- On April 22, over one billion people in 192 countries will celebrate Earth Day. Established in 1970 to raise awareness about the need to conserve our planet’s natural resources, today the torch is carried by thousands of schools, non-governmental organisations and local and global institutions, starting with the United Nations.
Benetton Group will also be joining the celebrations. Respect for the environment is, in fact, a philosophy that has permeated the company’s culture for decades. Founded in the 1960s, when the concept of sustainable development was in its infancy, the firm has grown up in a society where respect for the environment has become a pillar for every successful business.
Today Benetton Group’s commitment is reflected in a series of projects and initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of its activities, from ensuring the sustainability of the materials – today almost all the fibres used in Benetton and Sisley garments are of natural origin – to the management of environmental impacts.
For example, the United Colors of Benetton brand is one of the leaders in the Detox rankings, created by Greenpeace to recognize brands that have made significant progress in reducing the presence of harmful chemical substances in their production processes. In addition, the company has reduced CO2 emissions generated by road transport by over 25 per cent, reducing by 20 per cent the number of trucks used to transport its goods in Italy and Europe.
Among the company’s most recent actions, in 2017 Benetton Group became a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the largest programme in the world dedicated to cotton sustainability. Since becoming a member, a growing percentage of the cotton used to make the group’s collections is being grown and harvested by farmers trained to minimise the use of fertilisers and pesticides, use water and soil in a sustainable way and adhere to the principles of equity in labour relations.
In 2017 Benetton Group also joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the alliance for sustainable production that includes brands and retailers as well as producers of fashion, footwear and textiles. As a result, starting in 2018, the company has started using the Higg Index, a set of tools designed to measure the social and environmental impact of production, identify and subsequently eliminate inefficiencies and harmful practices, guarantee transparency to consumers with respect to the sustainability results of companies and generally protect the environment and the well-being of workers and local communities.
Benetton Group initiatives in the field of environmental sustainability are not isolated, but are part of a medium-term circular economy strategy, aimed at improving the sustainability of the production process, gradually limiting the amount of raw materials and energy used and reducing outgoing waste and losses.