Sustainability of our
As part of our 2020 strategy we have committed to understanding our most significant environmental impacts and having programs in place to respond to them. This includes adopting more sustainable packaging, which is a core priority for 2019.
Environmental sustainability of our own operations reflects our responsibility to manage the impacts we have through packaging, waste, energy usage and carbon emissions.
During 2019 we completed our first carbon footprint assessment inclusive of our Scope 1 (direct), 2 (indirect) & 3 (value chain) emissions. As part of this assessment, we looked at how goods are manufactured, transported to us from our suppliers, as well as from us and our marketplace vendors to our customers.
Informed by these results, we are now developing our first carbon management plan that will address ways to minimise our biggest sources of carbon impacts and improve the quality of the data we gather to monitor our performance. Key themes presented in the plan include driving uptake of more sustainable and lower carbon materials and implementing a Preferred Materials Benchmark, identifying lower carbon delivery options to make available to customers, and engaging with our existing partners to understand and influence their activity on carbon.
Our Scope 3 emissions constitute the majority of our carbon impact (99%). 65% of our footprint is associated with the development of the raw materials and the manufacturing of the products we sell. Delivery of products by suppliers and then to our customers (12%) are small in comparison. Surprisingly, 17% of emissions accounted for are in the consumer use phase, for example through the washing process. The remaining 5% includes various emission sources such as capital goods, waste, packaging, employees commuting, business travel and server hosting.
Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources (i.e. fuels consumed by in-house machinery or company vehicles).
Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy used in directly operated sites.
Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions (i.e. transportation and distribution, purchased goods and services, use and end-of life of sold products, etc…).
THE ICONIC’s world-class delivery offering is a fundamental component of our customer service experience. THE ICONIC orders are delivered to customers via road with truck, van, motorbike or by air, with each method having a different carbon impact depending on the type of fuel used and how far it travelled.
In 2017-18, THE ICONIC’s customer deliveries accounted for 6% of our total carbon footprint.
THE ICONIC does not own any vehicles or distribution fleet, which means the emissions of our transport carriers sits within our supply chain and are not directly within our control. However, we as a retailer remain accountable for these emissions as part of our environmental responsibility. Having made progress in managing the carbon impacts we directly control, we have now begun engaging with all our carriers to share our view on more carbon efficient practices. We also want to better understand their emissions sources and to explore opportunities to reduce our shared impact, such as investing in electric vehicles. By the end of 2019, we will have in place a carbon action plan with our main carriers.
Can I be more carbon savvy with my deliveries?
Yes you can make a difference! Our recent carbon footprint study shows that Standard Deliveries require on average 55% less carbon per parcel than faster delivery options such as Express and / or Same Day delivery (3 / 4 hour and Twilight).
Why the difference? Slower deliveries allow our partner carriers more time to plan and consolidate parcels that are going to the same place, meaning more parcels can be sent in each trip resulting in more efficient transportation. Choosing a slower delivery option also allows us and our carriers to ship your order on a truck via road freight instead of using a plane, again reducing the carbon impact.
As part of our commitment to sharing details about our ongoing Social and Environmental Responsibility journey with our customers and partners, we will continue to update this section with new information, so watch this space!
In late 2018 we completed an energy audit at our Fulfilment Centre and used this to develop our first energy management plan outlining the key steps we will take as an organisation to reduce consumption. Since then we have embarked on an LED lighting upgrade project at our Fulfilment Centre, which has seen part of our ceiling lights and half of our pick tower transitioning to more efficient lighting including use of motion sensor lights. This upgrade is expected to see us reduce our energy usage by up to 20%. We have also commenced investigating the feasibility of installing solar panels for our Fulfilment Centre and are working with the building owner to scope a plan, all part of realising our dream goal of being energy self-sufficient.
Production and disposal of our packaging is an important and visible component of our environmental impact.
We have created a dedicated section that will take you through the reasons why we use packaging, how you can responsibly dispose of it and what are we doing to make it more sustainable.
Waste and Recycling
THE ICONIC is a pure play online retailer, so the majority of our waste impact occurs at our fulfilment centre in Sydney and involves: paper and cardboard, soft plastics, stickers, tape and pallets.
We have been working hard on improving our processes to separate all the materials we receive to ensure as much as possible is recycled.
We participated in the Bin Trim program (a mini-waste audit) of the NSW Environment Protection Authority during 2018 and have since addressed one of the key opportunities identified by the program around soft plastics recycling in the returns section of our operations. After a trial period we implemented in June 2019, we have now formalised a new waste separation system that enables our Fulfilment Centre team to separate soft plastics from paper and cardboard with minimal contamination so they can be recovered and recycled. We have also implemented a soft plastics recycling service at our Head Office ensuring the soft plastic waste received with supplier samples can be recycled. Recognising how confusing the world of recycling can be, we have invested – and will continue to invest – significant staff training programs on responsible waste management for our people to implement both at home and in the office.
End Of Life
Inevitably there are times where product is returned to us damaged or in an unsellable form. We do not send any unusable product to landfill and are constantly identifying new ways to make use of these items, including donating minimally damaged and suitable items to our charity partner.
As part of our commitment to minimise waste going to landfill and use our resources wisely we have launched Giving Made Easy, a new and more convenient way for our customers to donate pre-loved clothes to charity, helping people in need and keeping clothes and textiles out of landfill at the same time.
It’s really easy: put your preloved clothes in any spare box or satchel, download and attach your prepaid postage label and drop off your donation in any Australia Post Red Posting Box or Post Office! Find out more about Giving Made Easy here and give your clothes another chance!