Zalando presents its Sustainability Report 2021

April 11, 2022 by
Frank Calviño
Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Zalando Sustainability Progress Report 2021, highlights the progress made in its journey toward becoming a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact on society and the environment, as a part of its sustainability strategy called: do.MORE. 

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Zalando outlines some key metrics for its three priorities: Planet, Product, and People. Today we want to review some of the highlights behind Zalando's sustainability strategy. Let us begin!  

Zalando's sustainability toward the Planet 

The main objective of Zalando, according to the Sustainability Progress Report is to reduce its carbon footprint and to streamline its waste management, pursuing the objective of decoupling its environmental footprint from its growth. This means: being able to keep growing without impacting the environment in a proportional way. Something important for the brand to achieve, due to its recent explosive growth rate.  

Zalando’s objectives include diminishing, by 2025, its direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, and indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity for its offices and warehouses by 80% compared to 2017.

The 2021 Report shows that both direct and indirect emissions were reduced by 64% last year against a 2017 baseline, whereas electricity used across Zalando’s own operations was 100% renewable. 

Moreover, Zalando has committed to designing new packaging to minimize waste and keep materials in use, specifically eliminating single-use plastics by 2023, and has already managed to ensure that of the 68,000 tonnes of packaging materials used, 89% stemmed from recycled input and 99% was recyclable. 

Greener products for greener people 

A key aspect of Zalando’s sustainability strategy resides in ensuring access to more sustainable products and allowing for more sustainable choices.  

To help customers make more these sustainable choices when browsing in the fashion store, Zalando flags items with more sustainable materials, processes, or certificates like GOTS with a sustainability flag. More information on defining sustainable fashion can be found here. 

Zalando has committed to generating 25% of its Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) with more sustainable products by 2023.

In 2021, the German platform grew its assortment meeting sustainability criteria to more than 140,000 products, in comparison with around 80,000 a year earlier. Moreover, this push towards more sustainable products seems to be picked up by Zalando’s customers. Last year, almost 60% of the active users of the platform bought at least one product carrying the sustainability flag, compared with 50% in 2020. 

The marketplace is also investing in new models encouraging consumers to extend the life of their products, with new collaborations to facilitate care and repair.    

All in all, it seems Zalando is committed to being one of the global pioneers in how fashion should behave to achieve a more eco-friendly industry in the near future.

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