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Corporate Responsibility

Performance & Commitments

This, our fourth corporate responsibility report, summarises our achievements in the 2015 to 16 financial year, in each of the four pillars in our responsibility framework, and sets out how we plan to bolster our programme for the future.

ASOS 2015-2016 Performance and Commitments Factsheet

I’m fully committed to ensuring Fashion with Integrity continues to provide the framework for how we do business at ASOS as our global operations continue to expand rapidly. The successes highlighted in this report are testament to the dedication and ambition of our colleagues, suppliers, customers and all of the expert organisations we work with to create a more sustainable and ethical industry.

Nick Beighton
Chief Executive Officer, ASOS

2015/16 ACHIEVEMENTS

fashion with integrity

  • Relaunched our online Corporate Responsibility Report.
  • Published our fourth UN Global Compact COP.
  • Published our first Slavery and Trafficking Statement – a legal requirement under the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015).
  • Enhanced our business integrity due diligence process for key third party suppliers and service providers in selected countries and industries.
  • Implemented more detailed reporting on gifts and hospitality received and given by ASOS employees.

our products

Ethical Trade

  • Developed a Migrant and Contract Worker Policy.
  • Strengthened our Supplier Ethical Code to better protect vulnerable worker groups from exploitation and forced or compulsory labour.
  • Revised our Child Labour Policy to reinforce ASOS’ position on forced or compulsory labour to minimise the risk of children being trafficked or employed.
  • Revised all of our supplier policies and guidelines to ensure suppliers understand and meet their responsibilities under the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015).
  • Delivered targeted training to 56 suppliers through workshops or conferences in UK, China, Turkey and Mauritius.
  • Carried out 430 factory visits to monitor how factories are performing against our standards and provide support where required.
  • Conducted 11 detailed factory, accommodation and labour agent audits in Mauritius and implemented improvement plans to provide greater protection to migrant workers.
  • Collaborated with Verite and several other brands to develop a modern slavery training workshop for employees and suppliers.
  • All UK factories are enrolled onto the Fast Forward audit programme, which includes a Modern Slavery assessment.

Sustainable Sourcing

  • Launched our 'Sustainable Leaders at ASOS' training programme for retail and marketing employees, in collaboration with the Sustainable Fashion Academy.
  • Held a supplier summit for 20 suppliers to communicate our sustainable sourcing goals and set out how our suppliers will help us achieve them.
  • Drove increased customer engagement and sales of sustainable fashion and beauty products through our Eco Edit platform and associated Instagram account.
  • Collaborated with the industry on initiatives such as the WWF Ganges Leather Buyers Platform, to go faster and further as a group of brands on priority environmental issues.
  • Made accelerated progress towards our 2020 goal of 80% more sustainable cotton in our collections – our 2016 autumn/winter range contains 44% more sustainable cotton as defined by the Better Cotton Initiative.

our business

  • Reduced carbon intensity, as measured by grams per customer order by approximately 4% compared to the previous year.
  • Signed off a new carbon strategy which aims to reduce our energy consumption and delivery and packaging emissions, and to increase our renewable energy usage.
  • Completed energy audits of all our UK premises.
  • Converted all of the lighting at our Barnsley fulfilment centre to low emission LED alternatives, cutting our lighting electricity consumption by 76%.
  • 45% of European orders (excluding UK) now fulfilled from our German Eurohub, reducing stock and vehicle movements and emissions across Europe.
  • Completed a renewable energy appraisal at Eurohub 2 so that renewable energy generation can be factored into the new building design.
  • Carried out a desktop environmental assessment to benchmark our top 100 non-stock suppliers with the aim of developing supplier environmental scorecards.
  • Set up a customer clothes recycling scheme in partnership with Doddle, a package delivery company, and TRAID, a UK charity who is reducing the social and environmental cost of the textile industry. TRAID will receive funds from clothes donated by ASOS customers that are sold in its shops.
  • Expanded our waste compliance programme to cover a further 10 territories.
  • Recycled 298 tonnes of cardboard and sent 388 tonnes of plastic to be transformed into manufacturing pellets at our returns processing site in Selby.

our customers

  • Designed formal wear for 600 British Paralympic athletes and support staff to wear at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
  • Created a Paralympic legacy and increased awareness of disability through volunteer employee engagement opportunities.
  • Worked with the anti-bullying charity, The Diana Award, to produce teaching resources to help open up discussions with young people about body image issues which have been downloaded almost 20,000 times since its launch in September 2015.
  • Provided an online support service which helped over 7000 young adults with eating disorders during the period June 15 to May 16, as part of our ongoing relationship with eating disorders charity, Beat.

our community

  • More than 17.5 % of employees make regular donations from their pay to charity – we received our fourth Platinum Quality Mark for Payroll Giving in April.
  • Our employees volunteered 2,258 hours to give time and expertise to our community programme partners or to their chosen charity or community group.
  • Set up a new partnership with Centrepoint, funding mental health services for homeless young adults in London.
  • Partnered with Barnsley College to fund the Enterprise Programme to develop young people’s business ideas and employability skills, and iTrust which provides local business start-ups with grant and mentor support.
  • Delivered our second Prince’s Trust ‘Get Into IT’ technology programme, resulting in six graduates being offered 12-month contracts in ASOS’ IT Department and three from the pilot programme being offered permanent roles.
  • Provided fresh water to an additional 3,800 people in rural Kenya by installing a 6km water pipeline.
  • Launched the ‘Pipeline Roadshow’, a programme of community workshops in rural villages including women’s health, free eye care clinics and training in financial management for women and families.
  • Opened our first purpose-built Udayan Care home for 12 Orphaned or abandoned girls in India.

