Sustainability Case Study
Ellos Group is a leading e-commerce group in the Nordic region, including three well known retail brands, Ellos, Jotex, Stayhard and Homeroom.
Ellos Group was acquired from the French retailer PPR in 2013. In 2019, the Group was sold to listed fashion group FNG, after which Nordic Capital remains as a significant minority shareholder in FNG.
With a broad product range, Ellos has approximately 1.7 million active customers. They strive to develop market leading consumer brands and long-term relationships, where sustainability is an integrated part of to the business.
Ellos has increased its focus on sustainability in the past years based on increasing awareness and demands from all stakeholders.
Ellos is continuously assessing and identifying its key risks and opportunities. Based on that they have developed an action plan and appointed a sustainability team representing a broad range of functions and competencies. Good progress has been made in several areas, including the following examples:
An important objective for Ellos is to use more sustainable materials in production. Cotton is an example of a very important raw material within the textile and apparel business, therefore a key step for Ellos was to join the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The BCI is an industry collaboration that works with cotton farms to make cotton production better for both the people who produce it and for the environment. The commitment has resulted in an increase of the share of sustainable cotton in production from 10 percent in 2015 to 81 percent in 2018.
Ellos has taken the initiative to its own certification, “A better choice”, marking the products that are being produced with environmentally friendly materials, lower energy usage or recycled and reduced products. This enables consumers to shop sustainable fashion and home decoration.
Minimizing the negative environmental impact of the operations is an important area of continuous improvement.
The aim is to reduce both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions relative to sales, by using 100% renewable energy at the locations in Borås, energy-efficient solutions for lighting and heating, and to minimize air freight and working proactively with the transporters to reduce emissions.
The transformation of Ellos to an online retailer has resulted in a major reduction of paper consumption. Customer mailings have been reduced by 88% over the past four years.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SUPPLIERS
The Ellos Group considers it important to take responsibility for own actions and take a role in developing a sustainable society. Ellos wants to ensure that the human rights of the people taking part in producing the products are respected. Therefore, Ellos has developed a Code of Conduct for all suppliers and their subcontractors. The efforts have resulted in a sharp increase in number of approved suppliers. In 2015, 27 percent of the suppliers were audited with approval. In 2018, the number was 98 percent.
Employers should be based on their ability to do the job and provided with equal employment opportunities. Ellos wants to enhance gender equality on all levels and especially in top management, where there has been an absence of women in executive positions. Today, the share of women in executive positions is 31 percent.
Tracking and reporting
The sustainability work at Ellos Group is based on the analysis made in 2014/2015 identifying areas of improvement focusing on the increase of sustainable materials, fair working conditions, human rights and anti-corruption. These areas have since then been tracked and reported. Last year a new materiality analysis was carried out involving customers, employees, owners and local communities. Based on the conclusions the sustainability strategy has been updated adding an increased focus on last mile transport and returns in order to reduce CO2 emissions in transports, and the packaging being used by suppliers and in shipments to customers.
The full sustainability report is available on ellosgroup.se.
”The heating is more energy efficient since we have changed to more environmentally friendly district heating. The air conditioning uses 50% less energy, and we have installed new areas for recycling. We also installed LED lightning with movement sensors, toilets and faucets use less water, and natural materials have been chosen for flooring and carpets."