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We are committed to:
Managing our environmental footprint across our business;
Training our teams and working with our suppliers on sustainability;
Tracking and reporting our progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals for Business covering energy/climate change, resource use and waste, water and responsible products.
Alannah Weston, our Chairman, Selfridges Group talks about the seven reasons for our businesses to take sustainability seriously.
Eliminating single use plastics
Under Ireland’s REPAK Plastics Pledge we eliminated all avoidable single use plastic packaging and shifting to low impact alternatives by end 2020.
We have banned plastic microbeads in beauty products as well as plastic containing cotton buds and wet wipes from our beauty halls. We have removed single use plastic straws, water bottles and cups from our restaurants. All our team members receive a branded reusable cup as part of their induction pack. We have eliminated all single use plastic carrier bags.
To address micro-plastic pollution in our oceans, as of April 1st 2021, we no longer sell cosmetic products containing plastic-based glitter.
Reducing our carbon footprint
We commit to reducing our carbon footprint using science based targets. In 2020 we became the first retailer in Ireland to have our targets verified by the Science Based Targets initiative. From 2020-2030 we will reduce our carbon emissions across our estate (scope 1 & 2) by 50.4% and in our supply chain (scope 3) by 15%, from a baseline of 2018. To do this we have ongoing investments in energy efficiency improvements, such as switching to low energy LED lighting, more efficient heating and cooling systems. We buy green electricity supporting renewable energy generation in Ireland.
Science Based Targets define the carbon reduction needed to avoid a global temperature rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Climate Pledge – Net Zero
In September 2021 we committed to significantly accelerate our target to achieve net-zero carbon across our business to 2040 by signing the Climate Pledge, alongside the wider Selfridges Group. The Climate Pledge is a cross-sector collaboration co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to act on the climate emergency 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
As a signatory of the Climate Pledge, Brown Thomas will
• Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.
• Implement decarbonisation strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business change and innovations, including continuous efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
• Take actions to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
Zero waste to landfill
In 2020 we were certified zero waste to landfill across our stores.
Supporting local biodiversity - Urban Bee Hives
We are all a buzz as we help Irish biodiversity with rooftop beehives and honey. Our store team is working in association with the Limerick Urban Beekeeping Society initiative to support local bee pollination.
Download our Sustainability Policy
BUY & SELL RESPONSIBLY
We are committed to
Responsibly sourcing our products and packaging across the supply chain;
Growing our ranges of responsible beauty, fashion, food, accessories and homewares to support our customers to live more sustainable lifestyles;
Showcasing sustainable products and local Irish design.
THE SUSTAINABLE EDIT
A curated collection of sustainable fashion, beauty, home, food and Irish products. Extraordinary style with a light footprint so our conscious customers can have it all.
We work with our brands, concessions, restaurants, logistics and other suppliers to continuously improve environmental, labour and animal welfare practices and transparency across the supply chain. We train our buyers and suppliers on responsible sourcing. We work with best practice initiatives including the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Download our Ethical Trading Regulations with our mandatory responsible sourcing requirements for suppliers
Our 2025 Materials Targets
In order to tackle the current climate and biodiversity crises, and meet our carbon commitments we need to address the environmental and human impacts of the products that we buy and sell as a business.
To this end, we commit that by 2025, our priority materials will come from certified/verified sustainable sources.
The materials that are included in this commitment are cotton, leather, palm oil, down & feather, and cellulosic fibres such a viscose, lyocell and modal.
The certified standards we will be accepting include organic and recycled as well as sustainably sourced materials and fibres such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), who certify sustainable forestry management, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) who certify responsibly sourced palm oil.
This means in practice, by the end of 2025 if you are buying a cotton shirt or jeans in Brown Thomas, you will be guaranteed the cotton in that product has been sourced sustainably, in line with industry leading standards.
In addition to this, we are committing to ensuring that all of our purchased plastic packaging by 2025 is recyclable, re-usable or compostable.
To read more on each of our commitments in detail, see here.
Modern Slavery Statement
Each year we publish a Modern Slavery statement to outline our commitment as a business to tackling and preventing modern slavery risks in our business operations and supply chain.
Read our statements below:
Financial Year 19/20
Financial Year 20/21
Our iconic Brown Thomas carrier bags are made from sustainable paper certified to Forest Stewardship Council and can be recycled. In 2020 we replaced plastic bubble wrap with paper filler in our e-commerce packaging across our online fulfilment facilities in-store and in our Distribution Centre. We are working on reducing the footprint of all our packaging and consumables. Just when you thought our carrier bags couldn’t get any better, we have also introduced a reusable one made recycled plastic bottles.
Our luxury, quality products stand the test of time. To reduce their footprint further we continue to grow our circular offerings.
We also believe fashion is not waste. We support reuse through our Give back with Style box. Customers can donate clothes or items to raise charity funds for SVP by returning their unwanted clothes or items via the online delivery box. Our team members also can donate through our SVP Internal Clothing Appeal.
A Step Forward
With sustainability at the core of this year’s CREATE, the designers reveal how they are acting and thinking more ethically throughout their work. Having celebrated a decade of CREATE last year, Brown Thomas Fashion Buying Director, Shelly Corkery was determined to go one step further in 2021. “We’ve turned CREATE on its heels and are pushing for progression. With the reinvention of retail and sustainability being at the core of our business, it was very clear that was the way forward.”
SUPPORT PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Charity and Volunteering
We support the local communities our business operates in through charity fundraising and volunteering. We support a variety of charity partners relevant to both our brands and team members’ interests. In light of Covid-19 we have grown our focus to support our healthcare heroes and retirees. Team members participate in charity initiatives raising much needed funds for our charity partners. Every team member that we employ is entitled to one paid volunteering day per year.
Diversity & Inclusion
We are committed to fostering an equal, diverse and inclusive culture, where all of our team members have the opportunity to realise their full potential. In 2021, we appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Board, who will be responsible for delivering on this commitment. Additionally we have partnered with Open Doors and Irish Centre of Diversity. In 2020, we became the first retailer in Ireland to be awarded the Bronze Accreditation from the Irish Centre for Diversity, recognising us as Investors in Diversity. You can read more about Diversity & Inclusion at Brown Thomas here.
We are proud to be the first Irish retailer to be awarded the IBEC KeepWell mark accreditation. This is an evidence based workplace wellbeing accreditation and award for companies that adopt policies to make their employees wellbeing a priority.
OUR ORGANISATION AND PARTNERS
Our commitment is from the top down. Our sustainability team lead our programme with oversight from our Sustainability Executive Group – decision makers across our business functions. Over 40 of our team are Green and Charity champions who support implementation and engagement across our business. We are proud to be the first retailer to complete the Green Teams national training programme supported by the Environmental Protection Agency.
We work closely with our brands, concessions and supply partners. We are also members of sustainability leadership initiatives in Ireland and internationally which support us to continuously improve and scale our progress.