Heinz Zeller, Head of Sustainability and Logistics, HUGO BOSS.
HUGO BOSS is committed to the responsible use of natural resources in order to reduce the environmental impact of its business activities. For this reason, the Company began to calculate the environmental impacts of its many product categories by applying life cycle analyses (LCAs) almost ten years ago.
Although LCAs are the most common method for recording environmental impacts, their application remains a challenge. First of all, the collection of high quality data and its analysis is very time consuming and can be expensive. Secondly, comparing and ranking the identified environmental impacts (e.g. water or land use and CO2 emissions) is only possible to a limited extent due to their different units. By applying the ‘Natural Capital Protocol’, HUGO BOSS was able to translate the various environmental impacts derived from LCAs into comparable units and values. (Please find more on this in the various published white papers on the HUGO BOSS website https://group.hugoboss.com/en/sustainability/products/natural-capitalevaluation/).
Through this application, the most relevant environmental impacts and their origins both for the HUGO BOSS value chain as a whole as well as for individual HUGO BOSS products were identified. These are water depletion in cotton cultivation, the impacts on ecosystem quality in sheep farming, and the impacts on climate change and human health caused by wet processes. As a concrete output of the knowledge gained, the company is developing appropriate mitigation strategies and a comprehensive catalogue of criteria for responsible products.
HUGO BOSS also applied the results as inputs for our materiality analysis. In the context of its cotton sourcing strategy, the Company is collaborating with well–known initiatives to contribute to more sustainable cotton farming practices. Other measures are related to making the water and chemical-intensive wet processes more sustainable or to combat climate change in collaboration with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, the knowledge derived from the calculations can lead to new products with lower environmental impacts like the Pinatex shoe made of pineapple leaf fibres.
Read the full report here.