CCC, leader of Central and Eastern Europe’s footwear sector, has published a detailed sustainable development strategy, which is one of the pillars of the Group’s Go.22 business strategy for 2020–2022. The strategic areas are responsible product, responsibility towards the environment, responsibility towards employees and responsibility towards society. The comprehensive strategy sets out various metrics providing for gradually raising the stated targets every year.
The overriding sustainable development goal is to minimise the negative impact of our business by further reducing greenhouse gas emission indicators, increasing electrical energy efficiency and reducing waste volumes (in each case by 7% by 2022) and implementing circular economy principles. Further environmental measures include increasing the number of the Go for Nature eco-friendly product lines and raising the percentage of recyclable cardboard packaging to 80%. The Group’s Management Board also plans to further enhance employee development opportunities, and continue to promote diversity and equality. The long-term goal is to secure the prestigious MSCI ESG A+ rating, assigned to the world’s sustainable development leaders.
“The indicators selected by CCC cover all the areas under analysis, both those where many initiatives are already underway and those where efforts are in the planning phase and where the company sees room for improvement. Continuous monitoring and analysis of historical data help us to identify sensitive areas and the areas where we can do more for the environment, local communities and safety over the next three years,” says Marcin Czyczerski, President of the CCC S.A. Management Board.
Effective management of the supply chain and relations with partners is an essential part of the Group’s activities and a guarantee that our products are safe, high quality and manufactured and sold responsibly. Two processes are extremely important in the product area today. One is the pressing need for transition to a circular economy model with a view to optimising the use of raw materials and prolonging the value of products throughout their life cycle. The other is the need to ensure all human rights are respected along the supply chain.
The CCC Code of Conduct, which all suppliers must agree to comply with, allows for greater control of the supply chain and for common labour standards to be established with the environment and human rights in mind. CCC builds equal relationships with suppliers while setting specific requirements and educating them on sustainable development. All the Group’s suppliers involved in the manufacture of its products have signed the CCC Code of Conduct to date. The Group intends to include investment, digital and other service providers within the scope of the Code by 2022. The Group verifies compliance with the principles set out in the Code through audits. The percentage of business partners undergoing such audits is expected to rise by 5pp per year and reach 60% in 2022.
‘Over the next three years, CCC plans to expand the range of its environmentally friendly products, with relevant measures including launch of further eco-friendly product lines, increased share of eco leathers in the manufacturing processes, and cooperation only with those suppliers who have committed to observe the CCC Code of Conduct, containing environmental and CSR obligations, or those who have internal regulations in place that are consistent with our policies,’ explains CCC CEO.
Currently, 15% of the leather used in production comes from certified, environmentally friendly tanneries (certified by the Leather Working Group). The Group plans to increase their share by 2pp every year.
As part of its effort to implement circular economy principles, CCC also plans to launch a pilot programme in Poland seeking to collect and use post-consumer footwear. A similar project was successfully implemented in Switzerland last year (513 tonnes of footwear was collected).
The Group aims to minimise its environmental impact by implementing such measures as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and volumes of generated waste and improvement of energy efficiency. CCC plans to systematise and intensify the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions and to identify their sources more precisely along the entire value chain in accordance with the guidelines of the European Commission and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. These efforts will facilitate curtailing GHG emissions at a rate conducive to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the European Union’s climate policy. All direct emissions (Scope 1) and indirect emissions from purchased energy (Scope 2) are to be cut by 7% by 2022 compared with 2019. The reduction rates will reach 2% and 5% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Similar annual percentage metrics have been developed by the Group as part of its efforts to increase energy efficiency through lower electricity consumption across the CCC Group. Electricity consumption per pair of shoes sold will be reduced annually by 2%, 5% and 7% compared with 2019. In its new capex projects the Group employs only energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources, including own photovoltaic installations, also gradually switching to smart building management systems.
