In March, Samsonite introduced “Our Accountable Journey,” a brand new world sustainability technique that outlines its commitments throughout 4 precedence areas: Product Innovation; Carbon Motion; Thriving Provide Chain; and Our Individuals, together with engagement, growth, variety and inclusion.
Samsonite is pleased with its 110-year historical past of management within the innovation, high quality and sturdiness of its merchandise. With Our Accountable Journey, Samsonite strives to steer the approach to life bag and journey baggage throughout key sustainability indicators, together with the usage of recycled supplies in its merchandise and packaging and reaching carbon neutrality throughout its owned and operated amenities.
With robust help from the complete senior administration crew and particularly from Samsonite CEO Kyle Gendreau, the corporate has launched into this journey to make sustainability a key tenet of its model promise. The aim is to maintain the world touring whereas staying true to Samsonite’s long-standing ethos, the “Golden Rule,” which guides how we deal with one another and look after the world we dwell in.
Our CEO and the Samsonite management crew wholeheartedly supported the initiative and even inspired us to up-level some key objectives with a purpose to actually lead the in sustainability.
Samsonite first disclosed the state of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey with the publication of its first ESG report in 2016, a requirement for the corporate’s itemizing on the Hong Kong Inventory Alternate. After I joined as the corporate’s first world director of sustainability in December 2017, I used to be tasked with creating a world ESG technique that would come with attainable objectives and the motion plans that may allow the corporate to display steady enchancment and progress towards reaching these objectives. We report our progress yearly in Samsonite’s ESG report.
From the very starting, the Samsonite govt crew empowered me to take the lead on creating an industry-leading method. The crew was instantly concerned in each section of the mission, together with offering suggestions, collaborating in interviews and dedicating sources from their respective areas and useful areas. With govt help, I engaged with Brodie, a London-based consulting agency, to co-lead our materiality evaluation.
Materiality assessments matter
I’m a agency believer within the worth of materiality assessments, particularly when an organization is first creating a sustainability technique. It lets you determine and validate your points objectively; educate your organization and colleagues about your ESG efforts; successfully allocate sources in your ESG technique and strengthen credibility with exterior stakeholders.
As we progressed by means of the inner interview course of, I used to be frequently impressed by the variety of initiatives already underway to extend the usage of sustainable supplies in our merchandise and to cut back our carbon footprint.
For instance, Samsonite North America launched its first product made with post-consumer recycled PET material, in January 2018, one month after I began. And by the tip of my first yr, we already had diverted almost 30 million PET bottles from landfills by means of our world use of post-consumer recycled PET material in our merchandise. As well as, the corporate already had put in photo voltaic panels on its manufacturing amenities in Hungary and Belgium and had plans to put in them on its manufacturing facility in India. It grew to become clear that certainly one of my main duties can be to determine and set up all of those current efforts beneath a complete, centered technique.
Primarily based on the outcomes of the materiality evaluation, we recognized 4 key pillars centered on Samsonite’s merchandise, carbon footprint, provide chain and other people. One key studying ;from the materiality evaluation was that when folks considered sustainability, they typically outlined it within the context of the atmosphere. In consequence, we realized we needed to embody a short overview of the problems that fall beneath the umbrella of ESG so folks would consider the enterprise throughout a broader vary of initiatives.
We additional recognized two motion platforms inside every pillar that may permit the corporate to set objectives and to speak our progress.
For instance, one pillar focuses on product innovation as a result of Samsonite’s ambition is to lighten the journey of its clients by creating the perfect merchandise utilizing essentially the most sustainable and revolutionary supplies, strategies and fashions.
Inside that pillar, we have now an motion platform that focuses particularly on supplies innovation to drive steady enchancment towards creating new, extra sustainable supplies and rising the usage of extra sustainable supplies in Samsonite merchandise and packaging. The opposite motion platform targets the product lifecycle and underscores the corporate’s efforts to proceed to make merchandise which can be constructed to final, repairable and, ultimately, recyclable.
Targets which can be particular, but bold
The subsequent step was to articulate particular objectives and, in the end, we recognized 9 world objectives with targets set for 2025 and 2030.
