The negative impact is greater in other parts of the product lifecycle compared to the impact we have in our own operations. Nevertheless, we fully embrace responsibility to reduce the negative impacts in our own operations, which represents our day-to-day behavior as a business and a team, and which is also where we have the greatest sphere of influence. In addition to transports of products, business travel and energy consumption in our premises are addressed as part of the footprint from our own operations.
What we are doing to achieve our target
We follow up our long-term climate targets and report our progress according to the GHG protocol – Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 – comprising product transports from factory to markets for sale, business travel by employees and energy consumption in offices and stores. In 2016 the Björn Borg Group reduced carbon footprint per SEK of turnover by 14 percent and in absolute terms by 5 percent compared with 2015. We are now very close to meeting the long-term target of 40 percent reduction. From the starting year of 2013 through 2016 the total reduction per SEK of sales is 39 percent.
Our product transports clearly have the biggest climate impact, nearly 64 percent of the total footprint, followed by business travel. Air travel accounted for no less than 75 percent of the total impact from business travel.
In 2016 job travel by air was reduced by 18%. Our production is primarily in Asia and in the past years we have taken over local distribution ourselves instead of working with local third party distributors, increasingly becoming an international company group. Because of these two factors, some air travel will be necessary. Our policy however is to challenge whether a particular trip is really necessary, how many people really have to travel and whether visits to several business partners can be coordinated. This is reflected in our business travel policy. In 2016 we implemented Skype for Business and rolled out a video conferencing system for our conference rooms at the headquarters, improving our remote meeting capabilties. We are also implementing other new digital tools for interfacing business partners and team staff in other countries, including in our transition into cloud computing within the Group.
There was a noticeable improvement for premises between 2013 and 2014, when the electricity used in Sweden was replaced by renewable alternatives. In total, 71 percent of the electricity that the Group buys comes from renewable sources, primarily hydroelectric power. But still the greatest impact comes from continuing to work with reducing air transports of products and business travel by air.
During 2016 we have also accelerated our work with source separation recycling at our head office. We now have recycling containers for all kinds of materials, including food waste. In fact, in our lunch room we no longer have a container for “others”, meaning that everybody must take the time to put every single part of their garbage in the right bin. Behavioral change is difficult and we think that little extra push helps. For us, this kind of recycling intitiaives in our office is also an important symbol act, show casing each day to our staff that we must all take responsibility, and that everybody can contribute in the every day life in the office. When setting individual targets for 2017, also, all members of our staff have been asked to set a “green” target for the year, such as eating vegetarian food one day per week, commute by public transportation to work instead of taking the car or shift to renewable energy at home. We believe that this helps move perception and have sustainability top of mind, which will also spill over to work life and engagement in the working role within the company.