‘Responsible environmental protection measures are designed to combat the climate crisis and achieve long-term environmental benefits for future generations. From 2020 onwards, CCC will measure its carbon footprint more accurately and take action to reduce it in the following years. By employing more accurate metrics, we can formulate and implement corrective actions and measure their progress. We are also introducing the principles of circular economy, which will translate into even less waste and lower demand for raw materials,’ says Karol Półtorak, Vice President of the CCC S.A. Management Board for Strategy.
90% of the waste generated in business activities is recycled or otherwise recovered. CCC has withdrawn plastic bags from its brick-and-mortar and online stores in all countries, using recycled paper packaging only. The Group subsidiary eobuwie.pl uses solely eco-friendly boxes and packaging in its deliveries. Plastic bags will be withdrawn from all the Group’s stores in 2020. By 2021, 70% of our internally made packaging will be from recycled materials, and by 2022 80% of the packaging will be recyclable.
At the CCC Research and Development Centre we are working on innovative concepts for product packaging and footwear distribution, and on a prototype sealing machine for shoe packaging. These efforts will ultimately bring tangible effects: further optimisation of materials and raw materials consumption, further development of shoe distribution technology, reduction of packaging costs and curtailment of adverse environmental impacts,’ says Mariusz Gnych, Vice President for Logistics and Production at CCC.
RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS EMPLOYEES
At the end of 2019, the CCC Group had 15,257 employees (full-time equivalents), 88% of whom were women and 12% were men. The overriding goal for this area is to provide employees with development opportunities in Poland and abroad based on a culture of diversity and equality. The Group has also set itself the goal of equal pay for men and women performing the same work. The Gender Pay Gap Ratio (GPGR), calculated separately for different employee categories, is to be reduced by two-fifths by 2022. At present, the Group’s GPGR stands at 14%, a level slightly better than the market standards, e.g. in Poland. The Group’s goal is to consistently improve and, in the long run, achieve equal pay for the same work.
The Group has also developed a Diversity Policy, which it plans to implement by the end of 2022. It is assumed that 100% of managers and executives and 50% of other employees will receive training on this policy.
The Group was one of the world’s first business organisations to report directly its Glass Ceiling Ratio (GCR), reflecting the odds of promotion into managerial, executive and senior executive positions for women versus men. The Group’s GCR at the end of 2019 was 14.6%, having decreased meaningfully relative to 2018 (down from 21%). The objective by 2022 is to reduce GCR to 10%.
The Group also cares for workforce safety, implementing various initiatives aimed at reducing the number of workplace accidents. The accident frequency rate is now 4.79% (per 1,000 employees) for the entire Group, with plans to curb it to 1.92% by 2022 and to zero within the next five years.
The backbone of the Group is its employees. The success of CCC is built with the competencies and commitment of the entire team, therefore the Group’s human resources management model seeks to acquire top talent and provide employees with development and promotion opportunities within the organisation. The pandemic showed how quickly our team can adapt to market needs and respond to a crisis. It was the strong commitment of our staff that allowed us to achieve a record growth pace in our e-commerce business, stabilise the company’s financial situation and adapt our business to market conditions. By 2022, we aim to set up the CCC Digital Academy, enabling all employees to develop according to their individual needs. After all, our employees are the most important ambassadors of the CCC brand,’ noted Gabriela Kahl, HR Director at CCC S.A.
RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS SOCIETY
The Group is mindful of local communities and other stakeholders in its daily operations. CCC is the first and only Polish company to become a global partner of UNICEF. The money we donate is used to save the lives of children around the world and to support education in developing countries.
The Group plans to continue its engagement in local community projects aimed at raising environmental awareness and to support employee volunteering initiatives related to education, culture, sports, safety and environmental protection. The CCC Group Code of Ethics, in effect since 2014, provides the foundation for the development of transparent rules and equal working conditions. The Code of Ethics will be updated in consultation with employees and other stakeholders as part of the new strategy. In 2021 and 2022, the Code will first be disseminated among 100% of CCC S.A. employees and 50% of its subsidiaries, and ultimately among all Group employees.