2016/17 COMMITMENTS

fashion with integrity

  • Improve employee and supplier understanding, engagement and compliance with Do The Right Thing so that as we continue our rapid international growth business integrity remains part of ASOS’ DNA.
  • Increase awareness of We’re Listening, our confidential, independent helpline for employees.

our products

Ethical Trade

  • Complete a forced and compulsory labour review and revision, where relevant, of internal human resources and procurement policies.
  • Develop a Supplier Ethical Code for all non-stock suppliers.
  • In conjunction with a number of other brands work with Verite, to create a map of modern slavery and trafficking risks of the garment industry’s main sourcing countries.
  • Pilot a worker feedback survey in 17 Turkish factories.
  • Develop best practice guidelines and training on hiring of contract labour in Northern India.
  • Deliver training on social insurance take up in China factories.
  • Convene a multi-stakeholder meeting in early 2017 to discuss the issue of migrant recruitment and working conditions in the Mauritian garment sector.
  • Roll out the modern slavery training workshop to employees, management teams, fulfilment centre personnel and suppliers.
  • Partner with an external organization to support extensive mapping and gain an deeper understanding of our entire product supply chain.
  • Build supplier capacity to manage ethical trade in their factory base.
  • Continue to review and improve our sourcing practices.

Sustainable Sourcing

  • Achieve 70% more sustainable cotton in our ranges. As part of our commitment to source 95% more sustainable cotton by 2020 and 100% by 2025.
  • Ensure 100% of our cellulosic fibres do not come from ancient or endangered forests and launch our wood and wood pulp policy
  • Increase the volume of our own-label products in Eco Edit and launch new sustainable products for customers.
  • 70 ASOS employees complete the 'Sustainable Leaders at ASOS' training programme.
  • Top 25 suppliers have a sustainable scorecard to benchmark their performance.
  • Join the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and complete our first brand environmental self-assessment.
  • Invite 30% of our suppliers by volume to complete their own environmental self-assessment, including wet processing units.
  • Present to over 100 suppliers in India, China and eastern Europe to  communicate our sustainable sourcing goals and set out how our suppliers will help us achieve them
  • Sign the Global Fashion Agenda to set out our commitment to take the necessary steps to transition to a circular fashion system.
  • Join the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) to collaborate with the industry to address the environmental challenges at every stage of the European clothing industry’s life cycle.
  • Sustainable fibre targets and incentives in place for retail teams, including recycled polyester, water based PU and more sustainable cotton.
  • Guidance to all brands sold through ASOS.com on chemical management and restricted substances

our business

  • As part of our new carbon strategy to reduce our carbon intensity every year until 2020 we have set ourselves the following key ambitions:
    • Install renewable technology to generate at least a proportion of our own electricity at all ASOS owned or leased buildings.
    • Run all ASOS buildings on electricity from 100% renewable sources.
    • Undertake energy audits of all of our buildings every 2 years. The findings will be used to identify business cases for investment in further energy efficiency opportunities.
    • Identify and support innovative delivery partners and packaging suppliers who are developing ways to reduce the environmental impact of customer packaging and deliveries.
    • Offset carbon emissions from employee business travel and data centres by purchasing carbon credits in reforestation projects.
  • Fulfil 90% of European (excluding UK) orders through our German Eurohub to reduce stock and vehicle movements across Europe.
  • Continue to review all of our packaging with our suppliers to ensure that we are providing the most effective solutions to customers with the least environmental impact.
  • Continue to extend our waste compliance programmes to cover additional territories.
  • Continue our desktop assessments of non-stock suppliers to review their environmental credentials.

our customers

  • Increase the accessibility of ASOS’ websites and mobile sites.
  • Extend our partnership with the eating disorder charity Beat to enable them to recruit an additional member of staff to assist with online support services for young adults with eating disorders.
  • Undertake workshops with young people attending Haverstock school, Camden to encourage the importance of being healthy, body confident and choosing clothes that fit rather than changing body shapes to fit clothes.
  • Continue to publish articles on diverse and inspirational young men and women across ASOS content.
  • Continuously improve the fit of our garments so that we can deliver the right fit, first time to every customer.

our community

  • As a founder member of ‘Geared for Giving’, participate in a national campaign to ensure that every UK employee has access to a payroll giving scheme by 2020.
  • Launch Centrepoint volunteer opportunities for ASOS employees to increase awareness of homelessness and mental health issues in the community
  • Extend Project Pipeline to provide fresh drinking water for more of the Kasigau community.
  • Open our second Udayan Care home in Kurukshetra which will include space for a community mentoring centre.

We’d like to know what you think of our performance so far in corporate responsibility – please contact us here.