Supply chain transparency as the basis for sustainable sourcing

Action wants to offer products that go beyond compliance with safety and quality standards. We want products that are sourced responsibly and offer good value for money. To live up to our environmental and social ambitions, we have developed a roadmap and a set of sustainability policies.

Birdhouse

  • 80% of private label suppliers engaged and 452 factories mapped for supply chain transparency
  • We have developed specific circularity plans for half of our product categories to identify opportunities to reduce their footprint and increase their circularity.
  • >86% of our cotton was sourced more sustainably, exceeding our 2022 goal in 2021
  • >70% of our timber was sourced more sustainably, meeting our 2022 goal already in 2021

With a broad assortment, complex supply chains and multiple sourcing models it is necessary for us to have great insights into our manufacturing base. This gives us a better understanding of important social conditions such as labour conditions and health and safety.

Embracing and mapping our circularity

As a leading retailer, it comes as no surprise that our products are the largest impact contributors. We therefore invest in sustainable sourcing and production to enable our future and responsible growth. Our collaboration with impact organisation Circle Economy generates company wide insights into where our products stand on circularity. With the insights from circularity baseline assessments per category we can assess how circular our 14 product categories are. They include the top 50 products of each product category. This give us the opportunity to make the largest positive circularity contribution. We have a clear plan and we make progress. On to our ambition of completing all 14 categories within this year!

Exceeding goals on cotton and timber

In the past years, we have prioritised timber and cotton, in our efforts to create positive impact for the raw materials we use. Ahead of our goals, in 2021 70% of our timber-based products and 86% of our cotton products were sourced more sustainably. We therefore decided to bring our goal of achieving 100% sustainable sourcing for these materials forward to 2024. We are increasingly looking at other raw materials sourced for our products that can make a large positive social or environmental impact.

Cocoa commitment

In 2021, we added a cocoa policy with concrete targets and a strategic action plan for our own brand chocolate products. The target is to have 100% Fairtrade cocoa for our own brand chocolate products by the end of 2023. Through this commitment, we want to provide cocoa farmers with a better income, dignified working conditions and the possibility to invest in their communities.

Sustainable labels to guide customers

We are increasingly able to offer our customers more certified sustainable products. Customers can find more and more products with sustainability labels on our shelves: FSC and PEFC for timber products, Fairtrade for chocolate, Rainforest Alliance for coffee and OEKO-TEX for textiles.

Read more about our policies for Responsible Sourcing

Social compliance

Transparency on our supply chain allows us to monitor social compliance and identify risk hotspots across the wholesalers and manufacturers producing for Action. This in turn enables us to strengthen our suppliers and create positive social change. Our target for social compliance is to have 100% transparency by 2025 for all private and white label products. This helps us understand the risks on social compliance at the factory level and comply with the applicable due diligence legislation.

Every year independent third parties audit the factories that work for Action. This ensures our factories comply with our Ethical Sourcing Policy.

Packaging

The production and disposal of packaging material presents an enormous challenge to the environment. Our packaging policy applies to both our product and transit packaging. The aim of the policy is to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of packaging within our supply chain. By reducing the amount of packaging waste and establishing circularity in all packaging.

As our products come from all over the world, making and using different packaging heavily impacts these manufacturing processes. Along with our packaging policy, we developed a Supplier Packaging Best Practice Guide. The environmentally friendly packaging has become an integral part of our negotiations when buying products.

To make our packaging more recyclable for our private label products, we will phase out black plastic by end of 2022.This involves avoiding virgin plastic and using only transparent and coloured PET to make sure that all our plastic packaging is recyclable.

Read more about our circular transition