Global apparel company Benetton Group recently announced it will join Greenpeace's Detox Program and increase the green operations of its supply chain. The environmental group has encouraged clothing companies and retailers to get onboard with its program to conserve the environment and use fewer harsh chemicals, and thus far corporations such as Nike, Zara and Marks & Spencer have signed on and vowed to greening their processes.
In order to enhance sustainability, Benetton has pledged to stop releasing hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain by 2020. The commitment won't just apply to Benetton itself, as its suppliers will also be required to take part in the new measures. In the coming months, the company will release a list of chemicals it plans to eliminate by 2020 and update its list of restricted substances. It has been reported Benetton will also restrict the use of chemicals as information about their impact on health and the environment is discovered.
History of sustainable efforts
Joining the Detox Program wasn't the first move the corporation has made in order to increase sustainability - its high manufacturing standards allow its products to display the Eco Safe logo, indicating they were designed with chemical and mechanical safety standards in mind. In recent years, it has also made sustainable changes such as using water-based ink, limiting packaging and watching emission levels.
Benetton already makes an effort to ensure its procurement practices optimize sustainability. It has a strategic sourcing policy in place to purchase eco-friendly wool and cotton, and much of its cotton in its garments is organic. The company also provides its cotton and wool suppliers with a list of prohibited substances to ensure its garments come into contact with as few hazardous chemicals as possible.
Businesses can benefit by going green
Even though the move to sustainability may be challenging, the company could eventually see a cost savings benefit. Eliminating hazardous chemicals and using new products could end up being less expensive for the business, slashing the amount spent on certain aspects of processing and manufacturing.
Benetton's monitoring of its emission levels could also help it in the future as more companies limit the amount of carbon they emit or make the switch to green energy. By cutting back on energy used to power manufacturing facilities and retail stores, the company could find significant business cost reductions and better manage its energy use.