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Sustainable stores and operations.

Our 117 retail stores, and our head offices in Auckland and Sydney, all generate waste, consume electricity and use resources, so we’re always looking for ways to make our stores and operations more efficient and environmentally sustainable.

There are three areas we concentrate on are:

1. Packaging and plastics.

It’s time to say goodbye to single use plastics.

Single-use plastic bags in our stores have become a major concern for us and our customers in recent years, so we set ourselves the following two targets:

We have replaced plastic store carry bags that customers use to take their purchases home, with paper bags. For our online customers, the courier bags and the polybags we use to ship goods to them, will shortly all be compostable.

Not everyone has access to composting facilities, so we are making life easier for our customers by providing collections bins in our stores for the return of these bags. This way we can dispose of them effectively.

Also, we have changed our policy around the use of polybags. As a result, the quantity of polybags we use has plummeted.

Dealing with plastic in the supply chain is more complicated, as eliminating polybags completely from the supply chain is not always the best environmental solution. That may sound counter-intuitive, but polybags protect garments from soil and damage in transit from factory to store, and the environmental cost of damage to a garment can outweigh that of producing a polybag, if that garment is damaged and needs replacing.

However, we can still do better, and so we are moving to certified home compostable bags for the balance of polybags still used in the business. This means that we be removing ALL individual Plastic Polybags from our shipped goods by December 2020.

2. Reducing waste

The trend-driven fashion industry generates waste, and we are no different. We import product weekly, and this is sold either in store or online. With so much movement of product comes packaging.

We are rapidly moving toward packaging that’s disposed of properly and has less environmental impact. But we are also reducing the amount of packaging we use, and the amount of waste we generate. And where we cannot eliminate waste, we’re doing all we can to reuse or recycle. This is our reduce re-use recycle policy.

We have been pretty good at reducing waste sent to landfill, but we know we can do better and so we’ve set ourselves the following target:

We would love to include our stores in this target but collecting waste data from stores is difficult. This is because many of our stores are located in shopping malls where waste facilities are shared. We’re working on solutions to this

3. Energy efficiency

Store lighting.

Clothing retail stores rely on good lighting for optimal display and safety. Lighting is the main consumer of energy in all our stores and contributes significantly to our carbon footprint.

We are currently installing LED store lighting and have set ourselves the following target:

We are well on track to meet this target.

Distribution centres.

A number of years ago we switched to electric forklifts, and as we no longer use LPG for these, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint significantly.

In addition, the new Glassons distribution centre in Christchurch has been designed to maximise the use of natural light, and this, coupled with the use of light sensors, has dramatically reduced our electricity consumption for lighting.

We are now looking at ways we can make the Hallenstein Brothers distribution centres more energy efficient. This will be part of the work we do next year on our carbon management plan.

Climate change

Climate change will affect all of us, and in many different ways. We all need to act to reduce its effects.

At HGH we need to measure, manage and reduce the carbon emissions we generate as a business, and in FY21 we will be developing our carbon management plan to do just that.

Watch this space.