soccer boots or fashion shoes.
The environmental impacts were then calculated to come up with the overall score for each product and grades allocated in an even distribution from A through E. This means that the products , selected for the pilot, with the best scores in that sample category are rated A, average products in that sample category are rated C, and the products with the lowest pilot scores are rated E.
A rated footwear products have among the best environmental score of the selected pilot sample
B rated footwear products have a better than average environmental score of the selected pilot sample
C rated footwear products have an average environmental score of the selected pilot sample
D rated footwear products have a poorer than average environmental score of the selected pilot sample
E rated footwear products have among the poorest environmental score of the selected pilot sample
Led by the European Commission, this is one of several pilot initiatives being trialled across Europe to increase transparency around the environment performance of products we use in our everyday lives.
Along with other fashion brands adidas, H&M, Nike, Stella McCartney, Vans and, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, we have chosen to participate because we want to explore how to make it easier for customers to understand the environmental impacts of purchased products.
In Inditex, we believe that participating in initiatives like the PEF are key to improve the environmental performance of our products while increasing the transparency and reliability towards our clients.
Taking part of PEF Footwear allows us to complement with concrete actions in the value chain Inditex's Global Sustainability Strategy, which permeates the Group's entire business model with the three major environmental strategies (Global Strategy Water Management, Global Energy Strategy and Strategy of Biodiversity Protection.
When we are considering buying a pair of shoes, we make our decision on a number of choices. The style, price, comfort, what we think of the brand – there are many factors that influence what we buy.
We think that our customers should also be reassured that what you buy has been designed and made with consideration for the environment. From the materials they are made from, the energy used to manufacture them to the emissions that get the shoes into stores; some shoes have a smaller environmental footprint (and so a better environmental performance score) than others.
We think it is important to make more of this information available to our customers in a clear and independently verifiable way. That is why we are working with other brands and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to develop one approach. It is also important to provide this information in the most appropriate way – on the shoes, in the stores. That means you can add environmental performance to the other decisions you make in choosing what to buy
It is true that making and selling shoes and clothing has impacts on the people involved in producing the materials, manufacturing the shoes and also transporting and selling them. We monitor and address these issues as part of our sustainability efforts. For more information, you can visit Inditex's website http://www.inditex.com/es/sustainability). At the moment, there is no common methodology for measuring and comparing the social impacts of each item of clothing in the same way that can be done for environmental footprints. In the meantime, we are partnering with other organizations to keep improve the lives of people involved in making and selling our products.