C&A has implemented advanced environmental measures, to decrease the emission of CO2 and minimise the negative effects on global climate. All of C&A´s environmental engagements are based on the new C&A-Environmental Strategy under the title: We C&Are. C&A is taking on responsibility or the future in a sustainable and innovative manner. Andreas G. Seitz, member and spokesperson of the European Executive Board, outlines: ¨The objective of C&A is to be among the five leading companies in mainland Europe´s fashion retail trade with regards to the following areas of activity: Bio Cotton, Recycling/Carrier bags, usage of ´green´ (renewable) energy, Eco store and transport/ logistics.¨
The leading aspect of C&A´s environmental efforts focuses on the introduction of a certified Bio Cotton collection. After approximately 1,200 tons of processed Bio Cotton in the autumn of 2007, around 7,500 tons are due to follow in the year 2008. The latter amount corresponds to approx. 12.5 million items of clothing products, including jeans, t-shirts, underwear and baby clothes. With the increased demand for ecological cotton, which is cultivated without the use of artificial fertilisers or chemicals, C&A is encouraging sustainable agricultural production to shift to environmentally friendly cotton cultivation. In cooperation with the organisation Organic Exchange, C&A plans to further boost the use of Bio Cotton in the years ahead.
In this context it is vital to point out that C&A does not charge higher prices for Bio Cotton- merchandise despite the fact that the relevant raw materials for Bio Cotton are more expensive than the normal cotton fabrics/ products. Therefore, C&A not only offers the customers a significant financial benefit, but also acts in favour of the environment – for C&A, the cultivation of Bio Cotton is an investment in the future of the environment and the people. As of 2008, C&A will be offering its certified and 100%- Bio Cotton collection as a broad range for the whole family in all European C&A markets at ´Best value´prices.
From spring 2008, C&A will be converting its current corporate shopping bags completely into recycled material. Hence, approximately 170 million carrier bags made of recycled material will be used in the trading year 2008. C&A will be offering a 100%- Bio Cotton bag as from March 2008 in all C&A- retail countries to its customers in order to stimulate a reduced use of plastic bags and to promote reusable alternatives. The profit generated by the sale of the Bio Cotton carrier bags will be donated to dedicated farming projects which in turn support the cultivation of Bio Cotton in developing countries.
Since October 2007, C&A is using environmentally friendly energy generated by hydropower. Approximately 380 stores accounting for around 50% of C&A-Europe´s total selling space (m²) are already powered by renewable energy; by 2010, the use of renewable energy is scheduled to have risen to an impressive 80% of C&A´s operating- and selling space in its stores across Europe. Also, since of October this year, the C&A headquarter in Duesseldorf as well as the majority of the C&A distribution centres throughout Europe have been using ´green´energy.
In cooperation with Redevco Europe, C&A will establish an Eco store concept which focuses on state-of-the-art building- and shopping infrastructure in terms of future energy efficiency. C&A plans to open the first Eco store in Germany in the second half of the coming trading year 2008. The C&A- Eco Store Concept will result in significant energy savings of around 50% and will trigger carbon- neutrality for the total store. An environmentally friendly lighting system is currently being developed in cooperation with Philips. This system is due to be installed in approx. 200 European C&A stores in the year 2008, in turn replacing approximately 150,000 lights. As a result 18% of the energy consumed by the current systems will be saved.
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C&A´s target is to reduce all packaging materials to a minimum, which is why clear and consistent guidelines for suppliers have been developed. In the year 2006, as many as 570 tons of plastic packaging and 6,600 tons of paperboard/ cardboard were recycled. In the field of transport and logistics and together with forwarding partners, C&A pursues the concept of an ecologically compatible truck fleet with minimum emissions based on state-of-the-art technologies. By 2010, almost all truck deliveries to C&A branches in Europe will comply with the environmentally friendly Euro 5 standard.