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Adidas and Burberry Score ‘Gold’ for Environmental Initiatives

Major brands are being honored for their sustainability work in the textiles, apparel and luxury goods industry.

Sustainability investing specialist RobecoSAM, awarded two apparel companies, Adidas and Burberry, gold status for their environmental initiatives in its 2017 Sustainability Yearbook. Other notable retailers, including Kering, Hugo Boss and Gildan Activewear were also recognized by the yearbook, which serves as the flagship reference guide to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance scores of the world’s largest companies.

For the 2017 Sustainability Yearbook, 2,473 international companies in 60 industries were assessed on three criteria—economic dimension, environmental dimension and social dimension. For environmental dimension, companies were evaluated on environmental policy and management systems, operational eco-efficiency and product stewardship. To be featured in the Yearbook, companies must place within the top 15 percent of their industry and earn a score within 30 percent of their industry’s best performing company.

Technology advancements and fast fashion are highly influencing the textiles, apparel and luxury goods industry today. With the development of these innovations, companies are held accountable for implementing responsible sourcing models and integrating sustainable product development processes. RobecoSAM awarded 77 Gold Class medals, 83 Silver Class medals and 107 Bronze Class medals this year, with European companies securing the most gold medals (39) worldwide.

Adidas and Burberry achieved RobecoSAM Gold Class recognition, which required both companies to possess a minimum total score of 60 and earn a score that was within one percent of the top performing company’s score. Adidas was also named as an Industry Mover, since it achieved the largest proportional improvement in its sustainability performance compared to last year.

French conglomerate Kering earned RobecoSAM Silver Class recognition for its eco-friendly initiatives. To achieve a spot in the Silver Class, companies must receive a total score of at least 57 that falls between one percent and five percent of the industry’s top performing company’s score.

Canada-based Gildan Activewear and luxury label Hugo Boss were honored with RobecoSAM Bronze Class recognition and received a score of at least 54. Both companies also achieved a score between five percent and 10 percent of the industry’s top performing company’s score.

“Although sustainability has become a requirement among investors, we feel that there is still a gap between the efforts made by corporations and the ESG integration of their pension funds,” RobecoSAM CEO Aris Prepoudis said. “However, as more companies report the positive financial impact of their sustainability initiatives, we believe that pensions will make the connection between ESG integration and generating value for beneficiaries.”

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