ASOS unveils plan to go net zero by 2030

Retailer ready to use more recycled materials to reduce its carbon footprint

Online fashion retailer ASOS has announced plans to become net zero by 2030, saying one in four of its customers looks at the effect companies are having on climate change when making purchases.

The company has drawn up a new set of environmental, social and governance goals that include, by 2025, ending the contribution to climate change made by its operations department.

As more shoppers flock to online sites to buy clothes, shunning the high street, the company said its consumers are increasingly eco conscious.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday morning, Nick Beighton, chief executive of ASOS, said: “We think it’s time for stretching goals to do things differently using more recycled materials.”

He said ASOS products are currently made from 85 per cent recycled materials, “but it’s time to do something more”.

Asked if the changes would hit consumers in the pocket, he said the company would engage with industry partners “to offset any minimal increases” to prices.

He said he expects the move will draw more customers to the site, pointing to ASOS’s own research showing a quarter of people who buy from them are making eco-conscious choices.

He said: “Customers ultimately hold us to account but we also use critical friends to assess our progress and we use our critical friends with science-based targets to actually come up with these goals.”

The online retailer, which sells 85,000 products in 200 markets, recently bought Topshop.

Mr Beighton said ASOS will also offer salary incentives to staff based on its new environmental targets.

With the manufacture of clothing, footwear and accessories, and the transport of goods, the fashion industry accounts for about 10 percent of global carbon emissions.

Mr Beighton said the vision to reduce carbon emissions has “been a cornerstone of everything we do and has helped us deliver positive benefits for people and minimise our impact on the planet”.

ASOS is one of many online fashion retailers to have enjoyed a boost in sales during the Covid pandemic.

Sales in the four months to June 30 jumped 31 percent to £1.29 billion ($1.78 billion), including a 60 per cent rise in UK sales to £526.4 million – the strongest growth of any of its markets.

Updated: October 7th 2021, 11:57 AM
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