Gap Score

New to the Best Global Green Brands report this year, ZARA is one of the top fashion retailers in the world, fueling owner Inditex's global sales to grow fourfold to nearly USD $20.1 billion in the past decade. The corporate environmental policy commits ZARA to taking a stand on environmental issues with a stated goal of becoming known as the “eco-friendly store.” Responding to the recent Dhaka factory disaster by signing the Bangladesh safety accord, the fast-fashion retailer is eager to be a model corporate citizen. It’s working to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in addition to other initiatives such as recycling hangers, internal engagement, using 100 percent organic cotton, creating PVC-free footwear, and fueling their fleet with biodiesel fuel. An eco-friendly ZARA store was built in New York last year, featuring motion detectors to control lighting and automatically adjusting heating and air conditioning to reduce energy consumption. Its Melbourne store received LEED gold certification in June 2012 for a 37 percent reduction in water usage and a lighting system that saves 10 percent on energy. Despite a public commitment to environmental safety, in late 2012 Inditex was targeted by Greenpeace as part of its Toxic Threads campaign over the use of hazardous chemicals in manufacturing, which sparked protests at ZARA stores worldwide. Eager to avoid any further damage to its reputation, Inditex responded immediately by signing a Greenpeace pledge committing its brands to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products by 2020. To the public at large, however, ZARA is still not widely perceived as a green brand. ZARA is working towards making its sustainability initiatives more public by implementing transparent policies, which could help boost public awareness.