ASOS has cut its operational carbon emissions per order by 30% in five years, the fashion retailer has announced in a new report.
The company has been pursuing its Carbon 2020 strategy since 2015, which prioritised energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.
The last financial year also saw an 18% reduction in customer delivery emissions.
However, the company acknowledged that it had also seen its active customers increase by 64% to 20.3 million, meaning that emissions had risen overall by about a third.
The report includes a breakdown of the various sources of emissions. The largest contributor to emissions, at 48%, comes from delivery to customers. The second biggest contributor is inbound and inter-site transportation at 30%, followed by returns (12%), business operations and fulfilment centres (both 4%) and packaging (2%).
ASOS has taken a range of approaches to cutting emissions. One major change was the addition of a new fulfilment centre in the US city of Atlanta, meaning more deliveries could be made via shorter distance and less intensive methods such as road delivery.
ASOS has also worked with partners in the UK such as Gnewt Cargo to use electric vehicles for deliveries and stipulated in a September contract renewal with DPD that 50% of deliveries within the London Ultra Low Emission Zone should be served by electric delivery vehicles only.
It has also trialled transporting stock from China to Europe via rail rather than air, which could reduce emissions by 94%.
The company said it will set new carbon targets later this year.
ASOS CEO Nick Beighton says: “In 2015, I signed off a new carbon strategy, ‘Carbon 2020,’ which defined how ASOS, through the delivery of six big ambitions, planned to meet its goal to reduce carbon intensity – grams of carbon dioxide per customer order – every year until 2020.
“Those ambitions focussed on reducing emissions relating to our customer deliveries and returns, order packaging, energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and switching to renewable energy sources.
“They were broad aims that helped us to define and focus our work on short-term goals. Five years on from the launch of Carbon 2020, we’re incredibly proud to have achieved everything we set out to – with a landmark reduction in carbon intensity.”