Retail giant Zara made a big statement last week when they announced that all the cotton, linen and polyester used in their production will be organic, sustainable or recycled by 2025. The goals also include making all of Zara’s stores reduce carbon emissions, save energy and minimize waste by the end of 2019. They also want 80% of the energy in the stores, distribution centers and offices to be renewable by 2025.
80% is great, and it shows that Zara understands that 100% is not a realistic number.
Big change is important but sometimes it hurts in the short run. Accepting that you might not be as renewable as you think will discourage some but once you truly know your own percentage you can start working towards that magic 100%.
It is important that the big players in each industry accepts their responsibility and become the leaders when it comes to change. Their sub-suppliers, partners and competition will have to follow and then change will come in a big way.
One of the most positive impacts this brings is that retailers like Zara and H&M with stores and factories all over the world will encourage new renewable energy plants to be built, new installations of solar panels, higher demand for electric shipping and create renewable jobs across the globe.
The social and economic impact of bold sustainable goals is something all large companies should consider in their future strategies. And we should encourage it!