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ZARA
Gap Score: +4.7
#bestglobalgreenbrands
  • Zara’s parent company, Inditex, has built more than 1,300 energy efficient stores and retrofitted 350 existing stores. These eco-efficient spaces deliver average savings of 30% in electricity usage and 50% in water consumption compared to conventional stores, with energy management technology driving a notable reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • In 2012, Zara signed the Greenpeace Zero-Discharge Commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the entire lifecycle of its products and all production procedures by 2020. The brand diligently manages all chemicals occurring within every stage of production and has also committed to regard all unverifiable chemicals as hazardous until further information is obtained.

  • In 2012, Zara signed the Greenpeace Zero-Discharge Commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the entire lifecycle of its products and all production procedures by 2020. The brand diligently manages all chemicals occurring within every stage of production and has also committed to regard all unverifiable chemicals as hazardous until further information is obtained.

  • In 2012, Zara introduced over 4.2 million articles made with 100% organic cotton into the market.

Working Together

Zara’s CSR initiatives span over 40 countries, comprising a broad range of community development programs, monitoring programs, emergency programs, social entrepreneurship programs, sponsorship, environmental programs, and employee social action programs. The IED Moda Lab in Madrid takes products donated by Zara and allows design students to develop new designs focused on recycling. The Big Idea Project is a competition that provides opportunities for employees to develop social or environmental projects in cooperation with nonprofit organizations. Zara funds these projects and gives employees time off to implement them. Zara also undertakes initiatives like the Stylepack Program, the Jeunes Project, the For&From program, and The Salta Project, with the aim of helping special needs groups integrate into the labor market. The brand sponsors several environmental projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of the company’s activity, including the Better Cotton Initiative Project, Seeds Guardians Project, Roba Amiga Project, Terra Project, and Social Awareness.

The Green Advantage

Under its “Right to Wear” CSR vision, Zara has defined a comprehensive sustainability strategy, which includes water management, saving energy, and biodiversity protection-based initiatives and investments, which are to be implemented globally. Aware of one of its major areas of impact—its stores—Zara has developed an eco-efficient store model designed around the four guiding principles: beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability. The sustainability elements mandated by the new model include automated heating and cooling, intelligent lighting systems, which dim the lights when the store is closed, the use of FSC-certified wood products, and oxo-biodegradable plastic bags. Zara is also implementing a “waste minimization plan” that allows stores to reduce waste despite an increase in garments manufactured. Much of the waste is recycled, while wood and plastics are composted or processed. Zara also promotes initiatives that are true to the essence of its brand and help solidify its sustainable image, such as its collaboration with IED Moda Lab in Madrid (Coknit connect), which encourages fashion students to use recycled material to create state-of- the-art designs. By continuing to improve its green performance, expanding its reporting, showing its willingness to adopt eco-friendly practices through agreements like the Greenpeace Zero-Discharge Commitment, and engaging the public creatively, Zara has made its mark as an eco-conscious fashion brand—and rises up the ranks of the Best Global Green brands list this year.

Links

Zara environmental policy
Eco-efficient stores
How sustainable is Zara