Our goal to make life more beautiful includes protecting and preserving the world we live in. As one of the biggest challenges facing humankind, climate change is an issue that requires us all to work together. We are committed to setting aggressive yet realistic targets and have embarked on a journey towards carbon neutrality. DOUGLAS has already taken the first steps and will ramp up our endeavours in the years ahead. Additionally, we intend to partner with suppliers and customers to help reduce their GHG emissions as part of efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels.
As reporting requirements evolve, we are seizing this opportunity to re-shape our thinking about how to maximise material efficiency, too. To conserve our planet’s precious resources, DOUGLAS is exploring various ways to increase recycling and reduce waste generation within our company.
Reducing our emissions
At DOUGLAS, we recognise our responsibility to use resources and energy efficiently. We know that each and every one of us, but especially all of us together as a company, are stewards of our planet. Before we could chart a course forward, we had to determine our CO2e footprint and other relevant environmental impacts. We developed a complex and structured data collection process to help us identify our total Scope 1 and 2 emissions across all countries, offices, warehouses and stores. This information has put us on a solid footing to know where we stand and where we are headed.
We are setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets that will see all of our sites become carbon-neutral for Scope 1 and 2 by 2025. This target requires a two-pronged approach. Firstly, DOUGLAS will reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2025 compared with our baseline year of 2019. Secondly, we will compensate for any residual Scope 1 and 2 emissions that cannot be avoided or reduced by 2025. We aim to decrease any residual Scope 1 and 2 emissions beyond 2025, as reduction is always preferable to compensation.
Reducing our waste
In a world where resources are increasingly scarce and customers are increasingly aware of their environmental footprint, it is more essential than ever for companies to use materials efficiently and minimise waste. DOUGLAS knows that we can conserve valuable resources by decreasing our demand for materials – and by extension, reducing the amount of waste that we generate. That’s why we are rolling out measures to reduce, reuse and recycle at our stores, offices and warehouses and for our online operations.
We intend to set up a waste tracking system that is broken down by material flow so that we can see where our glass, paper and other recyclables end up. This will create transparency and improve our ability to track our progress towards our goals. DOUGLAS plans to conduct its first total waste assessment of our German operations in 2022.
We aim to define a circular economy roadmap to make sure that as much material as possible stays within the loop. Packaging is one of the primary waste streams generated within our company. We already utilise reusable boxes to transport products from our warehouses to stores and back. Now, we are exploring ways to cut our use of transport packaging further and increase the amount of recycled and bio-sourced packaging material that we use. Read more about the more environmentally friendly products and packaging on our shelves and website in the Beautiful Products section.
Since preventing waste is always the best option, we are proud to have low return rates. Over three years of tracking, our return rates have consistently fallen. Any returns in Germany that cannot be resold and are suitable for donation are given to employees and two organisations, “Die Tafel Düsseldorf e. V.” and “Bürgerstiftung”.