Superdry works with over 100 factories around the world. One of these, Aquarelle, based in Bangalore, India, recently finished building their new LEED Platinum factory – showcasing the best technology in sustainable design, energy efficiency and automation.
The truth is that not all factories are at this market leading level of sustainability – a lot of focus in the industry has been channelled into ethical and environmental compliance and we are increasingly focussing on reaching beyond these baseline expectations with our factories.
Since setting our Net Zero goals, we have started to proactively control and reduce ours and our supplier’s emissions. By 2030, 100% of our factories will use renewable electricity and be certified to IS0 50001.
Our journey started back in 2017 by adding sustainability as a key topic to our Supplier Conference. We were amazed by the interest and passion shown by our suppliers to join us in lowering impact and moving towards Net Zero.
Since 2017, we have been working closely with our factories to support their journey to switch to renewables or certify their operations to ISO 50001; these factories now produce 35% of our products. By Summer 2021, we will see this proportion increase to 48% of our product.
ISO 50001 Certification means the factory has established the necessary systems and processes to manage and improve their energy performance, both in terms of efficiency and absolute consumption, ensuring a quick return on their investment and future cost savings.
The factories that have so far certified to ISO 50001, have seen an average energy reduction of 13%, reducing their emissions by c.160 tonnes CO2e per factory per year (equivalent driving around the world 23 times). Larger, more established factories have seen up to a 26% energy reduction, saving 330 tonnes CO2e per year.
Aquarelle is going one step further with their new LEED (Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design) certified factory which means the factory has reached a leading environmental standard for their building’s construction, operation and maintenance that promotes efficiency and minimises their impact. They have achieved the highest possible standard in the LEED Certification process - “Platinum” - though:
- A Rooftop Solar Array that generates 40% of their energy needs
- Enhanced natural light capture, which reduces the need for lighting by 30%
- Rainwater harvesting to manage and enhance water table
- ISO 50001 certification, which has helped reduce their energy footprint by 5% to date
- Adopting a zero waste to landfill approach, including 100% upcycling or recycling
These environmental designs work alongside investment in market leading automation and product traceability systems, as well investment in worker engagement programmes driving stability and cutting workforce attrition in half.
In October 2020, we recognised Aquarelle as our ‘Most Sustainable Supplier’ for 2020 in our first virtual supplier conference. This was the third consecutive year we ran our conference with sustainable technology and energy efficiency on the agenda. We showed our suppliers this video and it was great to be able to showcase where progress is being made.
There is much more to do, but progress is being made where suppliers are championing sustainability “because they want to, not because they have to”.
We plan therefore to utilise our supplier community, partnerships and our goals to challenge ourselves and our suppliers to continue to champion positive change.