Products & Responsible Sourcing
One of the priorities stated in our ASR strategy is to ensure that the products we offer in our stores are sourced responsibly. This includes the social conditions under which the products are produced, but also their quality and safety.
We form partnerships with our suppliers to ensure a collaborative approach to responsible sourcing. We work closely with more than 650 suppliers, amongst which are wholesalers and traders, manufacturers of well-known brands and and direct suppliers. Approximately 40% of our products are produced in Europe, with the remaining 60% in Asia.
As basis for our cooperation with any supplier serves our Ethical Sourcing Policy, which is our roadmap to a sustainable approach with people, environment and communities. Apart from that we have defined further policies that fix our ambitions in responsible and continuously more sustainably sourcing of raw materials, such as cotton or timber.
Our pillar “product” comprises four major working areas:
Results in 2020
Our Quality team is continuously expanding to be able to meet our ambitions in product quality. In 2020, our team grew from eight to twelve people. With this team in place, we were able to work on many initiatives and achieved great results. For example did we improve the product quality in overall, so that more products passed their first test flawlessly: Our first-time pass rate improved by 4% compared to 2019.
Social compliance and Human Rights
In 2020, we conducted seven training sessions for our suppliers on our approach, focusing on and reminding them of our commitments of our Ethical Sourcing Policy. A total of 1,226 people attended these (mostly) web-based sessions.
452 of the 490 factories working for Action underwent audits in 2020. Results showed that all of them were working in line with our policies, such as for example, no forced or child labor, fair wages and safe working environments. The remaining 28 factories still had a valid audit from the year before.
Product & Manufacturing
In 2020 we crossed milestones in our sourcing approach and exceeded our goals for sustainable sourcing of raw materials used for our products: By the end of 2020, 60% of Action’s timber-based products was sourced more sustainably – a big jump from 39% in 2019, exceeding the 50% goal we had set ourselves by 10%. Find out more about our ambitions for sustainably sourced timber here.
Also by the end of 2020, 76% of Action’s cotton was sourced more sustainably through the Better Cotton Initiative, far ahead of the 40% target we had set ourselves in 2018. Find out more about our partnership with the Better Cotton Initiative, and which impact our contribution had on more sustainable sourcing of cotton.
Plastic and packaging
In 2020, we did not only stop with the sales of singular-use-plastic products, such as plastic plates, forks, cups, straws, etc. one year before the official end date provided by the EU legislation. We also made a big step in avoiding more virgin plastic. We successfully converted more gardening products to recycled plastic, which saved about 1.89 million kilos of virgin plastic. In addition, for many of our products we started initiatives to reduce plastic in packaging. Our Hotel Royal fitted sheets, for example, are wrapped in the same material as the product. For this initiative our product has received the Salute to Excellence Award.