The eco-efficient store concept is one of Inditex's most visible and ambitious sustainability commitments. The store is the most prominent feature of the Inditex business model, serving as the place where our customers are introduced to the style propositions offered by each of our brands. Eco-efficiency is now one of the primary considerations in all of Inditex's store design.
Inditex has built more than 1,300 eco-efficient stores around the world since 2007, and has refurbished over 420 additional stores according to the eco-efficient model. All Inditex stores will be eco-efficient by 2020.
The sustainability and energy efficiency measures built into these stores deliver average savings of 30% in electricity usage and 50% in water consumption compared to conventional stores. Inditex's eco-efficient stores are also equipped with the most innovative energy management technology, driving a notable reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. All of the Group's requirements and initiatives, in terms of materials and waste management, are addressed in the Manual for the Design, Construction, Maintenance and Management of an Eco-efficient Store, which serves as a guide for all of the Group's new store openings.
LEED and BREEAM certification
In order to ensure that the direction taken with the Eco-Efficient Store concept is and remains on-target, since 2009, Inditex has been following the guidelines and recommendations of the two benchmark green buildings standards: the US LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate and the European BREEAM seal for buildings designed and built using criteria for maximising eco-efficiency. Inditex has been auditing some of its most emblematic stores since 2009 with the aim of having them lead the way forward for the construction or refurbishment of the rest of its stores. The Group's ultimate goal is not to have all of its establishments certified but rather to periodically test its eco-efficient store manual in order to check that it remains on the right track towards benchmark energy efficiency.
A store's eco-efficiency is not strictly measured in terms of in-store environmental metrics, but also by addressing the fact that the store is in constant contact with its surroundings. This dialogue must also be as sustainable as possible.
All of Inditex's stores are located on high-profile, busy shopping streets and we work hard to ensure that their presence does not conflict with the social and environmental ecosystem into which they are introduced. Inditex's environmental management and architecture teams assess all the points of contact between the store and its surroundings before opening any new store.
Public transport: Inditex always seeks out locations that are well-served by public transport, thereby facilitating green access and ensuring sites that are services by all the basic amenities (health services, hospitality establishments and information points, among others). We also consider the need for nearby bike parking facilities in order to make it easier for our customers and employees to cycle to our stores.
Light pollution: In order to reduce night-time light pollution, our eco-efficient stores' lighting systems are programmed to reduce lighting output by over 50% outside store opening hours. Inditex also prevents the unnecessary use of lighting when illuminating its store facades and shop windows wherever possible.
Inditex's commitment to sustainable development and to protecting the environment and the world's natural resources includes using water more sustainably. Inditex's Global Water Management Strategy sets down the Group's guidelines and initiatives for achieving more sustainable and rational use of water.
Inditex's commitment to sustainable development and to protecting the environment and the world's natural resources necessitates the sustainable use of water by means of an all-encompassing strategy that factors in the full reach, i.e., the direct and indirect dimensions, of its business operations.
This pledge is enshrined in Inditex's The Global Water Management Strategy is framed by the guidelines of the CEO Water Mandate sponsored by the UN Global Compact. It provides a roadmap that will guide Inditex and all of our internal and external stakeholders (including suppliers, customers and employees) towards more sustainable use of water, whilst also contributing to the conservation of the planet's freshwater and marine ecosystems.
Flow regulation: Within stores themselves, reducing water usage is as important as reducing electricity usage and cutting carbon emissions. Inditex has achieved water savings of 50% in all of its eco-efficient stores compared to conventional stores by reducing water flow rates, installing more innovative systems and reducing water pressure in sinks, showers and toilets.
Since 2005, Zara has cut power consumption per square metre in its stores by continually introducing more innovative systems which support more efficient energy usage without affecting the performance of stores for our customers.
Motion sensors: The use of motion sensors in storage areas allows our stores to automatically dim lighting intensity by 80% when nobody is present. Similar sensors are installed in areas with lower footfall such as bathrooms, internal corridors and areas reserved for staff.
Air conditioning: All eco-efficient stores are equipped with the most efficient climate control systems available. Sequenced powering up of energy systems prevents consumption peaks and zoning of climate control systems allows for automatic adjustment of thermostats in response to the varying occupancy and exposure to sunlight experienced by different areas of the store.
Air curtains: Electronically-regulated air curtains help to prevent the entry of cooler or hotter air from outside, underpinning annual energy savings of up to 15%.
Speed-controlled escalators: Speed-controlled escalators – which start working at a faster rate when the system detects a user's presence, thus using energy efficiently.
Led lighting: Product-centred lighting system coupled with decorative use of LED lighting: The led (light-emitting diode) has an average life-expectancy that is four times greater than that of an ordinary bulb.
Centralised control systems: Configured to enable the real-time monitoring and control of in-store energy consumption to reduce usage without undermining the customer experience.
Inditex selects the materials it uses across its supply chain painstakingly, prioritising the use of recycled or reused materials, locally-sourced materials and materials certified to have used as little energy as possible in the course of their extraction, manufacture and transportation.
In 2013 a Manual of Waste Management in Stores was drawn up as a complement to the Eco-effi cient Store Manual. This manual describes the measures applied in stores to reduce waste production, to reuse waste and to manage it in the most correct way.
In-store recycling and waste management: Dedicated areas containing recycling containers and waste compacters assist our stores' recycling efforts. Moreover, all waste generated during the store construction process is properly managed by authorised handlers.
Wood: All of the wood used in our eco-efficient stores is certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which guarantee that it comes from sustainably and responsibly managed forests and does not come from areas undergoing desertification or deforestation.
Environmentally-friendly bags: The Group's plastic shopping bags are oxo-biodegradable and its paper bags are also PEFC or FSC-certified.
Hangers and garment security tags: There is a special system for collecting up clothes hangers that guarantees their reuse, repair whenever possible and recycling. This is also the case for garment security tags. In 2013, this own waste management model enabled the recovery of more than 72 million plastic hangers used in sending garments to stores. These hangers were classifi ed and sent back to the factories and workshops for reuse.
Cardboard boxes: The cardboard boxes in which the clothes are delivered to stores are re-used as often as possible. The boxes start their life cycle by delivering clothes to our stores, and are then sent back to the distribution hubs filled with other materials such as clothes hangers. Each cardboard box is used an average of six times before being recycled.
All of the processes that go into running an Inditex store have been analysed from an energy usage standpoint, with the aim of making all store operations as energy-efficient as possible.
Task-specific lighting: Lighting is programmed according to the requirements of the specific tasks to be performed in-store over the course of the day. During cleaning and loading/unloading work, lighting is cut by 66%. For cash desk closing operations, store lighting is dimmed and the lighting circuit is focused on the cash desks.
Shop window lighting: The operational hours and intensity of shop window backlighting are analysed on a store-by-store basis according to the store's location and the climate and light conditions in the vicinity.
Air-conditioning control: The stores are equipped with a centralised climate control system that regulates temperatures and air quality and monitors the timing settings for cooling/heating of the store. This system allows for automatic adjustment of thermostats in response to the varying occupancy and exposure to sunlight experienced by different areas of the store.
Employee education: To ensure the new Inditex stores operate as efficiently as intended, utilising all their innovative eco-efficiency capabilities as effectively as possible, all store personnel receive dedicated training on the proper use of the systems along with broader environmental-awareness training.