UGG is working to reduce water waste
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Our parent company, Deckers Brands, recently issued an annual sustainability report highlighting our approach to waste and how we’re planning to reduce it, especially when it comes to water consumption and quality throughout our operations and the communities in which we operate.
While the Earth is covered by 70% water, only 0.5% of it is available as fresh water. Many rivers and lakes are drying up or becoming too polluted to use, and more than half of the world’s wetlands have now disappeared. The primary cause of this pressure on the water system is agriculture, which consumes and wastes more than the planet can handle, while climate change is causing droughts and floods in different areas of the world.
At UGG, we’re conscious of these problems and know that we need to be mindful of our water consumption to avoid water shortages. We mostly use water to process and prepare the materials used in our products. Dyeing, scouring, and bleaching are especially demanding on the environment, so our materials team is working to find more efficient dyeing techniques and source 100% of our hides from tanneries which are promoting sustainable business practices and certified by the Leather Working Group – a multi-stakeholder group that develops and maintains protocols to assess the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of leather manufacturers. LWG promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry. As part of the wider Deckers Brands sustainability strategy, we’re constantly tracking and monitoring our water use while setting reduction targets and increasing water recycling. This fits into our FEEL GOOD strategy to give back more than we take from the planet on our journey to become a regenerative brand.
While we’ve already reduced our water usage by 15% per pair since 2019, we’re committed to taking this number down by another 30% by 2030. This year, we’re also planning to support various water projects providing reliable water and sanitation services to our global communities from our corporate headquarters to the whole of our supply chain.
Water usage efforts in our headquarters
Our commitment to reducing our water usage starts in our own home, where we have already implemented tangible and measurable actions. As a LEED Silver certified building, our corporate headquarters utilize low-flow fixtures which save approximately 350,000 gallons of water each year. We also have implemented drought-tolerant landscaping and collect rainwater to be put back into the wetlands and restore the areas surrounding our HQ building. Given these considerable water reduction measures already in place, we’re not expecting our water usage numbers to go down significantly, but have nevertheless seen an improvement since 2019.
Water usage efforts in our supply chain
We know that most of our environmental impact happens at the raw material level, so we’re monitoring twenty-nine of our Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners. We’re expecting all of them to adhere to the highest standards of water efficiency and discharge to ensure proper disposal of wastewater and avoid environmental pollution. Our annual target is to reduce our water usage among our Tier 1 partners by 15% and our Tier 2 partners by 5%. While we recorded a 28% reduction in water usage at Tier 1 level, which exceeded our expectations, our Tier 2 partners saw an increase in water usage due to increased production to catch up on COVID-related delays and shipping. However, we look forward to continuing working with them to reach our targets and minimize water consumption – a vision to do good for the planet that all our partners share with us.
Read more about how we’re protecting our planet here.