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Retail analyst reacts to ASOS's Net Zero 2030 target

Camilla Rydzek
22 April 2022

Online fashion retailer ASOS has outlined "ambitious" new sustainability targets as part of its Fashion with Integrity programme, including reaching net Zero across its full value chain by 2030. The Head of UK Retail Practice at management consultancy Roland Berger explains why they are 'huge'. 

ASOS has outlined the following sustainability targets

    • To be carbon neutral in its direct operations by 2025 and achieve Net Zero across its value chain by 2030.
    • Ensure that 100% of ASOS own-brand products and packaging are made from more sustainable or recycled materials by 2030.
    • Publish a detailed human rights strategy and implementation reports annually from 2023, ensure third-party brands are signed up to the ASOS Ethical Trade policy by 2025 and provide full public transparency of every ASOS own-brand product by 2030.
    • Ensure that at least 50% female representation and over 15% ethnic minority representation at every leadership level by 2030.

Head of the UK retail and consumer goods practice at Roland Berger, Siobhan Gehin, has commented on the new targets: “ASOS has set some bold and admirable targets here because this entails driving its supply base – largely in China, India and Turkey – to achieve net zero.

“Roland Berger research suggests that more than 70% of a typical fashion retailer's emissions occur upstream, in manufacturing and textile production – usually across hundreds of different suppliers. The magnitude of the change involved in changing this complex supplier network has meant that most fashion retailers are reluctant to commit to net zero by 2030.

“There are exceptions of course: based on benchmarking by Roland Berger of more than 50 major fashion retailers globally, we see that ASOS is joining an elite group, which includes Patagonia and All Birds. Most major ASOS competitors are targeting net zero by 2040.”

Last year, more than 60 UK retailers, including Burberry, Missguided, Primark (and ASOS itself) pledged to support the British Retail Consortium's Climate Action Roadmap, which sets a target of net-zero emissions by 2040.

ASOS’ target is a huge and very welcome step and will require significant change in its supply base. ASOS will want to shout from the rooftops about this ambitious programme and will, no doubt, be hoping that customers hear and give them credit for their efforts.”

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