ASOS has cut carbon emissions per order by 30% in five years, the fashion retailer has announced in a new report.
The emissions covered in the report relate to operations, which most notably excludes the manufacture of goods. The last financial year saw an 18% reduction in customer delivery emissions.
Since the company’s active customers and revenues grew considerably in the period, total emissions rose by about a third.
ASOS announced its Carbon 2020 strategy in 2015, which prioritised energy efficiency and use of renewable energy with the goal of reducing carbon intensity in terms of grams of carbon dioxide per customer order every year until 2020.
The new report includes a breakdown of ASOS’s various sources of operational emissions. The largest contributor to emissions, at 48%, comes from delivery to customers. The second biggest contributor is inbound and inter-site transportation at 30%, followed by returns (12%), business operations and fulfilment centres (both 4%) and packaging (2%).
ASOS has taken a range of approaches to cutting emissions, including adding a new fulfilment centre in the US city of Atlanta, which allowed more deliveries to be made via shorter distance and less intensive methods such as road delivery. ASOS has also worked with partners to use electric vehicles for deliveries; its latest five-year contract with DPD that 50% of deliveries within the London Ultra Low Emission Zone should be served by electric delivery vehicles only.
It has also trialled transporting stock from China to Europe via rail rather than air, which could reduce emissions by 94%.
The company will announce new carbon targets later this year.
ASOS CEO Nick Beighton says: “[The Carbon 2020] ambitions focussed on reducing emissions relating to our customer deliveries and returns, order packaging, energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and switching to renewable energy sources.
“They were broad aims that helped us to define and focus our work on short-term goals. Five years on from the launch of Carbon 2020, we’re incredibly proud to have achieved everything we set out to – with a landmark reduction in carbon intensity.”