The global nature of the clothing industry has a significant impact upon communities and the natural environment worldwide. SuperGroup's objective is to ensure that this impact is as positive as possible.
The Group's corporate responsibility programme is designed to:
- respect workers in the supply chain;
- drive environmental sustainability improvements;
- support the communities SuperGroup interacts with; and
- ensure the welfare of employees.
The Group recognises that this approach is not only beneficial to stakeholders but also contributes to the economic sustainability of the business itself.
Commitment to corporate responsibility comes from the most senior level in the business. Susanne Given, Chief Operating Officer ("COO"), has overall accountability for Group corporate responsibility and sponsors its strategic direction and objectives.
A corporate responsibility operations team reports directly to the COO and is responsible for delivering and reporting on the Group's objectives. This team works with departments across the business to identify opportunities for operating in a more sustainable manner.
Issues pertaining to corporate responsibility are reviewed within the Group's internal control and risk management processes. Ethical trading issues in the supply chain are considered a principal risk to the business and are reviewed in accordance with risk management protocols.
Responsibility in the Supply Chain
Building responsibility into supply chain expansion
When one of the key outerwear suppliers in China needed to move factories in 2014, SuperGroup assisted with the expansion plans.
By helping to set up production lines, human resources systems and health and safety processes from the outset, the factory can better improve worker welfare and conditions.
SuperGroup continues to focus effort on improving safety and fairness for all workers in the factories that manufacture. The Group believes that it has a responsibility to ensure that suppliers comply with local and international legislation and recognised standards of best practice.
All suppliers are required to acknowledge in writing the SuperGroup Ethical Trading Code of Practice (the "Code of Practice"). Based on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Code of Practice sets out the minimum standards expected from suppliers and their employees. The Group regularly undertakes audits and reviews of factory performance against the Code of Practice and works with suppliers to improve working conditions.
Financial year 2014 saw a number of improvements in the way SuperGroup manages ethical trading in its supply chain; collaboration was a key theme.
Collaborating with experts
SuperGroup continues to benefit from membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). This organisation allows the Group to learn from trade unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as other brands, on how to address ethical trading issues.
The Group strengthened its internal team to assist with improving supply chain conditions. More regular joint factory visits by both the ethical trading and production teams has helped reinforce SuperGroup's message regarding responsible sourcing.
A new supplier review and risk management programme was launched during the fourth quarter of FY14. This enables the Group to regularly review supplier performance across a range of indicators including:
- critical path deadlines; and
- factory technical capability.
Ethical trading metrics form a key part of each review and enable the Group to consider safety and fairness in its sourcing decisions.
SuperGroup will continue to work on improving ethical trading standards through collaborative measures. Prior to the end of the Period the Group launched a long-term capability building programme with a selection of key factories. This co-funded programme uses local experts to assist factories in making human resources, health and safety and productivity improvements, ultimately resulting in a more effective supply chain.
- Introduction of a new Ethical Trading Terms of Engagement document to further clarify what working conditions are expected in the supply chain.
- 179 audits and site visits were conducted in the Group's supply chain factories.
- Development of all angora wool products were suspended in December 2013 to establish whether suppliers are operating in accordance with the Group's Animal Welfare Policy. At the report date no further use of Angora wool is planned.
Creating Environmental Value
Clean, green renewable energy
In FY14 85% of SuperGroup's UK electricity was generated by renewable energy sources.
This is delivered in partnership with a renewable energy supply company and supports local, cleaner energy generation from Cornish solar, Scottish wind and Welsh hydro power schemes.
Reducing environmental impact is a key element of the Group's corporate responsibility objectives. The economic sustainability of the business requires the Group to consider the environmental sustainability of its operations and products.
The SuperGroup Environmental Policy, sanctioned by the Chief Executive Officer, is principally responsible for committing the Group to reducing:
- greenhouse gas emissions;
- energy consumption; and
- waste generation.
Through adopting this policy the Group anticipates that it will drive down underlying energy costs and will help mitigate the risk from future energy commodity price fluctuations.
13.59 tonnes of waste textiles from SuperGroup's UK design and sampling teams was recycled in financial year 2014.
Garments or materials that are no longer required are securely taken off site and shredded. Following destruction, these textiles are recycled for use in other industries such as rags for the cleaning industry or as car insulation.
Automated meter reader
In 2014 SuperGroup completed an automated meter reader (AMR) roll-out programme. These 'smart meters' have been introduced into 74% of Superdry's UK stores and buildings, providing accurate and near real time energy data. This data allows the Group to both proactively and reactively manage its energy costs within an energy management programme. This project has also led to the trial of a building management system in energy intensive stores that has seen energy use in those stores reduced by 10% on average.
The Group continues to participate, alongside other major brands, in the Government's Sustainable Clothing Action Plan group to help improve the sustainability of clothing across the retail industry. This year, for the first time, SuperGroup collaborated with 'Made-By', a fashion-focused sustainability non-governmental organisation to measure and benchmark the carbon, waste and water impacts of the entire Superdry clothing range.
The Group has measured its operational and wider carbon footprint for the past four years, providing insight into where the largest climate impacts are and to prioritise resources accordingly.
Global greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions for the period 5 May 2013 to 6 May 2014
|Tonnes of CO2e|
|Combustion of fuel and operation of facilities||321|
|Electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use||7,439|
|Emissions per £m of revenue||18|
FY14 CO2 by emission source %
The Group has reported on all of the emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013. These sources fall within the consolidated financial statements. SuperGroup does not have responsibility for any emission sources that are not included in the consolidated statements. Data has been prepared in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition) and emission factors from the UK Government's GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2014.
26 mile adventure challenge
In September 2013 SuperGroup employees entered a gruelling 26 mile run, cycle and canoe challenge alongside other retail brands and raised £22,363 for CARE International projects.
During 2014, Superdry360, the Group's charity and community support programme, was launched. Superdry360 is a platform for charitable projects supporting the local, national and international communities in which SuperGroup operates. In FY14 Superdry360 made donations to a number of charities including The Prince's Trust, Cheltenham Design Festival and Care International.