Considered one of Samsonite’s objectives is to realize carbon neutrality throughout its owned and operated amenities by 2030. Recognizing that the corporate’s impression extends past its personal amenities, we additionally set a aim to estimate, monitor and help actions to cut back Scope three emissions — these emissions tied to Samonite’s enterprise however outdoors our management.
Our CEO and the Samsonite management crew wholeheartedly supported the initiative and even inspired us to up-level some key objectives with a purpose to actually lead the in sustainability. Considered one of our authentic objectives centered on creating a recyclable suitcase. The suggestions was that this was too slender in its scope.
The ultimate aim is extra aspirational and states that the corporate will proceed to develop revolutionary options to make sure the sturdiness of its merchandise, lengthen the lifetime of merchandise and develop viable end-of-life options to divert as a lot of its merchandise from the landfill for so long as potential. The directive was to broaden the corporate’s ambition and additional incentivize steady innovation. The ensuing set of objectives higher mirror Samsonite’s imaginative and prescient and its ambition.
Complementing this effort, we wanted to ascertain a world carbon footprint throughout 1,500 retail, workplace, manufacturing and distribution amenities worldwide. Partnering with Industrial Economics (IEc), an environmental consulting agency, we collaborated with cross-functional leads worldwide. Particularly, we labored with people accountable for the tools and operations at our owned and operated manufacturing and distribution facilities; representatives from our IT and HR departments who supply workplace tools and practice workers on energy-efficient behaviors; and workers from our retail and growth groups who make selections about lighting and actual property. We additionally labored with world finance groups to gather tons of of utility payments to make sure an correct and consultant pattern measurement. From all this information, we established a baseline utilizing 2017 information.
An prolonged dialogue
Whereas the method is comparatively simple, Brodie, IEc and I didn’t do it in a vacuum. Important to our success was participating a wide-ranging group of inner stakeholders and material consultants.
Samsonite operates utilizing a primarily decentralized administration construction throughout its 4 key areas: North America; Asia; Europe; and Latin America. With the robust help of our regional presidents, we shaped a world sustainability committee and a world carbon discount committee. Membership is assorted throughout useful areas and included human sources, advertising, sourcing, amenities, retail, finance and product growth. Individuals are nominated by their regional president primarily based on their contribution to the corporate’s sustainability efforts and/or their curiosity within the subject.
One other means we engaged inner stakeholders was by holding intensive suggestions classes with representatives from completely different useful areas in regards to the respective objectives to make sure that they’d have the ability to efficiently implement initiatives and supply information that may be helpful and sensible when demonstrating progress.
The directive was to broaden the corporate’s ambition and additional incentivize steady innovation. The ensuing set of objectives higher mirror Samsonite’s imaginative and prescient and its ambition.
For instance, once we first set a product-related aim, we really helpful establishing a goal proportion of sustainable supplies throughout our product strains. As we engaged the design and sourcing groups, it grew to become clear that the goal proportion was distracting us from the intent of the aim to extend our use of sustainable supplies. There have been countless methods to outline that quantity, and we might have to spend vital time figuring out how one can measure it. Quite than considerably delaying the goal-setting course of, we determined to develop the quantitative goal as a part of measurement course of.
Now that the objectives have been introduced, we’re actively working with advertising, design and sourcing to obviously outline how we are going to display progress in opposition to our aim to extend the usage of supplies with sustainable credentials in all our merchandise and packaging to minimize our impression on the atmosphere.
The worldwide carbon discount committee was concerned within the course of of selecting the environmental consulting agency, reviewing proposals, assembly with the candidates and making a closing suggestion to work with IEc. The person committee members, together with others, additionally offered suggestions on the data-collection course of. We shared each the outcomes and the credit score with everybody who was a part of the method.
This intensive stakeholder engagement meant that the method took two years from launching the materiality evaluation to asserting the technique. I’m proud Samsonite has a sustainability method that everybody can really feel possession of, and in the end all of us are invested in its profitable implementation.
The world has modified so much over the previous two years, and particularly through the previous six months. Sustainability is more and more necessary to customers as an increasing number of, we acknowledge the impression of our behaviors and consumption habits on the atmosphere. I’m proud that Samsonite has developed an ESG technique that aligns with my private and professional commitments and with Samsonite’s ethos, the “Golden Rule,” which guides how we deal with one another and look after the world we dwell in.