Pablo Isla explains how Inditex is contributing to global environmental sustainability at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing

  • Inditex's Executive Chairman participated in the Town Hall event titled "Climate Change to Climate Action: Saving the World", along with the Special Minister for Climate Change Affairs of China and President of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University, H.E. Mr. Xie Zhenhua; the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlos Brito; and the CEO of Gro-Intelligence, Sara Menker.
  • During the event he outlined how the Group's eco-efficient store concept helps reduce emissions and rationalise water consumption. He also stressed the importance of researching and investing in new sustainable, forward-looking techniques. 

Inditex's Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, was a guest at today's New Economy Forum organised by Bloomberg in Beijing (China). He highlighted the company’s various global initiatives to “contribute to making the world more sustainable by using resources more efficiently all along our value chain, with a focus on raw material and energy consumption”.

During an event fashioned after a Town Hall meeting, prefaced by a dynamic presentation about the planet's future by Professor John Sterman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Pablo Isla spoke alongside the Special Minister for Climate Change Affairs of China and President of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University, H.E. Mr. Xie Zhenhua; the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev; Carlos Brito; and the Founder and CEO of Gro-Intelligence, Sara Menker.

Specifically, Mr. Isla underscored the contribution made by Inditex's eco-efficient store concept by cutting emissions by 20% and delivering water savings of 50%, thanks to years of in-house research by the Group's engineering and architectural teams. In 2018, China became the first country in which all of Inditex's stores met the company's stringent eco-efficiency requirements. This year, 100% of Zara stores worldwide will be eco-efficient and Inditex’s seven other brands will also have completed this process by 2020.

Mr. Isla also stressed the importance of engaging everyone in the sustainability effort: “Genuine sustainability shuns rhetoric; it is driven by the total commitment of everyone at the company. In our case, that engagement is absolute and extends not only to monitoring our global commitments but also embracing smaller-scale initiatives that are readily transferable to every household: saving energy; using water economicallyy; recycling waste and giving up single-use plastics”.

He further underscored the significance of research and investment in sustainable development, noting that “at Inditex, we expect that effort to bear fruit very soon". He cited Inditex’s collaboration with MIT as an example of developing innovative textile recycling techniques.

In July, Inditex announced a far-reaching set of new commitments designed to lead the industry on sustainability and drive progress towards a circular economy model. Mr. Isla highlighted that by 2020 all Inditex stores will have been fitted with clothing collection containers and by 2023 all facility waste will be collected and sorted for reuse or recycling, while single-use plastics will have been eliminated from customer interfaces.

As for its emissions-cutting targets, Mr. Isla said that “by 2025, 80% of the energy consumed at our head offices, logistics centres and stores will come from renewable sources”, observing that the “use of renewable sources has multiplied nearly 20-fold since 2014”.

He also highlighted the company's sector-transforming commitments on the raw material front: “by 2025, 100% of the cotton, linen and polyester used by the Group's eight retail brands will be organic, sustainable or recycled”. He noted the noteworthy growth being sustained in the volume of garments sold under its stringent sustainability label, Join Life, which reached 136 million units in the first half of this year, as many as were sold in all of the previous year.