We put great attention into improving the energy efficiency of both our own estate and our suppliers. We know that the most sustainable unit of energy is the one we never used.

We measure our energy performance through an efficiency measure using both our total floor area occupied and our annual revenue. This allows us to track our performance within changing market conditions and a growth in online sales.

Our Own Energy Use

In financial year 2020 our absolute energy use decreased on last year, owing to both the impact of Covid-19 towards the latter end of the year, as well as a small decrease in the size of our estate. Compared with our FY14 baseline, however, we have seen an increase of 37.5% linked to our growth in business both in an increased physical presence through our stores and increased workforce across our global offices.

We previously set a goal to improve energy efficiency (kWh/m2) across our global retail estate by 35% by 2020 compared to a 2014 baseline. This year we met that goal with a 38.5% improvement on our FY14 baseline (a 4.8 percentage point improvement over last year) and resulting in a saving of 3,831 tonnes of CO2e emissions.

Note: This reduction includes the impact of Covid-19 on our energy consumption; however, prior to closing all stores in March 2020, we were on track to meet our goal, achieving 34.4% energy reduction.

We have achieved this improvement through taking a holistic approach to energy management in our stores. We focus both on the type of energy consuming equipment we use in store as well as how this is monitored and controlled.

Our most significant approach to reducing energy is through our installation and optimisation of Building Management Systems (BMS) within our retail estate, allowing us to implement optimised building control strategies. In FY20, we installed eight new BMS systems which, based on historic savings from similar systems, will achieve 20–25% energy reductions in those stores. Our partnership with controls specialists Optimised Buildings to maximise the energy saving potential of these systems was designated ‘Retail Energy Project of the Year’ at the 2018 Energy Awards.

Additionally, we continued with our rolling asset upgrade programme including lighting, heating and cooling equipment, such as replacing all lighting with LEDs as and when the old lights break (our current LED lamps use only a third of the energy of our old metal halide lighting). Within our stores we also strive to use the most energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilation hardware and have active real-time energy monitoring to spot wasted energy.

Having met our initial target, we are now reviewing future opportunities for further savings.

A detailed breakdown of our energy use for financial year 2020 are shown in the table below.

  FY14
(Baseline)
FY19 FY20
Total Global Energy Use (MWh) 18,137 27,511 24,946
Change from Baseline (%) 51.7% 37.5%
Global Energy Efficiency (kWh/m2) 294.3 193.8 183.0
Change from Baseline (%) 34.1% 37.8%
Global Energy Efficiency (MWh/£m) 42.09 31.56 35.36
Change from Baseline (%) 25.0% 16.0%
Global Retail Electricity Efficiency (kWh/m2) 317.8 210.7 195.5
Change from Baseline (%) 33.7% 38.5

 

We closely scrutinise our energy data and this year we were required to comply with both ESOS compliance in the UK and Article 8 compliance in Germany and Italy, which we successfully did. We received recommendations, which we can use to verify consumption and identify further savings to help achieve future goals.

Our Logistics Partners Energy

In 2020 we put our focus on reducing our use of airfreight for getting our products to our warehouses. We have set ourselves a target to reduce our use of airfreight by 50% Year on Year for between 2019 and 2022 in order to cap our airfreight.

In our first year (2020) we were able to achieve a 58% reduction. We are overtly aware of the impacts that Covid-19 will have on this but will continue to strive to meet this target whilst identifying other reductions.

Over the next couple of years, we will be diving deeper into our logistic operations to understand their impact and identify our roadmap to net zero through reducing, converting and offsetting. We are already taking opportunities to make improvements and champion innovation to reduce the impact or transporting our goods globally.

The Barges Return to the Baron

For many years now, our garments that were headed to our Belgium Distribution Centre, known as The Baron, (servicing all European stores and customers) arrived on the Belgium coast where they were then transported by road inland to our warehouse.

In August 2020 we collaborated with our local logistics partners in Belgium to get the Barges back on the canal. Our warehouse is ideally positioned along the canal route to facilitate fast and safe unloading of stock. Our garments now take the final leg of their journey by barge, avoiding congestion and delays, whilst simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions by 56%.

Our Suppliers Energy: ISO 50001 (Energy Management System)

In addition to close monitoring and reduction of our direct energy use, this year we began working with our main supplier factories to do the same, by supporting them to adopt the internationally recognised ISO 50001 standard for Energy Management Systems.

This standard ensures widespread adoption of the best energy management practices across our main supplier factories by providing a proven approach to develop an energy management plan that addresses critical aspects of their energy performance.

Certification enables our factories to have control of their own system to continually improve their energy performance. Within the first seven months of engaging suppliers for our pilot phase, six out of our 38 key factories (16%) have achieved certification.

First five factories successfully certified

We initially approached three Turkish suppliers to pilot the ISO 50001 certification process.

The process includes creating an internal implementation team, training, document creation, an onsite energy audit, and a two-stage certification audit.

The onsite energy audit provides a useful tool for the factory to track energy consumption as well as highlighting energy saving opportunities. Opportunities identified include optimising boilers, upgrading air compressors, switching lights for LEDs, insulatiing valves and fixing air leaks.

Each site developed an implementation plan for the improvements within a few months.

Between these three suppliers 1.3GWh of energy saving potential was identified, relating to an average saving of 18% per factory, most of which were implemented in the first six months.

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